Having purchased a Nexus 7 32gb from Currys last week, here is a Blokey review of how it’s performing so far.
Firstly, I bought it from Currys as they were offering £20 cashback if you bought the tablet with a case. The case was £25 so effectively you get a branded case for a fiver, not too bad. They also threw is £10 worth of vouchers for some online movie download website that I’d never heard of, and probably won’t use, but that was a nice touch anyway.
I watch a lot of video on the train during my journey to and from work, so that was my key thing in mind when buying it. I’ve been using an Ipod touch and I found myself getting a little fed up with the small screen. I ripped a lot of DVDs using Wondershare, and I felt that my little ipod was not doing justice for brilliant shows like Dexter and the Sopranos that I’d been watching.
The tablet came with Ice Age movie on it, so when I watched that, I was impressed by the quality of playback, so i added one of the ripped MP4 files I’d created earlier.Annoyingly it only played it in a small box in the middle of the screen and you had to hold it lengthways (portrait) which I found a bit odd. so I chose to rip another movie with different settings with wondershare, but when I loaded it onto the Nexus, I had the same problem. I was beginning to get a little cheesed off when I googled the issue and someone had commented on a website that you should download a free app called MX Player. I did that and it played the movies full screen 1st time.
I later found out that the Nexus 7 comes as default with the screen locked in potrait mode, meaning you can’t turn it on it’s side and view things in landscape. To make matters worse, the option to change this setting is rather well hidden. To enable landscape mode, you’ll have to disable the screen orientation lock feature. Pull down the notification tray by swiping your finger down over the small clock at the top right hand side of the screen and tap the lock-shaped icon to the right of the date to unlock the screen orientation.
Once I’d done that then the Google video player worked in landscape mode with my ripped movies. I’ve still found myself using MX Player anyway for the time being.
Ripped DVDs for the Nexus use 1200×780 which seems to create very large files when I use Wondershare, so I may have to change the settings again.
Next I downloaded the BBC Iplayer app and when I went to watch something, it said I needed to install flash. I followed the link to the download area, and it said that flash wouldn’t work on my device. Again, googled the issue and basically turns out that BBC Iplayer will not work on Nexus 7…. yet. Apparentley it’s being worked on. I also couldn’t find any ITV player or C4 player apps either, they are available on Apple, so not sure why they’re not on Android. I also got an app that plays live tv from every channel on freeview, called MyPlayerPro, that was £2.00 but I thought it was worth it.
As my Nexus 7 is wifi only I wanted to be able to download a webpage and save it to read on the train to work, so I also downloaded a free app called Pocket. Basically if you’re on a webpage you want to read at a later date (without wifi) you can just click “add to pocket” and then a copy of the page is saved ready for you whenever, wherever you want to read it. Brilliant. I also added the app to my desktop Chrome and you can sync it to your pocket account on the Nexus. So if I’m at my desktop and want to read an article later, I can now just click the button and it’s automatically saved on my Nexus.
One other app I installed that is worth a mention is the AirDroid. This allows you to sync your desktop with the Nexus, so that you can transfer files from your PC to your tablet wirelessly. I’ve added photos, music etc without a USB cable in sight.
My wife has the Ipad, which she loves, but so far I think the Nexus 7 really is just as good as an Ipad, and the new 32gb Ipad mini is £150 more then Google’s Nexus 7.
If you have a Google account for emails and calendar etc, then the Nexus automatically updates calendar, email etc all at once, and it syncs with whatever you do online. Also anything you buy online in Google Play automatically updates on your Nexus without you having to do anything, so if I bought some music on Google Play, next time my Nexus picks up wifi, it’s on there straight away, all clever stuff!
So far I’m really pleased with it, the device fits inside my jacket inside pocket, i’ll certainly use it on the train every day, and for surfing internet at home quickly too.
Basically, for £199 it’s a good purchase, and I feel so far I’ve only really scratched the surface. Currys also sold me Norton Anti Virus for it for £5, but I don’t think I really needed it. A) there are free security apps, B) you can tick a box to say “only allow downloads from Google Play” therefore you couldn’t download anything dodgy. But I only paid £5 for Norton, so don’t care.
One other weird thing, only 1 camera, on the front, which is only really used for skype calls. You even have to download an app just to use it as a photo camera which is a bit odd, but I’ll never use it as a camera anyway.
So, if you want an Apple, spend the £150 more and get an Apple. If you want a 7″ tablet for daily general use, get a Nexus 7 and save £150, it’s brilliant.