Nexus 7 pros/cons

My assignment for myself is to rattle off Nexus 7 pros and cons for the next 5 minutes. Stream-of-consciousness but attempting to keep my consciousness focused on the task at hand and not wandering so much.

I bought a Google/Asus Nexus 7 1G GB tablet a few days ago, and as astonishing as it may seem, I’m considering returning it. This will not pass for a review. This will not pass as opinion from a tech guru. I am so far outside of the realm of what passes for tech knowledge these days. These are just observations from my point-of-view, where I am the user. I am certain my concerns don’t match those of many, since I can’t find them anywhere, in some cases.

Enough of the preface. 5 minutes. Pros/cons. Go…


  • $249 pricetag is reasonable given the complete package
  • Cool to watch video on it
  • 4.0/Ice Cream Sundae a better flavor of Android than the 2.2 on my phone
  • 7″ is the ideal size, in between a cell phone and a laptop, I thought
  • Much longer battery life than phone or laptop
  • More portable than laptop
  • Cooler than any other technology I own


  • Doubt I needed to spend $50 more for 8 GB more of memory. The point is to live in the cloud, which I’m comfortable with.
  • Metallic beveled edge is very problematic for my hands. It’s not comfortable as all. The plastic psuedo-rubber that covers the back and creeps up half of the edge is great. But my fingers have to grasp the metal part.
  • I envisioned how comfortable it would be to lie in bed and use it. It’s not comfortable at all. Phone better. Even holding laptop is better.
  • 7″ is actually makes it a tad unwieldy for me. I can’t imagine using a 10″ tablet.
  • Most apps are the same as what appears on my phone, not improvement just to be stretched over 7″
  • Apparently lighter than previous 7″ tablets, but not as light as I think one should be. Give me one as light as a simple e-reader
  • Out-of-box touch keyboard is horrible. Paid for a keyboard app that is too complicated. Actually prefer my 2.2 phone touch keyboard. Still greatly prefer the physical slide-out keyboard on my antiquated EVO Shift (it’s from 2011!)
  • Front-facing 1.3MP camera is pointless to me…I’m not going to Skype, and I do actually want to take pictures.

Ok…that was 10 minutes. I’m not comparing it to an iPad. I don’t give a darn about iPads. I don’t want an iPad. I have been under the impression that I wouldn’t like using a tablet from a tactile and comfort perspective. That comes from playing around with other tablets, including iPads. I’ve given the Nexus 7 a try because it’s supposed to be the best Android 7″ tablet. If this is the best, I’ll hold off.

I think the larger point is that I’m not a techie. I don’t care enough gadgets to feel like I need to have one of these. I really thought it would be useful. I really thought I’d be wowed by what it can do. I’m just not wowed by technology anymore.

I figured I should spend a few minutes using WordPress on the Nexus to see how it feels. It’s uncomfortable in portrait mode. Its uncomfortable in landscape mode. And, again, I’m using an enhanced keyboard. I just can’t see myself wanting to type anything long-form on here. Its not significantly easier to touch type on here versus my outdated phone. Speaking of which…

So let me try using my phone for a minute. It’s so much easier to hold the phone between my palms in landscape mode. So much more comfortable for my thumbs even if through keyboard takes up 60 percent of the screen…

Which is easily remedied by sliding out the keyboard. I think I still prefer the slideout out keyboard on my outdated little phone to the tablet touch.

Give me a 6″ tablet with a slideout keyboard. No one makes that. I think I’ll hold out for that.

A 3-year-old would probably have more fun with my Nexus 7 than I am.


Fun with Google Books Data Part 1

My contribution to the global knowledge base, thanks to Google’s Ngram Book Viewer, which has, as a source, 500 billion words from 5 million books published over the past several centuries…

The use of “donut” as an alternative spelling to “doughnut” evolved over the course of the 20th century:

The arrival of “dialysis” and “chemotherapy” in the 1960s and 70s:

When does “coffee” overtake “tea”? (around 1966)

When did “pizza” overtake “dumplings”? (around 1971)

Looks like “premarital sex” was pretty taboo prior to 1930:

As the 21st century approached, “hookers” finally became almost as popular as “mermaids”:

I’ll continue playing, but this list is long enough for now…

Why I Like Where I Live #12: Employment

I stumbled upon Google’s Public Data area. Pretty neat stuff.

And it’s really neat to see how Durham County compares to the rest of the state in unemployment data, particularly during this recession.

And it’s extra-neat to see how Durham County, after lagging behind Wake in employment figures for most of the past two decades, has been faring just a little bit better during the recession.

I think this graph is a nice illustration of how Durham has been great place to live, particularly in the past decade.

(However, mouseover to Wake County in December 1999…1.3% unemployment…holy crap.)