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Apple paved the way with its iPad and Amazon has worked hard to try and mop up the demand from wannabe tablet owners with its Fire but the real winner of the tablet wars might just be Google.
Apparently the Net giant has stopped accepting orders for the 16GB version of its Nexus 7 tablet, because demand is dramatically outstripping supply.
Sure, the Nexus is no iPad but it also doesn't come with the iPad price and, at US$249, it is still an amazing amount of "bang for your buck" -- or so we're told
Loaded up with the Jelly Bean version of Android, fitted with a 1280x800 (sub-retina) display, quad-core processor and 16GB of memory, the Nexus 7 does seem awfully appealing - if you feel you really do need a tablet.
Even its 7-inch form-factor might be more appealing to some than the much larger iPad.
However, many will not buy the Nexus solely because it's not an iNexus.
I have been using a really old tablet that was kindly sent to me by a reader and I have to say that sometimes tablets are pretty convenient.
Unfortunately, this one is lumbered with a very old version of Android and despite its good intentions, it regularly fails to impress -- perhaps due to the fact that sometimes a touch-screen just isn't good enough.
I'm sure that a modern tablet offers a vastly improved "user experience" and I have to say that I am seriously contemplating getting something like the Nexus 7 for a number of reasons.
Firstly, they're small, lightweight and portable.
I do have a laptop -- but it's big, bulky and heavy. Although I love the full-sized keyboard, the reality is that most of the time I'm pointing and clicking or just reading the screen -- so a tablet makes more sense.
Although the Kindle might seem like a viable option for carrying around a mountain of datasheets, schematics and other e-documents, the ability to display video content and webpages in true colour makes an LCD-based tablet essential.
According to reviews, although the Nexus 7's display is pretty good, it lacks the uber-high resolution of the iPad (being just 216 pixels per inch versus 264ppi on the iPad) and contrast is somewhat down when compared to the super-groovy AMOLED technology used by some other tablet manufacturers. But hey -- for US$250, who's complaining?
Obviously not the huddled masses who have bought out all the existing stocks of Google's tablet, that's for sure.
One big bonus of having a genuine Google tablet is that you can be sure you'll get rapid access to new versions of Android. Even the tablet I'm using now would be great -- if I could get an update for the archaic OS version it runs - but I can't. Indeed, many of the Sino-tablets that have been freely available from sites such as DX have very poor levels of update support which can make them somewhat less than the bargain they first appear to be.
Of course Kiwis won't be buying a Nexus 7 via official channels any time soon -- attempts to access the Google Play store produce a polite notice that "Devices on Google Play is not available in your country".
Will you be investing in a Nexus 7 or are you already a happy iPad user?
Will you be buying any kind of tablet computer?
If you don't use an iPad, just what kind of tablet do you use (if any)?
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