Homer's Travels: My New Toy: The Nexus 7

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My New Toy: The Nexus 7

I've been telling myself that when my laptop died I would look into buying a tablet.  Well, my laptop hasn't died yet but the battery, which once lasted over four hours on a charge, is slowly dying, lasting only forty to fifty minutes on a charge.  I finally gave in and, after Thanksgiving, I purchased a Nexus 7 tablet.

First I have to say that I like it.  This isn't my first tablet.  I've gone through several iterations of Palm devices ending with the Palm Lifedrive.  My Lifedrive died when I dropped it in Wal-Mart a few years ago.  The Nexus runs the Android operating system (OS).  It's a bit different from the Palm OS.   There's been a little of a learning curve.  The first thing is the Palm OS uses a stylus.  Android is finger-centric.  After using it a bit I've decided that my fingers are thick and clumsy.

The past couple of weeks I've been playing around and loading apps.  There are a lot of good apps out there ... and a lot of crappy ones too.  A couple of the apps I've downloaded didn't work but have since been updated and work great.  In other cases I haven't decided which is better, a custom app or just using the Chrome browser and just going to the website.

So far the Nexus has been a pretty good laptop replacement.  Its small size makes it convenient and eminently transportable.  The size does have one slight inconvenience - I have to wear my glasses when I use the tablet.  Not sure if this is the tablet's fault or just old age.  Who am I kidding ... my eyes are old.

The tablet allows me do do some things I couldn't do with my laptop.  One of those is reading internet stuff and eBooks in bed.  I can now download eBooks from the library to read.  I can also read articles I've saved using Instapaper, a web service that allows you to save articles you find on the web (something I learned from the Best Man).  I use Instapaper to save longer article I think might be interesting so I can read them when I have more time.

Okay, time for a rant.  Be warned.  I went to our library website and looked at their rather limited selection of eBooks   I found one that may be interesting and tried to check out/download the book.  Oops, the book is not available.  The library only has one copy and it's checked out already.  What the heck?!?  You only lone out eBooks  books that can be copied easily, one at a time?  I understand that book publishers wouldn't want libraries to lone out unlimited free copies of books but I would think that a library should offer say five copies.  This way the waiting would be less and it would not eat into the publisher's profits too much.  Rant over.

There was a time that I considered myself an early adopter.  I used to try to be at the bleeding edge.  But that was many, many years ago.  I've fallen behind in the last fifteen to twenty years. With the purchase of my Nexus 7 I am finally crawling my way into the twenty-first century.


  1. Libraries have to have an agreement with publishers about the amount of downloads available at one time. It's nonsense, but them's the rules.

    Thanks for the tablet information. I've been interested in one for a while, but I think I'm going to hold off and do a bit more reading before I make a decision!

    1. Bloggart: Totally understand but they could at least have more than one electronic copy to loan out.

      Still like my Nexus 7.