I originally intended to spend a solid week with new N7 before chatting about, but after a solid four (4) days of using, I’m ready.
After having used the first gen N7, I’ve got to say that the display is simply marvelous. Sitting next to a 4th gen iPad w/re, my virgin eyes can barely distinguish which stands out. It’s totally awesome that ASUS and Google were able to pack 323 pixels-per-inch into this 7″ wonder. Text is crisp, more to come on text.
You’ve seen the specs and know that it’s packing dual speakers top and bottom, producing surround type sound and even though the speakers are on back, they’re pretty loud and decent sounding. When holding in landscape, I didn’t find that my hand positioning caused a degradation in sound and I wasn’t making a conscious effort to position the hands correctly, if such a thing even exists, correct hand positioning. Prior to release, didn’t hear of any wishes for front facing speakers, would have been nice addition. Maybe the next Nexus tablet will have them
Moving about from one screen to the other and opening / using various apps, felt nothing short of zippy. I usually like to go into developer options and turn off window, transition and animator scales to speed things up, not so or didn’t feel warranted with new N7.
Build quality is nice, has more of an executive feeling then it’s predecessor. Executive feeling; what’s that..lol? But here’s where it gets a bit interesting, where the old one step forward, two steps back comes into play. Recalling that most who held the old N7, loved the back, mostly for the grip, at least I did. Same can’t be said for the new N7, when holding with both hands in portrait, you can feel it slipping, sliding down and with the thinner bezel on the sides, not much there to grab before you’re pressing on the screen. So, I found myself attempting one-handed use most times, keeping the old back would have been nice.
I used to boast about being able to slip the first N7 in my back pocket, with N7 new, it’s even better at being back seat passenger, the feel isn’t as noticeable. So if you’re in a crowded public place, don’t recommend back pocket, may reach and find it’s gone.
I did take a moment to do a side by side comparison vs. gNote 8, things like video playing, page loading in Chrome and just how the new N7 looked next to gNote 8. Noticeably smaller display, don’t know if it’s the smaller side bezels along with the bigger top and bottom bezels that exude this illusion, but I was surprised how small the screen looked. Common web pages opened with the same speed, although there were times when one was a tad faster than the other. The gNote 8 with its bigger display, showed approx 7 to 8 more lines of text then did the N7 new. Not a big difference in video play among both, but it was certainly the N7 that shined bright in overall look with it’s nearly doubled pixel count.
I said earlier, I’d get back to the text. Now it gets creepy; these are the things “they don’t want you to know”. Depending on what you’re viewing, text is small, too small. Notifications, topics listed to the side on websites to name a couple. Definitely had to do the double click more than I’m accustomed, just to read pages. Opened up one of my favorite apps, WSJ and there were occasions when images weren’t displayed.
I have to spend a moment on the lack of micro-SD card. Through discussions and my own thinking about cloud-life, didn’t think not having one would be much of an issue. I turned off Picasa photo sync and cleared gallery data, knowing photos take up much space. However, in just adding apps, it wasn’t long before the 16GB was down below 9GB. I know, Google doesn’t allow putting apps on SD cards, so why does it matter. Well, at a minimum, you can root your device and set up the SD card to be recognized as internal storage. Options!!
Let’s close with this summary and what I did. Tremendous improvement from orig to this iteration and while nothing is perfect, there are some cons like everything in both life and tech. Maybe the rumored Nexus 8 will address, Google seems to be good at improving upon. What did I do? Well, I returned my N7 new. For me, “small” was the reason. Too small in both size (feel and visual) and text.
That’s my four day look.
Happy to answer specifics for those thinking of buying while equally looking forward to hearing thoughts from the many that already, have taken possession.