Nexus 7 Hands-On Review

I’ve had my Asus Nexus 7 for almost a day now. I–amazingly–resisted the urge to unpackage it yesterday as I wanted to see how long I could make the excitement last. After opening it up and playing around with it for a few hours I am simply amazed.

Now, if you are looking for some crazy new innovative technology, look elsewhere. If you are looking for the perfection of technology already available today, look no further. This thing is just a gem.

Before you go off thinking I’m a Google fan boy and worship all things Google, I need to let you in a little secret: I love technology. That means I love Apple, Samsung, Sony, Asus, Logitech, Audio-Technica, Behringer…well you get the idea. Our house is full of all sorts of fun gadgets, computers tablets and phones and we love them all–some more than others.

If you read my last post on how I ended up buying a Nexus 7 (, then you probably know that I wasn’t really keen on getting one until I had an opportunity to save even more money. After playing around with it, I have realized that the price point of $229 was extremely gracious. There is no reason this thing shouldn’t be selling for more than Apple’s iPad. It’s a better product, no doubt, but the value is what makes me really love it. Google is trying to tell consumers that they don’t need to pay an arm and a leg to have the latest and greatest and I’m glad they were able to pull it off (with the help of Asus, of course).

After the quick setup (no need for a user guide here) I had my device connected to my Wifi, synced to my Google account and before I knew it all of the apps from my Android phone magically appeared on my tablet. The first thing I went to try was Google Play Magazines. I know what you’re thinking, “of all things, he wanted to read a magazine?” Where the Nexus 7 comes out on top is with its super sharp display. I launched the magazine app and took a look at the latest issue of Real Simple and was simply amazed at the clarity. There is absolutely no pixelation visible to the naked eye. None.

Figuring that it couldn’t get better from there, I decided to launch the xfinity app to watch the next episode of Newsroom in my queue. The video was crystal clear and the immersive stereo speakers did a better job than the speakers embedded in my Sony TV could ever do. Because the sound is so close to your ears, it truly feels like you are enveloped in whatever you are watching. (Imagine wearing stereo headphones without wearing headphones.)

The bezel on the display is done just right: very narrow on the sides and tall on the top and bottom. This makes it easy to hold in portrait and incredibly comfortable in landscape. In fact, if the thin edge of the bezel were any thinner, I imagine people would have difficulty holding the tablet without accidentally touching the display.

I noticed that a few “design” bloggers were off put by the off center front facing camera. It really doesn’t take a genius to realize that when you hold the tablet in landscape format your thumb rests comfortably right below the camera meaning you can have widescreen face-to-face interaction without having to awkwardly hold the device. That, to someone that uses hangouts a ton, is a brilliant design feature.

The device came with about a 40% charge on the battery. I have been heavily using it all morning and then watched a one hour HD television program on it before needing to recharge. I suspect that I should be able to get a good solid day’s use out of the device with a convenient overnight charge.

The form factor of this device is just swell. It fits easily in the hand (or hands). Video viewed from my lap is about the same relative size as a 40″ television six feet away. Text appears beautifully but not so small that you need a pair of reading glasses. I can fill the home screen with widgets and not have to thumb through to find what I’m looking for. I can simply turn it on, take a peek and put it back to sleep.

I’m excited to see where, when and how I start using this device. My iPad was too big/heavy to tote around casually. I felt like if I took my iPad somewhere I was taking it with purpose. At 7″, I think I see myself toting my Nexus around more often to do the things I enjoy.

The only negative things I have to say about this is that it doesn’t have truly separate user profiles and the glare is the same that you would find with other glass displays. Although I would love an Android device with full functioning multiple user capabilities, I guess it defies the whole point of “personal” computing, which is exactly what these devices are for.

That’s my take on the Nexus 7. If you’re thinking about buying one then just go and get it. It’s a nice and affordable treat for the tech-savvy user that likes to keep up with the latest and greatest.

If you’re on the fence about getting on, definitely add it to your Christmas list and let someone else bear the expense. That way this year you will get something that I guarantee you will love.

If you have any questions about the device or want me to try something out, demonstrate a feature or see if something works, please let me know in the comments below. If you’ve purchased one yourself and would like to argue any of my points above, chime in below. Let me know what you think!

How to Use Craigslist Better with GMail and Google Voice

So, tonight I was on a quest to liquidate some furniture from my house. It’s mostly inexpensive stuff from +IKEA that I have accumulated over the years and will no longer have room for in my new apartment.

In order to quickly get rid of it, I decided to post it on Craigslist for FREE! Yes, that magic four-letter word. But, I wouldn’t dare do that without a strategy.

I posted several things simultaneously on Craigslist, the furniture Continue reading How to Use Craigslist Better with GMail and Google Voice

We Get Social, Ya’ll: Why Nashville is the Next City in Tech

Today is a special day for Music City, +Google is gracing our fair city with their presence today as part of a partnership with +FLO {thinkery}. Google is hosting their first Google for Entrepreneurs event called +G4eNashville. A lot of the who’s who in Google will be there today talking to entrepreneurs about leveraging Google’s products such as AdWords, Places and +Google+ for their business.

Nashville is obviously the city that music calls home and that could mean a lot for new technology firms as technology continues to influence music. Obviously Nashville is a booming town for country musicians, but there is a wide variety of music that is produced recorded and played live here encompassing dozens of genres. Continue reading We Get Social, Ya’ll: Why Nashville is the Next City in Tech

How to Find Almost Anything on Google

It’s great to see that Google’s marketing team is starting to reach out to the non-geeks of the world and show them how to use features that more seasoned users like me already know how to use.

Sometimes you need to put things in context and remember that your aptitude in utilizing the Internet might be light years ahead of your friends and family. This quick video shows people that aren’t as technical as most of the people active in social media how to utilize some great time-saving features.

Continue reading How to Find Almost Anything on Google

How Two Nights in New York Changed Our World

My Window's Vista

We just finished our last night of the #NYCHIRL and all I can say is…WOW! That was one of the most incredible experiences I have had in my life.
If you are new to G+ or trying to get people interested in joining, just tell them to search for hastag NYCHIRL and see the ridiculous amount of fun that a bunch of people that met over the Internet were able to have over one weekend in New York City.

Continue reading How Two Nights in New York Changed Our World

My Reaction to +The White House Google+ Hangout with President Barack Obama

Over the last several months, Google has been pushing its new technology hard. They have been holding concerts in New York City, spending time with the Dalai Lama and hosting celebrities like David Beckham.

Initially these hangouts seemed extremely organic. Such as the one with, where I got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hangout with him virtually one-on-one and ask him about social media and where music is going with this new technology. That happened purely by coincidence, I was in the right place at the right time.

That’s how this network works and that’s how a lot of opportunities work. You have to be at the right place at the right time. Continue reading My Reaction to +The White House Google+ Hangout with President Barack Obama

Why Google Needs a Better Set of Controls

photo by Dominique Huet
photo by Dominique Huet

GMail, Google Docs, Blogger, YouTube, Google+, the list of products seems almost endless, and odds are if you are a power user of one, you use many of them.

Over the last several years Google has been adding to the list of its publicly available product and moving people’s workflow to the cloud. Successful businesses are now being started with the simple power of tools like GMail, Google Docs, Google Sites and AdSense.

Continue reading Why Google Needs a Better Set of Controls