Nexus 10 at the Scalzi Compound

Given all the Apple-related stuff going on at the moment, today is an ironic day to note that through the thoughtful gift of a friend, I came into possession of a Nexus 10 tablet, and that it turns out I like it quite a bit. One, it’s got a hell of a screen resolution (something like 2560×1600, which comes out to 300 ppi). Two, it’s light (or at least feels light), which makes it easier to heave around than my iPad. Three, it’s a nicely capable machine and works well for the things I use tablets for (reading, some light e-mail responding). Four, Android is in many ways a better OS for portable computing than iOS (at least, so far; I have not played with iOS7 yet). In all, pretty nifty.

Drawbacks? The same as come with the iPad, basically, which is that at the end of the day tablets are still geared toward consumption, not creation, and a lot of the creation tools I need and/or are comfortable with are either unavailable on tablets or are cut down, featurewise. Which means I still need a laptop, even if the laptop I have likes to parade around as an ersatz tablet from time to time. Also, specifically with the Nexus 10, there are a couple of apps I like to use which are not available for it at the moment, which is a little confusing to me because it’s straight Google Android implementation, but, whatever, they usually catch up pretty easily. Aaaand, that’s about it, as far as I can tell.

So: Neat tablet, and if you’re in the market for a 10-incher, a pretty good choice as far as I can see, particularly if you are allergic to Apples.

31 Comments on “Nexus 10 at the Scalzi Compound”

  1. I own a nexus 7 and love it. Gave my iPad to my dad. Prefer the 7 for reading and email/surfing.

  2. I’ve had my Nexus 7 for a little over a month and I couldn’t be happier with it. It has become the go to device for a lot of my non-graphic related computer needs. I’ve done a good bit of writing on it thanks to a decent bluetooth keyboard/stand and I even ended up watching this weekends prelim fights on it when my wife chased me from the living room.

  3. My phone’s a Nexus 4, and I really like stock Android.

    Regarding content creation: I know you’ve used Google Docs/Drive for some of your writing. I’d be interested to hear what you think of writing on the Nexus 10 with a bluetooth keyboard. I draw quite a bit on my 1st gen iPad. I’d love to get my hands on a Nexus 10 with Procreate and see how it handles.

  4. Yeah, if I ever buy into the whole phone/pad thing I’ll go nexus. My brother-in-law likes his. And isn’t it cool that now your creation device is a laptop, rather than strictly a desktop? That’s cool. I do miss a graphics pad but that was for a very limited application.

    Overall, coolness.

  5. I don’t have an Apple Allergy, Scalzi, but I’m open to alternate ideas. I’ve got an Android phone which, while not state of the art (I didn’t expect it to be given it came free w/a two-year T-Mobile plan!) has good enough fit&finish that I’m pleased with it for most things. For one thing, I far prefer OpenOffice/Android to Documents to Go/IoS (which Tammy uses).

    Unfortunately, one of the things it’s not so great at is simple media management – iTunes is like what Churchill said about Democracy, “the worst system except for all the others.” I’m sure somewhere there’s a great free music and video management system for Android – but I’ve yet to find it!

  6. @timeliebe: doubleTwist for Android is generally considered the iTunes substitute. Don’t use it myself so can’t offer a review.

  7. Obligatory Surface Pro endorsement. If you’re not Microsoft allergic, it really is the most capable tablet I’ve come across.

    Thank you.

  8. Welcome to the fold. We’ll begin your deprogramming at once!

    @Josh Jasper: I hope you thanked yourself.

    @timeliebe: iTunes is the spawn of Satan.

    @Cambias: In Soviet Russian, Android gives you the Voigt-Kampf test.

  9. I know it’s trendy and historically justified to give Dell and their products all-hell, but the latest XPS line? Those are solid machines. I’d LOVE to get my hands on a developer edition of XPS 13:

    You’ve gotta be comfortable running a Linux-distro, but Ubuntu requires about as much knowledge of kernels and scripts as OS X these days, if all you want is a purely out-of-the-box experience.

  10. I use my Nexus 7 with Simple Notepad and Google Docs as my primary writing device, and I’m a huge fan of the native android swype-like keyboard. No attachments except the rubber-tipped pen thing that came with my case. It’s great for writing while hanging on to the train/bus hand-holds, and the near impossibility of going back to a specific point in the text helps me control my urge to edit as I write.
    After a few months of practice with it, I can knock out nearly 1000 words on my commute.

  11. Try typing on the Nexus keyboard without lifting your finger between letters in a word. Makes composing on a virtual keyboard a lot less unpleasant.

  12. Tough call. I had to choose between a Nexus 10 and a Galaxy Note 10 — the Nexus has a wonderful screen, but no stylus. The Note has a stylus but a so-so screen. Ended up with the Note, because I do just enough composition on it that hunt-and-peck with the itsy-bitsy keys of the onscreen “keyboard” doesn’t work for me. The Note is teaching me to write cursive again after all these years — it’s amazingly good at recognizing it.

    Maybe soon they’ll have a hi-resolution Note or a Nexus with stylus. Whatever!

  13. I bought an iPad Mini last week. My first-ever tablet. I love it!–and have been using it a lot. I considered getting a Nexus, but I’m a longtime Mac user and went that way in the end. The Nexus is much-recommended, though, by friends who have one, all of whom are very happy with the device.

    I have the same reaction to my iPad Mini that you mention here, John–it’s great for consuming, but not so much for creating. My desktop and my laptop are both much better for that.

    But I’m really enjoying the various “consume” functions of my iPad!

  14. I’d heard good reviews of the 7, but have been thinking a 10 might suit my old eyes a little better.

  15. nexus 10 is good. Only complaint is odd ‘resets’, from time to time, as the OS decides it is too confused, either by web pages (most common) or – very rarely – an application.

    I took this as my primary work machine and did pretty well. Can’t find an office suite I like (necessary since everyone sends me complicated documents) and need a WSIWYG, fully capable document editor for the scientific work I do. BUT … the Citrix receiver capability is truly brilliant, and my primary moment of true awe was getting a microHDMI cord and hooking it up to a 55″ TV in a hotel. UNBELIEVABLE – the screen resolution is worse, of course, but it does a fantastic job of just exporting the screen.

  16. My kids love their i-Doohickies and I’m more Android. Above I see comments about the wonders of iTunes but I have no end of troubles moving media to my wife’s iPad. Perhaps it’s just what fits the user. But with Android in general (can’t speak to Nexus) I’m able to watch any video format I’ve come across; Wife’s and kids’ iPads – has to be MP4. Still – this isn’t an anti-apple rant (I’ve spent a lot of $$ in apple stores) so much as an “i prefer…here’s why….and my wife and kids differ!”

  17. Yep, that’s me. Allergy to Apple. Actually allergic to post Apple ][ apples. Love the Woz, not so much with the Jobs.

  18. I bought a Galaxy Note 10.1 a couple of months ago, and I love it to bits and use it every day for all sorts of things, including writing. The screen resolution isn’t as good as the latest iPad or probably some of the other Android tablets, but it’s plenty good enough for me, especially because I don’t use it much for video or other things where a high-resolution screen would make a difference.. The most important feature for me is being able to write on the screen with the stylus and have my handwriting be turned into editable type in various apps, including MS Office-like apps. I’ve tried so many handwriting-to-text devices over the years, and this one finally makes it work.

    The Note handwriting recognition can be frustrating at first, but before I bought it, I found a really good YouTube demo made by a user, which persuaded me to use complete recognition rather than stroke recognition:

    In an Android developers’ forum, that same guy recommended the app 7notes with Mazec for better handwriting recognition. I waited a while, because I was pretty happy with the native Samsung recognition using complete recognition, and the Mazec app costs money. But I decided to try it, and I really like it and use it most of the time now.

    For Android users who don’t have a Galaxy Note, the 7notes with mazec app is said to do good handwriting recognition on other devices too, including a Nexus 7 and a Galaxy S3.

    I still wouldn’t use the tablet as my main work machine, though I could use it in a pinch in special circumstances. But it’s versatile and portable and is handy for writing stuff when I’m sitting around away from my desk, or in bed, or out of the house.

  19. I had a Nexus 7 which was great. I got rid of it because I bought a Kindle Paperwhite when I realized that the ONLY thing that I do on the Nexus that I can’t do on my phone is read, and the Paperwhite is a better platform for that. But if I needed a tablet for something in the future, I’d get a Nexus again.

    A friend at work has a Nexus 10 and it’s beautiful.

  20. My husband and I got Nexus 7s for our birthdays this year. We like them a lot. :) I have a MacBook and an iPod, and that’s probably as much Apple as I’ll ever need, especially since the iPads and iPhones are so breakable, and I have two little boys at home and butterfingers on my best days. ;)

  21. Have you looked into a Pengpod? These will run a couple of different Linux distros as well as Android, and a really cool distro that runs KDE Active Plasma is coming soon. You won’t get MS Office, but you will get Open Office, Gimp, etc. The 10 inch version sells for under $200.00

  22. The critique of a tablet as being better for consuming than creating strikes me as about as pertinent as complaining that an ice cream cone is not very nutritious. Valid but irrelevant.

  23. Another kudos for the Nexus 7 here. We have an iPad 2, iPhones and a Nexus 7 in our household and while the fit, finish and general glossiness (both OS and physical) are better on the Apple products, the ease of use with the Nexus 7 trumps them all. I actually find typing on the Nexus 7 much easier than the iPad with how big it is. I can’t believe someone actually likes the beast that is iTunes.

  24. ‘Four, Android is in many ways a better OS for portable computing than iOS’ Seems to be a rather overly broad and unsupported statement – for your use case, okay, but there’s a lot of folks banging away on iOS, and they seem to do just dandy- spending more time online, more time using their devices, etc. But there really is a mindset difference that can get in the way with any OS that make it silly to try and use it if you don’t have to. It is funny how the MS/Apple flame wars have now evolved into the Google/Apple flame wars, with the same arguments trotted out with the names updated:)

  25. I believe that “in many ways” does not translate to Android good, iPad bad. Furthermore, I thought John was talking about his case and not everyone’s. He was talking specifically about why *he* likes the Nexus 7.

    I’m not an Apple hater or even an iPod flamer. I have enjoyed using my mother’s iPad in the three years she has had it. I’ve had an iPod Touch for four years and have used the heck out of it throughout that time and still do, even though it’s an obsolete second-gen and even though I now have an Android tablet. I also use my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1numerous times a day. They’re all good. For me, personally, the Android OS is better *in many ways.* I find it much easier to move files onto and off the Samsung using apps of my choice. I like being able to install Flash. I like being able to have the tablet be another computer on the home network without having to root it or use third-party workarounds. I just find it more flexible and customizable than the iPad–for me, not for everyone. The iPad works better for my mom. My brother likes his iPad a lot and doesn’t necessarily want the things I want in a tablet. Apple’s closed-system design is useful for some things, not for others, and an open system is better for the way I work and play. I just assumed John was saying something about how it fits the way he works and plays, not about how everyone ought to work and play.

  26. “Yep, that’s me. Allergy to Apple. Actually allergic to post Apple ][ apples. Love the Woz, not so much with the Jobs.”

    I think he might be dead, scattered to the winds as it were

  27. the ipad has some writer specific apps designed for novel and screen play writing. i can’t remember the exact names but i have seen them. similar to scriven

  28. Tablets are fun, but you need a real computer to write, edit, or really do anything resembling work. Photo editing, even light cropping or sharpening … you need a machine with software, memory, and a real hard drive. Nice comments. I heartily agree.