Nexus 7 2013


I’ve been using the latest nexus 7 for over two months. It’s been a fantastic device. I’ve used it for casual gaming, email, internet browsing, and reading ebooks. The 7 inch size makes this device extremely portable. I take it to my class everyday and use it to follow along with lectures and Powerpoint slides.

This Nexus 7 runs the latest version of Android and unlike other Android tablet this OS is a stock version and doesn’t come with any bloatware you would get from other manufacturers. This tablet has a  1920 x 1080 resolution and videos and pictures look great the front and rear camera are typical tablet quality that are nothing to get excited about. In addition, the battery life isn’t bad either. I can use this tablet all day with a full charge without any problems.  Current tablets on the market today are under-powered and lags behind on the version of Android. This Nexus 7 is fast and smooth and it can handle almost anything you throw at it. When it comes to a 7 inch tablet it doesn’t come any better than this.

Good battery life
Good build quality
Good screen

Lack of quality accessories
Power and volume buttons can be difficult to press

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★

New iPad Review

I was one of the fortunate ones who was able to pre-order and received it on launch day.  Apple has decide not use a numerical indicator to name their newest generation iPad, so instead it’s just called the ‘new iPad’. I guess people will have to refer future iPads to the corresponding release year.

Anyhow, this new iPad has three big upgrades. First is the rear camera. Its a 5 mp camera which is essentially an iPhone 4 cam.  It takes great photos and records at 1080p videos.  But who here will be snapping pictures and recording videos with this 10 inch tablet?  Probably not many, but just in case you need to its nice to know it can do a decent job at it.

Second, Apple has thrown in LTE capabilities. Now your new iPad, ones with LTE, will be able to access the internet with LTE speeds on Verizon and on AT&T.  LTE coverage is growing quickly across the US for both providers and this new iPad is going to need all the bandwidth it can get.

Lastly, the biggest upgrade is the ultra high definition screen.  With a 2048 x 1536 resolution it doubles that of its predecessor and quadruples its pixel count all in the same size screen.  What does that mean?  Well, one thing you’ll notice is that displayed text is incredibly sharp and clear.  It’s almost as if you’re reading the text off a magazine.  Games and Apps that take advantage of the high  resolution screen will be much more detailed.

I’ve been using the new iPad for a week now and it’s a fantastic device. I love playing games on it and browsing the web.  As a news junkie, reading on the new iPad hasn’t been more fun.  I believe the only thing that is really going to convince you to pick up the new iPad is its hi-def screen. If you’re perfectly fine with the current resolution then there’s really no need to shell out $500 bucks for another one.  Keep in mind everything you do with the iPad is still the same.  The same limitations are there . There’s still no flash support and all apps needs to be installed through the App Store. It’s not going to replace your desktop or laptop, but it’s still makes for a great companion device.

With this new iPad Apple has set the standard incredibly high.  Current tablet makers are still trying to catch up to the iPad 2, but they’re closing the gap, a fairly large one, when it comes to hardware.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

Amazing screen
Decent battery life
Great camera
Supports LTE

Walled Garden ecosystem

Kindle Fire – Amazon jacks RIM’s Playbook…

Today Amazon announced 3 new Kindle devices.  A standard updated model of the original Kindle, a Kindle Touch, and the Kindle Fire.

The most intriguing device is the Kindle Fire.  As it’s Amazon’s foray into the tablet market that competes with other tablets such as the iPad, Playbook, and other Android tablets.  The Kindle Fire looks to be an exact replica of RIM’s Playbook, but the software that runs it is a customized Android OS. Its so customized you can’t even tell its an Android OS.  You can check out the Hands-On-Impressions on Engadget.  It is a sweet looking device.  And of course this Amazon tablet is built to consume many of the content provided by Amazon such as music, videos, books, and more.  After watching some of the hands on videos I think this may be a big hit for Amazon. With this tablet being under $200 dollars I bet it will be the #1 gift on many people’s wishlist for the upcoming holiday season.

I’m a Blackberry fan, and I love my Playbook and all the things it can do for me. But with the Kindle Fire it really shows how awesome a 7″ tablet can be with the right software. Their app store for the Kindle Fire looks to be loaded, and don’t forget all the other multimedia content that is ready for purchase.  RIM really shot themselves in the foot by not releasing an NDK for developers to create apps for the Playbook. The lack of a solid ecosystem doesn’t help RIM at all. And RIM’s app store pales in comparison to iOS, Android, and Amazon’s. In fact, its laughable for RIM to call it an app store in the first place.  One thing to consider is that the Kindle Fire looks so close to the Playbook. Will RIM pull out their legal guns and take Amazon to court?

Amazon is stepping onto Apple’s territory, a territory which no other competitor has yet to make a dent. I’m sure Apple is not worried about Amazon’s hardware, but the fact that Amazon has an ecosystem that is just as vast and bountiful should made Apple concern.

Thoughts on the upcoming Blackberry Playbook

The Blackberry Playbook has been talked about for months. Ever since its announcement last September many Blackberry users have been waiting the Canadian company to release a tablet to compete with the popular and super successful iPad. It felt like an eternity, but finally a definite release date of April 19th has been confirmed.

I have the original iPad and it’s a great device. The form factor, long battery life, and the vast of available apps is why the iPad as sold millions world wide. Even though the iPad has established itself in the tablet market why should someone who is looking for one consider a Blackberry Playbook?

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Flash Support – Yes, that’s right the Playbook will be able to play all those flash animation on those websites you visit. If you want a desktop browser experience on a tablet then the Playbook is the device to get.
  • QNX OS – QNX is a robust and powerful operating system. The potential with QNX is tremendous. The fact that the OS is in many systems in many industries for many decades speaks volumes about the effectiveness of it. RIM owns QNX and it represents its future not just for the tablet market, but for their phones as well. QNX on the Playbook has been developed for the tablet first whereas others were ported or modified from a phone OS.
  • Android App Support – RIM just recently announced that they will be supporting Android 2.3 apps on the Playbook. That means it’ll instantly add thousands of apps into its portfolio. But a caveat is the lack of detail of how it will be handled. Will the apps just be emulated over a Java VM environment on the Playbook or do they mean that RIM will provide some kind of support to transfer existing Android apps to the Playbook without any major re-coding. Maybe someone can provide some more insight for me.
  • 7″ Size – Yes it’s a smaller size, but it doesn’t mean it’s a disadvantage compared to other larger size tablets. When it comes to carrying a tablet around the 7″ inch size is much more suitable. With my iPad it rarely leaves my bed room let alone leaving the house.

If you’re in the market for a tablet device than you’re in luck. A slew of new devices will be released in the next several months from Samsung, HP, LG, HTC and others. The Blackberry Playbook will be one of them vying for your hard earned cash and to chip away the large chunk of market share that Apple’s iPad now holds. RIM knows it will need to knock this product out of the park, its future depends on it. With QNX in their future RIM will have what it takes to compete and beat it’s competitors. I hope the Playbook becomes a big success, not because I’m a fan of Blackberry but because it’s always nice to have competition. And we, the consumer, gets to benefit from it.

Dell Mini 5, iPad killer?

Engadget has some hands-on pictures HERE.

The device currently runs on Android 1.6, but they expect by the time its release (within a few months) it should be sporting the 2.1 OS.  The rumored price for this baby is $1,100. That’s pretty expensive if it aims to compete with the iPad or other tablets and netbooks on the market.

From the pictures alone, and it running the Android OS it’s already more interesting than the iPad. I’m sure it’ll support flash and is able to multi-task.