The Google Nexus 7 is a mini tablet computer that impresses!
It is light weight (290 grams!), thin, and at 7 inches by about 4 inches, it is super portable. I can see how easy it will be to pack it in my purse and take it along everywhere. I will want to make a quilted cover soon for it.
I found the Nexus 7 very user friendly. Everything I love about Google on my regular computer is here on this tablet, plus more! I am slowly discovering the Google Play which is filled with apps, games, books, movies, and a news stand section.
Here is a screen shot of some of the Google apps I love already.
Google Currents is like having a news stand on your tablet. There are so many publications to choose from, many free. My husband has chosen several sports related ones already, like CBS Sports and Outside.
Google Earth should not need any explanations, it's just plain awesome! Celeste loves to travel to Paris, France with Google Earth and zoom in as much as she can.
Google Play Books is filled with great free books, many classics which is perfect for our homeschooling.
Google Play Movies & TV lets you rent or buy movies and TV shows. I think this will come in handy during the winter when we don't feel like driving to the video store or we can't find the movie we want on Netflix.
Google Keep is becoming a favourite of mine very quickly. I use it now instead of writing on little pieces of paper to write to-do lists or reminder notes to myself. I can type a note, take a photo, or even say it. I can set time or location reminders. I can also sync my notes with my computer.
Check out this short video:
And here is a screen shot of my current notes:
The other "thing" my family and I have noticed about this tablet is the quality of the image and sound. It is beautiful! My husband noticed that there are speakers on two sides which makes for much clearer and louder surround sound. I am not a technical person, but the sharpness of the image is noticeable right away.
My youngest and I watched the Pixar short La Luna (which came up free to download on Google Play). It was so crisp, so beautiful! The size of the screen is actually really nice for viewing short movies and videos. I watched a couple of cooking videos on youtube this morning. We haven't tried a full length movie yet.
There are two cameras, a front facing and a rear facing. I was curious and tried both right away since I take a lot of photos. I found the quality very good, even with the front facing.
I took a quick photo of the quilt hanging in our darkest bedroom:
We also tried the front facing camera with Orion:
My husband and son love video games. They wanted to try some of the free games. One favourite so far is a driving game called GT Racing 2: The Real Car Experience. My two teens and my 9 year old all love this game, they have to tilt the screen to turn the car. I haven't tried it myself, but the graphics are excellent and it looks fun!
The Google Play is filled with thousands of apps. I just started looking through the education category and there are so many with lots of free ones too!
Another important point to make is the ability to add different users. My teen daughter really appreciated this option so she could add the apps she wanted to a different user screen and not worry about others playing "her" games.
We did experienced a handful of times the tablet freezing on us. We shut it off, turned it back on, and everything was back to normal.
So far, we are loving this tablet. As a family and homeschool tool, it is a great addition. It is affordable, simple to use, with excellent quality of sound and graphics. It is also fast, apps and widgets load very quickly.
If you want to read more technical details about the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (the cute little guy in the photo above!) which is in the Google Nexus 7, click here. I also added several links throughout this post for more info.
Disclosure: Staples Canada sent a Google Nexus 7 for my review. This blog post shares my personal thoughts and my family's experiences with the product. I was not compensated for my time or to write this review post. You can follow Staples Canada on twitter or facebook. You can also shop online or at a local store near you.