Monday Smiles – 1/21/2013
For a techie, I don’t have a lot of state-of-the-art electronic gadgets. Oh, I have a nice (middle of the technical road) Acer desktop computer in my office and a Asus laptop that cost a modest $400 (and is my primary platform for blogging). I have a last generation Samsung Galaxy smartphone and even a last generation e-paper Kindle. When I go to Starbucks or to the Corner Bakery with Muri, I appear reasonably well-equipped as a senior but hopelessly behind the thirty-somethings sporting ultrabooks, tablets and the latest smartphones. I rarely upgrade my electronics unless there is a practical reason to do so and I rarely purchase anything electronic that does not serve a definite need. I don’t buy toys, I say, and tablets are definitely toys. But, for Pete’s sake everybody has one and they all seem to love them. So over the weekend, I decided to buy one, even though I still don’t know what I’ll do with it.
My original intent was to buy a 8.9 inch Kindle Fire HD. The price seemed right and the reviews were good if not stellar. But when I went to Best Buy to look at it, I realized that I don’t want to carry around a full-sized tablet. That brought me into the world of seven inch tablets where the competition is keener. Always at the top of the price list, Apple offers the slightly larger than seven inch iPad Mini. In spite of the amount of crow I’d have to eat if I ever bought an Apple product, I gave it a serious look. As always, I walked away impressed with the technology and quality but unwilling to play the premium price. The seven inch Kindle HD looks very nice for $199, but it uses Amazon’s own version of the Android operating system, locking you into Amazon’s apps. If I wanted to be locked in, I’d buy an Apple. So I did some web searching, of course, and I found the Google Nexus 7, built for Google by Asus. It uses the pure Android operating system, opening up the entire world of Android apps … plus it was consistently reviewed as the best seven inch tablet, bar none, in the literature. It is even outselling the iPad in Japan. What more could I ask for? The display is not quite up to Retina standards, but the iPad Mini doesn’t use the Retina. And the price for a 32 GB Google Nexus 7 is the same as the 32 GB Kindle and $170 less than the equivalent iPad Mini.
So. Now, I own one. I’ve played with it and loaded some of my music and photos. I’ve added some apps I’m sure I’ll use, including all of the Amazon Kindle and mp3 apps I would have used with a Kindle Fire. I’ve admired the high resolution display and played Mole Word on a seven inch screen. It is a very cool device. It’s Monday and I’m smiling but I have absolutely no idea why.