Friday, May 10, 2013

Geek Speak and the Nexus of Naked

Geek Speak: Naked


Here is something I've never done before; a direct continuation of a moment from one strip to the next. This even uses the same location. The challenge here was getting it to look ass close as possible to  the previous strip, so I used the previous strip as a reference. 

Mark and Steve still aren't getting it, and now Sam the extent to which her co-workers are completely clueless. There's nothing else to do really, so she gets to have a little fun at their expense. I really like this about Sam, she sasses them in the final panel, knowing that she's the only one in the conversation who gets the joke. 

Something really interesting is happening with Steve. Where Mark is almost always talking in sentences that are nearly too long for my word balloons, Steve only says a word or two. He's really turning into a man of few words, who speaks only enough to say what is necessary. That is going to be a lot of fun later.

Gadget Review: Google Nexus 7
I swore I would never do this. It was like a kind of mantra. "I will never buy a tablet." Then my birthday rolled around, and it looked like I was going to be able to go to WonderCon. I had some extra money, plus some very generous gift cards, so the price tag on a tablet suddenly seemed with in reach. I knew I didn't want an iPad or iPad mini. Both are terribly overpriced, the reviews of the iPad Mini have been mixed, and most of my day is spent in the Google ecosystem.

Since I knew that I was going to be getting an Android tablet I was quickly able to narrow my choices down to two devices, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the Google Nexus 7. I liked the Kindle Fire because I already own a Kindle e-reader, I'm an Amazon Prime subscriber (highly recommended, maybe I'll talk about that in another blog), and my wife and I have a friend who owns one and loves it like a shiny puppy with a gorilla glass face. The Google Nexus 7 I liked because its specs were better, it's manufactured by Asus, the same company that made my laptop; and it comes with a full-version of Android where the Nexus 7 is a flavor of Android developed by Amazon. Both devices were roughly equal on price, and both devices had virtually identical rankings in Consumer Reports. 

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the Google Nexus 7 are both outstanding devices, but I ultimately settled on the latter. I wanted it for its full access to the Google Play store, the full version of Android rather than the heavily customized version installed on the Kindle Fire HD, and full access to Google solutions like Drive, Calendar, and Gmail. I do so much work in those last three that not having access to them would have left me very disappointed in the Kindle Fire HD (I suppose until I had a co-worker root the thing and install the full version of Android). 

I bought the Google Nexus 7 with a Poetic Slilmline Portfolio case that features an auto-sleep/wake function. When the device arrived I immediately plugged it in and started it charging, but didn't turn it on. I don't think this matters anymore, but I show my age in some funny ways. Before now you never wanted to be charging something while it was turned on. When things charged you had to leave them alone and go do something else. In my day. Kids these days.

When I did eventually get to turn it on it came to life and displayed a loading screen for a short while before going to the home screen. There was a short tutorial briefly describing how to use the device, and then I was off to the races.

It does race. Under the hood the device is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 Quad-Core processor, which is a little misleading. The Tegra 3 features "four plus one" architecture which offers four full processor cores for HD video playback or for playing games, and a smaller single processor that's used when browsing the Internet, checking email, or reading an eBook. The single core uses considerably less power, so it extends battery life. The overall speed of the device is impressive. I actually prefer it for checking email to my office workstation. 

Storage is an area where the Nexus 7 both stands out from the rest, and falls short. It stands out from other devices because it offers up to 32 GB of storage in a very affordable package, if you get wifi only. The storage is extended if you store most of your documents and other files in the cloud using Google Drive. Where it falls short is the lack of a removable memory slot. The 32 GB of storage is nice, but it's not infinite. It would be nice to  be able to supplement that with another 32 GB on an SD or micro-SD memory card. 

Physically the Nexus 7 is an attractive device. Asus gave it a textured back, rounded corners, and a beveled body so the back curves to the edges. The screen is bright and clear and displays video and images gorgeously. The construction is solid. While this gives the device some heft, Asus was very smart in crafting a device that doesn't feel remotely cheap or "plasticy." It feels like it could take the small amount of punishment that regular use will cause and not suffer cosmetic or functional defects as a result. 

The Nexus 7 comes with Android 4.2 installed and gives full access to the Google Play store. Apps download and install quickly and I'm able to pay high-resolution, HD games with no performance problems. The Play Store has a wealth of apps and media content that offers something for everyone. Love books? Got it. Movie buff? Done. Audiophile? No problem. 

Overall the Google Nexus 7 is a great device. Though I once mocked tablet owners and swore I would never be one my self I find myself using it daily for everything from checking email, to looking at blog stats, to reading comic books, to studying for my project management professional certification. I have no problem recommending the Google Nexus 7 for anyone who is conscious of price, but doesn't want to compromise features.

The Google Nexus 7 sits in a happy place between price and performance. That's probably why they call it the "Nexus."



1 comment:

  1. Solid review. Erika has the Fire HD (I have a Fire) and we really enjoy them. We, however, do not spend the time that you do in the Googlesphere. We do appreciate that on our Kindle devices everything is shared via cloud.

    Your explanations and reasoning are solid--I enjoyed the review.

    I'm enjoying watching you expand and evolve Geek Speak, too. Your art has greatly improved.

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