The Nexus 7 tablet I preordered during the Google I/O keynote on June 27th finally arrived earlier this week, later than expected (and later than available from retailers) but still welcome.

Some thoughts after using it for a few days...

  • The form factor works great for what I wanted it for, which is watching videos (downloads on the train, streamed at home), accessing social media, light web browsing, and reading email. Aside from work and to a much smaller degree gaming this is most of what I use computers for, so I haven't been using full PCs as much.
  • Battery life so far is awesome - I been watched HD youtube videos the better part of 4 hours this afternoon and it only used about 40% of battery.
  • The Google device synchronization is amazing, and a bit disturbing at times -- even OS-level things like my WiFi networks (with passwords) were sync'ed from my Nexus S phone when I linked my Google account on the tablet. Very cool, but a tiny bit creepy.
  • There are a lot of apps (including some Google apps) that are not quite sure what to do with a small Android tablet running JellyBean, or perhaps are just broken in general. I'll do another post about apps later, there are several that are bugging me.
  • I've been using my phone much less for all the various things I wanted to use the tablet for, and it now seems very cramped when I try using it for things that I enjoy using on the tablet. Also, the phone battery life is much more reasonable now that I'm not watching videos on it. :)
  • I'm still undecided if I need a case for the tablet. When I'm on the train I have my backpack, which has some padded pockets, but I still feel like I should have some sort of padded sleeve or something to carry it in.
  • Jelly Bean is nice, I also got the upgrade for my phone this week, but not that much of a difference that I notice it a lot during day-to-day use. A bit smoother on the phone, but generally not any obtrusive or gigantic changes, which I'm fine with.

So... I'm quite happy with the Nexus 7. Next time I buy a piece of Google hardware, though, I will wait for it to become available from local retailers, since apparently preordering almost a month in advance doesn't actually get you the device more quickly.