I took the plunge into the tablet market last summer here in Korea where electronic goods are roughly 30% cheaper than they are back in the UK. I’d put off going down the tablet route due to the fact that my iphone4 and kindle provided me with more than enough entertainment should I require it while on the move. Anyway, with money to burn and the familiar itch to buy a new gadget I went and bought a shiny new ipad 3rd generation. With no expense spared, I went top of the range with the 32gb, cellular version. Which in hindsight I now know that it won’t work on South Korea’s superb LTE network.
First impressions on the ipad where akin to a person seeing a movie in HD for the very first time. The retina display blew me away as did the speed and the overall look and feel of the product. Whatever you think about apple they do make beautiful products that although they cost more, they are well worth it in terms of lifespan and looks. It felt like you were holding something of real quality and design build when you first ran you fingers over it.
I immediately fell in love with my new ipad and started to use it more and more at home while lounging around or while travelling up and down Korea on business. I also started using ibooks more and more due to the sheer dazzling quality of the screen and the stunning page turn animation graphic. Which felt like you had a real book in your hands. It was at this point that I realised that I’d been cheating on my dear little kindle and started to feel pangs of guilt as it gathered dust on my book shelves.
Then as the months wore on I found myself not even bothering to take my rather expensive best friend out with me anymore. The novelty had worn off, added to the fact that my three month old ipad 3rd gen was now obsolete which didn’t help my mood either. The final straw was the new version of itunes which was a total clusterfook. It couldn’t work out if I’d connected either my iphone or ipad to it. Hence I lost everything twice in a week so I gave up. ibooks stopped syncing the books in my library and music that I hadn’t purchased from itunes just disappeared into thin air. The itunes wifi sync? well good luck with that ever finishing. Once it started, it seemed to be stuck with ‘around one minute to go’ for most of the day, so that was another option ruled out.
That was it for me, I simply couldn’t justify having a £600 gadget lying around doing nothing and to make it actually do something other than browse the web I’d have to add everything to it over and over again. I’m no tech Luddite but hours and hours of searching online still couldn’t solve the problems I was having. Nor could it tell me why my ipad wouldn’t connect to my router when it was right next to the bloody thing.
Something had to give and it was the ipad that went. I sold it for roughly £200 less than what I paid for it. I just couldn’t be done with the hassle it had started giving me and I wasn’t going to let it sit around and become an expense ornament in my Korean studio flat, so I cut my losses.
About a week later I was passing ‘hi mart’ a Korean electrical retailer and noticed they had a sign for the nexus 7 in the window. I thought to myself “why not have a look and see”?. I’d read all about the nexus 7 being a very good tablet for the price and just as comparable to the ipad on functionality if not build.
Well, I took the plunge and after two weeks I’m so far very impressed indeed. The nexus 7 is not an ipad nor does it claim to be. It is however a very good tablet PC that does everything you need it to and for a fraction of the cost. With it also running android this means it’s open source and not tied to the God awful itunes that seemingly tries everything it can to destroy your life.
The nexus 7 is well built and sturdy. It doesn’t feel cheap like other budget android tablets and it is both fast and responsive. Typing with one hand is much easier with the nexus 7 than on the larger ipad (I‘ve not used an ipad mini as yet).
If you’ve never used android OS before then it does take a few days to work out the bells and whistles under the bonnet. But this is no big deal and if you’re proficient with both macs and a PCs like me, then you’re practically a genius anyway.
As I said it’s not an ipad, it has no full HD video recording or siri to talk to when you get lonely at night. What it is however, is a perfectly functionality tablet PC that runs smoothly, has a good screen resolution and fits nicely in the hand.
If you want the best and have money to burn then go ipad, you might even get lucky and not have to fight with itunes every day too. If you’re after something that is incredible value and almost as good as the former then the nexus 7 is a real no brainer.
All that said, I’m getting an iphone 5 in the next few weeks simply because I can.