Sunday, July 1, 2012

7 inch tablets and the Google Nexus 7

Google announced an 8GB tablet this week for the excellent price of US$199.  It's a re-work of an earlier ASUS tablet and that's a good thing.  The tablet includes the nVidia Tegra 3 System-on-a-Chip and a 1280x800 resolution IPS display.  That's a lot for the price.

There is a rather huge drawback: 5.92 GB is all that's available from the 8 GB of storage.  Additionally, there is no microSD slot to hold your images and music.  Update: I almost bought the 16 GB version at Sam's Club for US$246 and change.  I held the ticket in my hand for quite a while to think about it.  In the end, I couldn't justify being early, especially when ASUS has a variable track record and Google isn't all that reliable in my eyes, either.  Besides, there would be some fanatic who would get there late and wouldn't be able to buy one since I took the last ticket.  I hope he/she enjoys it.

As someone who struggled with the LG Optimus and its paltry 170 MB of user available storage (and the numerous low storage warnings, even with the microSD card), I think those who buy the 8GB version of the Nexus 7 tablet will be returning it for the 16GB version.  I would.

I'm all for such a tablet and the extra US$50 won't really be that much, considering that not so long ago, it would cost US$100 to go from 8GB to 16GB of storage.

What holds me back is the 16:9 format of the tablet.  I was really hoping for a 7.75-7.85 inch tablet in the 4:3 format, as the current 7 inch (and 10 inch) tablets in 16:9 format are just uncomfortable.  Sure, they're made specifically to display movies well, but I won't be watching movies that much.  Ever see the digital copy for Google in the Blu-Ray/DVD package with digital copy?

I think the Nexus 7 is a good attempt at the first tablet and it obviously attacks's Kindle Fire and the Amazon App Store, which is probably more of a problem for Google than it is for  Jeff Bezos was likely yelling at people this week but acts quickly and they'll likely get their act together and smack Google for what they've done.

I suspect the Kindle Fire will be revised quickly and better than ever.  Since already have stores in various countries other than the U.S.A., I can't imagine why they haven't managed to be more in electronic publishing of books, movies, music elsewhere.

If anyone is a loser in all of this, it's Acer.  They can't seem to design good products to save themselves.  Lenovo will probably overtake them.  Of course, if Apple announces a 7.75-7.85 inch tablet in September, Google and ASUS may be hurting, as well.

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