Google finally releases official Nexus 7 cases

Google released generation two of its Nexus 7 tablet back on July 24th, and the device has received largely positive feedback. From the beginning, customers could buy cases for their new tablet from Amazon and other retailers. Despite that already available, and rather large, selection, today Google has got around to releasing its “official” line of cases.

The company advertises a collection of four cases that are “custom-molded to protect your Nexus 7, with a microsuede cover and built-in stand. Choose from four colors”.

nexus 7 case

The collection contains a solid black model, a white one with a swipe of red and two grey models — one with a swipe of red and other with a bit of blue. All four are designed the same, and each opens to function as a stand. All retail for $49.99 and can be purchased directly from the Google Play store.

The cases are extremely sharp looking and appear to be well made, but the price is a bit steep, given what can be found on Amazon — I bought a nice rubberized case by Poetic for only $8 just a few days after I received the device.

Tesco Launches Hudl Android Tablet

One of the UK’s largest supermarkets, Tesco, has today announced the Hudl, a 7″ Android tablet priced at just £119 (US$190). In a range of four colours, the Hudl is aimed squarely at families, and this could be the tablet to take on the Nexus 7 in the UK.

Hudl

The Hudl comes with a 1440 x 900 HD screen and runs on a 1.5 GHz quad core processor. Storage-wise, there’s 16 GB RAM plus a microSD slot to boost space. The screenshots suggest that it’s largely vanilla Android with the addition of Tesco’s services such as online grocery shoppingblinkbox and banking. Crucially, it also comes with access to the Google Play, which means purchasers will get everything that Google has plus Tesco’s offerings. Wi-fi only (no 3G), this is a home entertainment device, not for out and about, although it does come with GPS. The pictures suggest both front and rear facing cameras but there’s no detail in the announcement.Red Hudl

There’s a selection of accessories too – headphones for children, a range of three different types of case, car chargers and so on.

Interestingly, one of the screenshots suggests that Hudl will support multiple profiles, which I think makes this the first tablet after the Nexus to do so (correct me if I’m wrong), and it looks like there’s some kind of content filtering to protect children. Again, important for the family market.

At £119 the Hudl is cheaper than both the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD, and it’s unlikely that many customers will actually pay the full £119. The press release says that the Hudl will be included in their Clubcard Boost loyalty scheme, meaning that loyalty vouchers can be doubled in value and many will pay less than £100 for the Hudl.

Launching a the end of the month, I think is going to be massive seller coming up to Christmas.

New Nexus 7 Review!

nexus7I was very excited to get my hands on the new Nexus 7. Straight out of the box I knew this was a different animal. First and foremost it is as light as a feather compared to the prior model. Frankly I was shocked at how much lighter it is compared to the first model.

The second thing I noticed was the screen, it seemed dark and I attributed it to the background that Google selected to deliver with the device. Choosing a new background really helped, but that first impression of the default background was not flattering.

Doing a head to head though and you can see the resolution difference immediately. My son loaded his Ingress account on the old Nexus 7, and I loaded mine on the new one and the graphics delta was so obvious that my son has been begging me for one now for 3 days. We will be playing Ingress on several new Nexus 7’s in the coming weeks.

My wife lives with her iPad, so when I handed the Nexus 7 to her. I said mess with this the rest of the day, load some apps and let me know what you think. She loves the size and the graphics, she commented it fit in her purse better than the iPad and she may consider a switch when she is up for a new device.

Lucky for all of us, the price on the Nexus 7 is the best part. In my opinion this tablet has the most bang for the buck! The processor is fast, they have a decent amount of internal ram and storage. The size is perfect for everyday use and for those using a iPad Mini your going to want to get to a store and try this device out. Buy one Today.

Limited Time: Get a $50 discount on a Nexus 7

google home page nexus 7 ad

Google’s Nexus line of phones and tablets have been popular since debuting last year — well, the tablets and also the latest phone debuted in 2012. Price and the promise of a pure Android experience has lured customers and provides good competition for Amazon and its Kindle Fire lineup.

If you have been procrastinating on the purchase, then today is the day that you may wish to reconsider. Computer retail giant NewEgg, a staple of my shopping locations, has the Nexus 7 on sale for $149. This is the 16 GB model, which also comes with an NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor (1.20GHz), Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), full Touchscreen and NVIDIA ULP GeForce.

The tablet is a refurbished model, but NewEgg is also a trusted source and I have purchased refurb hardware from them in the past. Yes, this is not new, but it comes with a 90-day warranty and the price can not be beat.

Retail for a 16 GB Nexus 7 is $199. NewEgg is offering this for $189 with a $40 rebate. The deal is good through May 6th of this year, so if you want the tablet, but were debating spending the money, then this may be the time to act.

 

 

Tablet Nirvana

I’ve been playing around with tablets for a while now along with several smartphones along the way, and I believe I’m getting very close to my idea of what the ideal tablet should be.

I started out with a Nook Color. The original Nook Color is a nice piece of hardware with a beautiful 7″ inch color screen, but the hardware behind it was somewhat lacking. The original Nook Color’s processor was a bit slow, and the performance lagged somewhat. I even experimented with other versions of Android on it. What I found was that I loved the 7″ inch 16 x 9 format color screen size, which is close to ideal, but the processor was too slow, it didn’t have an integrated GPS chip, nor did it have functioning Bluetooth capability. Overall, the hardware just wasn’t enough to push it beyond the locked-down version of Android that Barnes and Noble shipped on it. I ended up finding the Nook Color a good home and sold it.

Next, I got an iPad 2. I really like the iPad, and I still have it. The iPad 2 came close to the ideal tablet, but it lacked an integrated GPS chip. It is also a bit bulky to easily handle with one hand. The problem came with the upgrade to iOS 6. I drive a truck over-the-road, and I was constantly using the integrated Google Maps. Google’s satellite maps are very clear and detailed, and I often make use of Street View as I’m constantly having to travel to new places I’ve never been before. iOS 6 ripped out the quite superior Google Maps and substituted Apple’s inferior also-ran excuse for a replacement. I can see no good reason for them doing this, other than a lame back-stabbing attempt to punish Google for coming out with Android. I am still quite unhappy with the loss of mapping functionality. Of course I realize that I can simply go to the Google Maps website and use Google’s satellite maps along with Google Street View, but doing it through the browser is an inferior experience to what the original iPad Google Map once was before iOS 6 took it away. By the way, I’ve never found much use for the integrated cameras in the iPad 2. Mostly I’ve used the forward-facing camera for occasional video Skype or Facetime chats.

A few days ago, I purchased a 32 gigabyte Nexus 7 manufactured by Asus, priced at $249 for the 32 gigabyte version and $199 for the 16 gigabyte version. After using the Nexus 7 for a while, I think I might be in tablet heaven. I love the 7″ inch 16 x 9 widescreen size. It can easily be held in one hand. Also, it will easily fit in many inside coat pockets.

The Nexus 7, which of course comes with Google Maps and turn-by-turn street navigation, has an integrated GPS chip. It also has a powerful quad-core Tegra 3 processor, along with full Bluetooth functionality. It has a forward-facing camera for video chatting, along with great battery life, and a stellar high definition screen.

I’m finding that I’m tending to reach for the Nexus 7 rather than the iPad 2. The Nexus 7 is so light. The iPad 2 now feels a bit clunky and kludgy.

Am I ready to sell the iPad? Not just yet. I want to wait a while and see how it shakes out. It’s still handy to be able to have two separate devices to watch streaming videos on — when one runs down, I can switch to the other if I don’t have them plugged in.

The Nexus 7 is an incredible value. Now that the vast majority of apps also come in Android versions, why needlessly spend hundreds of dollars extra for a product where the manufacturer has a proven history of deleting popular functionality with so-called upgrades?