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Author Topic: The Big 3 7" Tablets... My Review  (Read 5254 times)

Offline Belisarius

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The Big 3 7" Tablets... My Review
« on: December 02, 2012, 05:25:41 PM »
So it has been suggested I write this, as I am probably one of a very few people who has owned all three of...

Kindle Fire HD 7"
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.0 7"
Nexus 7"

Here is how that happened, for what it is worth. I decided that I wanted a tablet. After reading some reviews, the verdict seemed to be split between the Nexus and the Kindle. So I went to Best Buy to play with them myself.

Well, BB doesn't carry Nexus, because their contract with the evil fruit cult prohibits it (that's what they said... doesn't seem to stop WalMart or Staples though)... So, having always been happy with my old Kindles, I just bought the Kindle Fire HD (they can sell this because it is an "ereader" not a tablet, so it doesn't p!ss apple off.)

I had this device for about three weeks. Let's talk about it here...

Kindle Fire HD

Hardware wise, wonderful device. Frankly, from a pure hardware standpoint, I probably like it the best of all. It has a truly beautiful screen, and it is much more readable in direct sunlight than the Nexus 7's screen is. The Kindle is a bit wider, which makes it a little clunky for one handed reading IMHO. It also has two speakers to the one for the other two devices, although truthfully, I didn't notice a stark difference in the sound among any of them.

Also, while Google Play seems to be coming along nicely, it simply can't compete with Amazon for pure selection in terms of books, music, tv, and movies. Of course, it doesn't have to....

Another great feature is the free stuff you get for being an Amazon Prime member... you get one free "lend" book a month, and a very robust library of movies and tv you can watch for free, all for $80 a year.

Finally, the fact that the Kindle had an HDMI output was nice, as you can buy stuff on it, and instantly watch it on your t.v., no muss, no fuss.

But here is the reason I took it back... Amazon got greedy. Real greedy.

First off, the "launcher" if you can dignify that piece of garbage with the term, is a joke. Carosuel is the most mickey mouse, childish piece of software ever. To top that off, they use it to advertise to you constantly, both in the lock screen, and in the home screen. No widgets, no customization.

Next, you have browses. The one that comes stock is Silk, Amazon's own browser. It pretty much sucks. It will not support pretty much any video of any kind.

Well, I got around that problem by sideloading Dolphin to it. No problem.

Well, then you can't have Google play, which sucks, because this is the reverse of the media situation... Google has Amazon vastly outgunned here.

And you can't change the keyboard, so no swype typing... its all hunt and peck.

I ended up rooting this thing, and installing a real launcher, a real keyboard, etc. Then it just acted all buggy. Even KINDLE app wouldn't work right on it anymore, so I threw my hands up and returned it.

I now knew I wanted a nexus, but the problem was, best buy doesn't sell those... so...

I took my kindle back. They would only give me store credit. After playing with one for two hours, I used said credit on a...

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.0

Now, I never took this one out of the box, as we will see, but here are my "messing around with it in the store" comments...

1. It is noticably thicker than the other two.
2. It has a rear camera, if you care, which I don't.
3. It easily has the worst screen of the three.
4. It has an HD card slot, which is nice.

But I had my heart set on a nexus, so I took the Samsung to a store that sold both (Staples) claimed it was a gift and that I had no receipt, and swapped it for a Nexus...

Google Nexus 7

All in all, I finally ended up in the right place. Google has gained and earned my business in the future... my tablets and phones will be Nexus from now on.

I love the wide open Android on this tablet, and that I can do whatever I want to it.

The only thing...

I am a little skeeved about build quality here. While I like the fact that it is thinner and lighter than either of the other two... it does feel a little flimsy comparatively. And I have now had TWO nexus 7's, and both have had the "screen lift" issue, the first one Really bad. I removed the cover of that one, and it was missing two of the four screws that hold the screen in place.

I understand that this is an entry level "budget" tablet. I would hope that, in future, Google expands the Nexus brand and makes some higher end models... This is my first foray into the tablet world, and I really see no reason to ever have a laptop or desktop at home again, and I don't buy apple (I swore them off years ago for their general d!ckishness).

Anyway, final thoughts...

The Samsung is simply outclassed by the other two specs wise. It is also the oldest of the three, so should be expected.

As for the other two...

If I were buying a tablet for a child or a non-tech inclined adult that primarily wanted a media device/web toy, I would get them a Kindle. It is easy to use, idiotproof, and frankly, the Prime feature plus the HDMI output make it a wonderful media device.

But anyone who is used to being able to actually do what they want with a device, instead of being told what they can do, will throw the Kindle out the friggin window. Amazon really needs to learn the saying "Pigs get fat, Hogs get slaughtered." If they had made the kindle more open, I would probably still own it, and would still be buying most if not all of my media from them. Instead, they p!ssed me off, and I now own a rival product, and will buy my books and media from Google where possible.

Frankly, Google just seems to understand that, in the long term, treating your customers like a jerk is not a good idea. Amazon, sadly, does not. Neither does apple. That is why I no longer do business with either much.

I do wish Google would work on beefing up their media offerings, and roll out some sort of program similar to Prime. That was a nice feature.



Offline bjs229

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Re: The Big 3 7" Tablets... My Review
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2012, 05:53:42 PM »
Thanks Belisarius. Nice to see the Nexus at the top. A lot of useful info.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

Offline CBers

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Re: The Big 3 7" Tablets... My Review
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2012, 05:58:32 PM »
Nice write-up :-)

Not sure you're aware, but Google have released a 10" tablet called, not surprisingly, the Nexus 10, and a new phone, the Nexus 4.

What is Amazon's PRIME?

Sent from my 32GB Nexus 10 using Tapatalk 2

Offline Belisarius

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Re: The Big 3 7" Tablets... My Review
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2012, 06:38:34 PM »
Nice write-up :-)

Not sure you're aware, but Google have released a 10" tablet called, not surprisingly, the Nexus 10, and a new phone, the Nexus 4.

What is Amazon's PRIME?

Sent from my 32GB Nexus 10 using Tapatalk 2

I guess I am weird... I got a 7 rather than a 10 because I prefer the smaller size, not because it is cheaper.

Amazon Prime is a program Amazon has had for years. Its main perk is, you get free 2-day shipping on any item they sell, which pays for itself if you use them a lot.

With the Kindle Fire HD, they added that you could "rent" one book a month for free, and there is a whole library of shows and movies you can stream for free. Not the latest stuff, but good stuff... All seasons of the west wing, the Tudors, stuff like that.

The service is $80 bucks a year, and you get a month free when you activate your kindle.

Tsarli

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Re: The Big 3 7" Tablets... My Review
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2012, 10:26:52 PM »
The Nexus seems to be really wanting in the Build Quality department. All those units with screen lift issues not to mention being probably the most fragile of the current crop of tablets, its a good thing it totally wins in performance and price.

Offline CBers

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Re: Re: The Big 3 7" Tablets... My Review
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2012, 06:17:45 AM »
Nice write-up :-)

Not sure you're aware, but Google have released a 10" tablet called, not surprisingly, the Nexus 10, and a new phone, the Nexus 4.

What is Amazon's PRIME?

Sent from my 32GB Nexus 10 using Tapatalk 2

I guess I am weird... I got a 7 rather than a 10 because I prefer the smaller size, not because it is cheaper.

Amazon Prime is a program Amazon has had for years. Its main perk is, you get free 2-day shipping on any item they sell, which pays for itself if you use them a lot.

With the Kindle Fire HD, they added that you could "rent" one book a month for free, and there is a whole library of shows and movies you can stream for free. Not the latest stuff, but good stuff... All seasons of the west wing, the Tudors, stuff like that.

The service is $80 bucks a year, and you get a month free when you activate your kindle.
Amazon Prime! Of course it is D'oh! It's next day delivery in the UK for 49 per year.

I only bought my Nexus 7 as I wanted another tablet after returning my ASUS TRANSFORMER PRIME and whilst waiting for the ASUS TRANSFORMER INFINITY to surface, but liked it so much, I bought the Nexus 10 when it came out instead.

My daughter has my Nexus 7 now.

Sent from my 32GB Nexus 10 using Tapatalk 2

Offline fxsarge

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Re: The Big 3 7" Tablets... My Review
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2012, 11:40:15 AM »
I'm surprised by your guy's feelings on the build quality. I guess I'll have to do a write up on all the tablets I've owned and why I choose the N7 because of the superior build quality.

Offline CBers

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Re: Re: The Big 3 7" Tablets... My Review
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2012, 12:25:51 PM »
I'm surprised by your guy's feelings on the build quality. I guess I'll have to do a write up on all the tablets I've owned and why I choose the N7 because of the superior build quality.
As is the Nexus 10 build quality :-)

Sent from my 32GB Nexus 10 using Tapatalk 2


Offline bjs229

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Re: The Big 3 7" Tablets... My Review
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2012, 04:09:24 PM »
I have had two 7s.w Both a minor amount of screen lift. I would probably have never of noticed it if it weren't for someone mentioning something about it. I don't even look at it as a defect because it never had any bearing on the performance of the tablet. I can say I am impressed with the build quality. Mine was thrown across the cement and I am still using it.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

Offline S.Prime

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Re: The Big 3 7" Tablets... My Review
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2012, 06:33:36 PM »
I'm surprised by your guy's feelings on the build quality. I guess I'll have to do a write up on all the tablets I've owned and why I choose the N7 because of the superior build quality.


I am with sarge on this one, with the Nexus 7 being my 3rd tablet, I think new owners could benefit from the experiences of previous generation tablet owners in comparison to our Nexus 7.
IT Service Professional - I just want a device to be productive.

Offline radiocycle

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Re: The Big 3 7" Tablets... My Review
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2012, 10:32:31 PM »
Yeah, nice review Belisarius!

The N7 is my first tab so I can't really compare it any others.  Even tho I really dig my Nexus(!) I just ordered, and received, a Kindle HD for my gf for Xmas.  Let's just say that technology is very challenging for her and that she just wants stuff that works and that she doesn't have to mess with.  Last year or so I got her one of the old 3g 'Kindle Keyboard's  with a lighted case, and she loves it!  So now it's time for an upgrade for her.  And, I just like the idea of her having her own 'system' and me mine. We also have Prime and make generous use of it.  Unfortunately, she has to have her own account to take advantage of the lending program.  I guess she'll get her own trial account starting the 25th when she receives it. 
But for me, I liked the N7 so well I've switched cell carriers (Big Red to TMo) and picked up a Nexus 4 off of eBay at a premium price...  Nexus all the way!

radio
Time flies like arrows... Fruit flies like bananas!

Offline loociddreemr

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Re: The Big 3 7" Tablets... My Review
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 11:55:15 AM »
In seriously considering ditching Big Red as well, just for a taste of that Nexus 4! Although, have you seen the specs on the new HTC DNA? Wow!

Sent From my Razr Maxx (iKreaM.4.1.2.AOKP) via Tapatalk 2

Offline fxsarge

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Re: The Big 3 7" Tablets... My Review
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 12:03:46 PM »
Verizon is a great network with great coverage but they are way too expensive and are always screwing around with the bill.

Offline mdholm

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Re: The Big 3 7" Tablets... My Review
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2013, 03:24:04 PM »
So, I'm new here and I really don't know a lot about Android but I thought I'd jump in with my thoughts because I do have (or have had) all of the tablets listed. 

Currently I have:
iPad 3, 32gb
Nexus 7, 32 gb
Kindle Fire HD, 16gb

All of these devices are wi-fi only. 

I also have a 3G Kindle Keyboard ereader and a 64gb iPhone 5. 

I have HAD a Samsung Galaxy Tab, but I didn't like it at all so I don't remember specifically which one it was. 

Anyway, I get that this is the Nexus 7 board, and a lot of people love it (and Android in general).  Which is great; I just got my N7 but so far it seems to be a pretty decent little tablet.  I get the Apple-bashing; we all want to be loyal to the platform we chose.  In my experience...and I've had every iPhone since the first one...there is NO better customer service than the people at Apple.  Every issue I've had has been quickly and painlessly resolved for me so I'll be sticking with them. 

Also,  speaking of customer service, Amazon is a close second (they may even be tied).  Again, I've dealt with Amazon for years and have never been let down.  This is the reason I initially went with the Fire tablet.  I purchased the first one, but decided I'd rather have an iPad, so I sold the Fire.  A few months ago my company started traveling me around and I wanted a smaller device to carry on and off planes easily so I got a Fire HD.  It does everything its supposed as far as keeping me entertained during a flight...books, videos, music.  However, I'm not really a fan of the locked down Amazon system and I hate the carousel.  I wish it were optional; some people like it, but I'd rather set my screen up the way I want to.  Every book I order from Amazon goes to the Fire, whether I direct it there or not.  They are easily removed, but I'd rather not have to bother with it. 

I know there are those that hate the Amazon ads, but that doesn't bother me.  You only see an ad on the lock screen; its gone as soon as you swipe to unlock so its no big deal.  They do say that the ads reduce the price, but the ad-supported verson is $199, while the one with no ads is $214.  That's not in line with the N7 and could make some people cranky when comparing devices.  The recommendations ("customers also liked...") can be turned off in settings, so those are a moot point.  The Fire HD is a terrific device for media consumption, but not so good at productivity.  As others have mentioned, the browser is not the best.  and I never really used it for anything besides video or reading.  My iPad is far superior for working/productivity. 

So, why do I now have an N7?  Well, for one thing, I'm attracted to little gadgets like that and have heard good things about the N7.  I was intrigued by it and had a just received a small bonus so thought why not.  As much as I love iDevices, the iPad mini seemed redundant to me, plus I still wanted my baby tablet to be somewhat of an entertainment device.  I specifically wanted a 'droid tablet because I use the app Droid TV a lot.  The Fire HD has proven itself to be a great tablet in that respect, but I also want something I can do work on, if needed.  My company is just about to release an app for our employees to use in the field, and I want to be able to take advantage of using it. 

I know this is rambling and you are probably wondering where I'm going with this.  To be honest, I have no clue!  I started this hours ago, and I'm sure I had a point, but I keep getting pulled away and have no idea where I was when I started.  So, I'll just list some of my initial impressions of the N7.

Its narrower than the Fire HD so it fits in one hand better
No carousel, which is good
I can set up a screen full of app icons, just like on an iPad
I don't "get" widgets; how are they better than just clicking an icon?
I like the iOS email program better
Why does everyone love Swype?

If you made it to here, thanks for sticking with me!

Edit: glaring typo (there are probably others)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 03:26:29 PM by mdholm »

Offline Bigtroutz

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Re: The Big 3 7" Tablets... My Review
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2013, 03:47:17 PM »
" don't "get" widgets; how are they better than just clicking an icon? "

you don't need to click a widget - they are active icons like the difference between a jpg and a gif.

select the widget to display the info you want, for instance the amount of battery left.  most widgets let you customize the display of the active content.

 


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