Two months with the Nexus 7

I have been using my Nexus 7 for two months now. That line alone almost sums up my thoughts and experience with the 7. I didn't say that I received my Nexus 7 two months ago. Rather, I have been using it quite regularly over the last two months.

My iPad (3rd gen) has barely been used. Virtually all my casual at-home web browsing has been done on the 7. Watching videos, reading, e-mail, Flipboard, Google+. If I used the iPad in the past, I'm pretty much just using the 7 now.

The iPad isn't the only victim. Most of my game time is now on the 7. The PS3, Wii, XBox 360, PSP and my well-spec'd PC have seen almost no game play time from me in the last two months. This has undoubtably been assisted by the wonderful Humble Bundles for Android, but the Nexus 7 is without a doubt a great platform for games.

App-wise, it hasn't been difficult finding what I need or want. I've installed a lot of games, Skype, a couple of e-readers, Pocket, an app for wireless printing to my HP printer (like AirPrint), a DLNA browser, SplashTop Whiteboard, SketchBook, and more. While I do believe there are far more web sites out there curating, describing, and reviewing iOS apps for many different categories, it doesn't mean good apps don't exist in the Google Play store.

I am definitely not trying to say the Nexus 7 is the perfect device. The back camera and AirPlay mirroring on the iPad enable some classroom activities that just can't be done with the 7. It is unfortunate because the Nexus 7 would be so much easier to carry around the classroom. Mirroring, combined with the existing Bluetooth and USB game controller support, would also go a long way toward making the 7 an even better gaming system. The lack of Google Play gift cards is also an annoyance. Apparently gift cards are available in the US now, but no word on when they'll come to Canada. I have never liked associating a credit card with an online account.

From a hardware standpoint, I don't think I need to go into much detail. There are many, many reviews out there. I think the only hardware-related comments I will make are about the screen. Many users have reported issues with the screen (build quality issues mostly). It does make me concerned because occasionally I think I see a screen glitch, but it's always just a split second, and I am never able to forcibly cause the glitch. The other comment about the screen is actually in response to one review with a bizarre complaint about the PPI of the screen. Granted, the PPI of the 7 isn't as high as the iPad 3rd gen, but it is significantly higher than the first or second gen iPad, and is definitely high enough that you won't "notice it".

In terms of the overall experience, the OS is smooth and easy to use. Once again, I don't think it's necessary to go into much detail because there are many reviews out there, and they are mostly favourable.

If the folks from Apple aren't working on an iPad Mini, then they really have made a serious mistake. The Nexus 7 has me hooked, while the iPad has become nothing more than a supplementary device that fills in a very small number of gaps. With a potential mirroring solution for the Nexus 7 that could arrive before the end of the year, the iPad may just become a device that I used to use.