We don’t typically review hardware, but every once in a while you fall in love and feel like shouting it from the rooftops.  That’s how I feel about my Nexus 7.

I don’t fall for every new gadget that comes out, but something about this tablet caught my eye from the very beginning.

I’m also not one to judge a device based only on its specifications.  What matters to me is whether or not it improves my quality of life.  There are generally only three ways in which a device can do this for me.

  1. It cuts down on the amount of time it takes me to accomplish a task.
  2. It gives me better access to excellent content.
  3. It opens up educational opportunities.
Nexus 7

image care of Google

The Nexus 7 Delivers:

Efficiency

The Nexus 7 is an efficiency machine. I pay virtually all my bills from it while sitting on the couch, and have discarded my paper calendar.

I also use a ton of Google products in my daily life and the Nexus 7 integrates all of them as soon as you sign in for the first time. It’s a stunningly efficient set-up process that allows for quick access to your digital life without the need for a computer.

The Asus hardware is fantastic too.  It feels solid but isn’t heavy and is pleasing in the hand. Plus it has a reasonably sized screen. In other words, I have all the computing power I need for 98% of my at-home computer tasks in the palm of my hand.  That saves a lot of trips to the home office.

Content

This is where the Nexus 7 really shines.  The Google Play store has made huge leaps in the past several months and offers more and better titles than ever before.

But my favorite feature has to be the gorgeous screen.  Videos and apps jump out at you with impressive clarity and depth. I had taken a several year hiatus from personal gaming until I bought this device.  As a gaming platform, the Nexus 7 is way ahead of a smartphone and infintiely more portable than a larger tablet.  Now I’m hooked.

And watching TED videos, or a streaming service is really enjoyable too.

Education

I know, this is another point about content, but it deserves it’s own section.  I’ve been hooked on streaming radio apps, and especially enjoy the enormous selection on Stitcher Radio. It’s a great way to learn more about a new topic without having to make too big of a commitment.

And then there are the books. This is my first e-reader. Up until now I’ve been reluctant to give up ink and paper, and to a certain degree, I still am.

But this tablet has opened another world of reading.  A recent Pew Research Study found that people who own an e-reader read more than those who don’t own a device and this has certainly been my experience. Now, instead of checking Facebook or Twitter 3 or 4 times a day on my phone, I’m picking up my tablet and plowing through the Game of Thrones, which I think is a much better way to spend my time.

Making the Leap:

This is not to say that it’s a perfect tablet.  The maximum volume is a bit low, and the standard case from Google doesn’t allow you to stand the device up for hands free video watching, but these are minor complaints, considering both can be easily and cheaply remedied with third party solutions.

So, if you’re considering buying a tablet, I recommend the Nexus 7.  I’ve tested apps on tons of different devices and this is the one that finally convinced me to spend the money on a tablet of my own. Best of all, at $200 it’s the least expensive of the premium tablets by a mile.

A native of Scranton, PA, Matt holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Colgate University, an MBA from the College of Charleston, and is currently a JD candidate at the University of Texas School of Law.  With a varied past as an Outward Bound sailing instructor, elementary school teacher and non-profit administrator, Matt does a little bit of everything at Famigo. Follow Matt on Twitter @mmmcdonnell (edit)

Matt McDonnell (40 Posts)


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