Sunday, August 05, 2012

Rethinking My Tablet Choice

Back in February I purchased a Barnes & Noble Nook and took the plunge into using ebooks instead of hard copy (aka, “dead tree edition”) books; naturally, I wrote a blog about my first impressions of the Nook. After five and a half months, I still really enjoy it, but something new has recently hit the market that, frankly, would have most likely been my first choice had it been available back in February. I speak, of course, of the new Google Nexus 7 Tablet.

As an ebook reader, the Nook is great. I started evaluating the concept of using ebooks instead of print books on my Android phones using the various free apps available. I bought the Nook because I grew tired of trying to read on a small smartphone screen and didn’t really want a full 10-inch tablet. The 7-inch tablets that were available at the time I bought my Nook were certainly less expensive, but they were also less impressive. I also didn’t necessarily feel the need to have a fully functional tablet at the time either. I went with the Nook Tablet so that I could have at least some tablet functions, but being able to read ebooks was the primary functionality I was looking for.

Now, though, I’m starting to find that I’d prefer to have a bit more leeway in my choices of apps (especially free apps) than B&N offers in their very proprietary Nook setup and app store as well as better tablet functionality than the Nook really offers. Enter, the Nexus 7, which is the same price as the Nook while having a faster processor, Android OS version 4.1 (aka “Jelly Bean”) and access to Google Play instead of only the B&N Nook Store. To help out, here’s a side-by-side comparison chart, which also includes Amazon’s Kindle Fire, courtesy of Digital Trends.1

The only thing the Nexus 7 doesn’t have, that I would prefer it did, is microSD storage. But let’s be honest, 8GB/16GB of internal storage is more than enough, so not being able to use microSD storage is not a deal breaker. The only reason it was a big deal for the Nook is because B&N limits how much non-B&N material can be stored in its 16GB of onboard storage.

Anyway, at $250 for the 16GB version ($200 for the 8GB version), I’m not likely to pick up a Nexus 7 anytime soon (you know, because I have to be a responsible adult and make sure my bills are paid first). But, I will be seriously considering it between now and the 2012 income tax refund season.

~ JC

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