August 23, 2013

With Nexus in U.S.

August 23, 2013 Posted by Vijay No comments

I did not know what marriage life would look like. I definitely did not know how it would be after a child is born. On the one side its fun and reassuring to have family and kid, while your interests and hobbies take a backseat. Is that a good ROI? I want to believe so. But being away from family gives one the private space needed, but one tends to miss them too in the long run. Pretty much what I am going through while I am in the U.S of A. So what do I bargain with my wife to rid me of my loneliness? A new gadget! And I have gotten away with this the 3rd time.

I had got my Archos 70 for company when I was in U.S in the new year of 2011. I had my Cowon Z2 for company when I was in U.S last year during May. Over the past year or so, I have realised that owning a high end, top notch hardware/software combination is necessary to feel the pace of technology advances. But I was never one to pay a high premium for it. That gives me the liberty to root my devices with my Ideos U8150, Archos 70, Cowon Z2, Sony Live With Walkman WT19i - all of which are Android and I rightly did root'em all. All of these were indeed modest amongst their own Android peers. But that can't be the case with the new Nexus 7, 2013 edition (Nexus 7 FHD?) HD model. This thing is top notch, and at an astoundingly reasonable price starting at $229. So, my friends, I welcomed this to my android family (wife and child excluded).

I had a hunch about my travel, and had my friend book the Nexus 7 over Amazon. It is a different matter that OfficeMax was running a flat 20% off discount on all tablets just a week before I was packing up. I realised asking my friend to pick up the shiny new tablet with a printed coupon from an OfficeMax outlet wasn't fair on my part. I wish my timing was better, but I still got away on Amazon without sales tax in Minnesota. I can't fault my timing entirely, because I got it on the very same day I landed.

I was overwhelmed at how technology can get obsolete (Blackberry, Symbian ?), as well as hardware become ridiculously affordable. And the new Nexus 7 shines in all departments. And when I look back at December 2010, when I purchased my Archos 70 for $275, I had the data to prove that too. The new Nexus 7 is sleek, smooth, thin, and the display has got raving reviews everywhere.

The HD display on this thing is something to be seen to be believed. Android has definitely come a long way over the past 4 years or so, and has become as simple as iOS if that's how comparisons go. There were lots of issues reported around touchscreen response, as well as GPS. This was just a week into the launch. The tablet by default downloads the build version JWR66N. That would be even before you realise it happened if you are on a fast wifi network. Next is the build version JSS15J, which has caused multiple issues for many new Nexus 7 owners. I was fortunate to have read through forums where users had these issues, and the prompt on the screen said system update downloaded. But it was upto me to choose to install it. Which I did not, suspecting it could create these issues. And I am glad I did not install it, lest it took away my pleasure of using the tablet.

What has been great to see, is that the success of the Nexus devices (Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 10) has raised expectations from the Android team at Google to fix issues at the earliest. This also speaks to the expectation from Google to deliver quality Software, and also is a praise for Google that it is being looked up to for delivering on the perfect sized tablet. And now in 3 weeks' time Google has already started rolling out updates for the fixes for the issues today. Apparently build version JSS15Q OTA update would resolve both the GPS as well as Touchscreen issues for the flagship Google tablet.

What is great about the tablet that I am going on and on? First up the screen is spectacular with the highest pixel density (an eye popping 323 ppi) and a screen resolution of 1920X1200. The best in any 7'' tablet to date. Add to it, 2GB RAM, and a 1.5Ghz Quad core processor for $229? Who wouldn't buy it? With these specs it is not hard to fathom why the PCs and Laptop market is fast fading away. And it is $30 more than last year's Nexus 7, but still worth the price anyday.

My experience with the tablet has not been without issues though. The irksome Hangouts app which replaced Google talk gave me a 'camera error' occasionally when I was video chatting with my wife. And the area near the rear camera heats up quite a bit while doing video chatting. Once the 'camera error' came up, it wouldn't go away, and even the camera did not work. I had to restart the tablet to get it working again. Atleast I was glad it worked again, but Google engineers if you are listening, you need to fix this bug if you haven't already seen it.

Aside of that, gaming, videos, news, mails - the total experience has been nothing less than pleasing. I had been wanting a new gadget for the past many months but never had the home minister approve the budget for it. I had to be away and abroad thousands of miles to make a case for a new gadget. And it sure has been well worth the wait and the distance!