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  • Cyber Monday is on NOW!

    Posted on November 25th, 2012 Shawn No comments

    We’re scouring the depths of Amazon.com and beyond to locate the deals that will matter to you. And even better, the sales are already on. Check out what we have found, and check back later on for new deals we find.

    JUST ADDED!

    Use the code FIREDEAL for $129
    Sears.com has 32GB Asus Nexus 7 7″ Android 4.1 Tablet (ASUS-1B32) for $224.99 with free in-store pick up.


    Walmart.com
    has Plantronics Voyager PRO Bluetooth Headset (black) for $39 with free in-store pick up.
    Walmart.com has Dead Island: Game of the Year Edition (Xbox 360) for $10.

    Shop Amazon – Cyber Monday Deals WeekShop Amazon Home Entertainment – Black Friday Deals on TV, Video
    Shop Amazon – Trade In Wii

  • Nexus 7 — The Google Tablet

    Posted on November 7th, 2012 Shawn 1 comment


    I’ve been using the Nexus 7 (manufactured by ASUS, but marketed as Google) tablet for a couple months now. This is not my first or second foray into Android tablets, I’ve extensively used many for the past 1+ years. So, what do I think of the Nexus 7? Read on…

    Size: This 7″ tablet is just what the doctor ordered. I’ve used a bunch of the 10.1″ tablets before, and they are all just too awkward to hold. I love to read books on tablets (on planes, in bed, wherever), and the 7″ size is comfortable in one hand, while being large enough to feel like the size of a paperback. The width of the Nexus 7 is fine. Not too thick, not too thin. Just feels right.

    Weight: To carry on with the size comments, the Nexus 7 is the perfect weight for holding it for hours while reading a book. I happily put down the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Acer Iconia A500 for this lightweight and good sized device.

    Experience: It’s pure Android Jelly Bean. What does that mean? It is running the software as Google anticipated it to run. No extra skins, no unnecessary manufacturer apps, and the absolute latest version of Android. Jelly Bean (aka Android 4.1) is the best thing that has happened to Android tablets. Prior to this release (aka Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 and Honeycomb 3.0), all Android tablets ran slowly, the swiping had delays, the typing was gittery, and as a comparison to iPad, Android could not compete in the performance category. Now with Jelly Bean, the Nexus 7 is smooth, screens flow as you’d expect, navigating around works fluidly and comfortably. It is the first excellent experience on an Android tablet. If you like the way Ice Cream Sandwich works on your Android phone, you will feel right at home with Jelly Bean on the Nexus 7.

    Build: As mentioned before, this is manufactured by ASUS. It’s a black rectangular slab, as expected. The weight feels just right and well distributed. Not too heavy, not too light, not awkward to hold. Solid glass on the front, with no physical buttons. Has a front facing camera, which is low res and not impressive for any type of photo taking. The bezel on the front is just wide enough to hold on any four corners without accidentally touching the screen. The sides are rounded, with no sharp edges. The back is lightly rubberized and pleasantly sticks to the hand when holding, or stays in place when set down. There is no removable battery, so the back cover is permanent. There is no removable SD card either.

    On the right side, are the power and volume rocker buttons. Having them on one side is great for using cases and stands. On the bottom is the headphone jack and micro USB port (for charging/data transfer). The bottom is also a great location for cases and stands. The back contains a speaker on lower portion, which has decent sound for its size. And the screen. It’s a high-resolution screen, think iPhone 4 (and newer) or iPad 3 (and newer). Simply, it’s beautiful. No needs to talk technical details. It is the best looking Android tablet screen to date. Nice and clean, easy on the eyes.

    Things I don’t love about the build. No rear-facing camera. I’m not one of those weido’s who take photos with a tablet, but I do scan QR codes quite a bit. Most QR code apps do not support front-facing camera. Those that do support it, make me quickly realize how awkward it is to line up a QR code without being able to see it on screen. Not having removable SD card isn’t the end of the world, having the Nexus in 16GB. I just historically, like to take my SD card out of my phone and pop it into my tablet at different times.

    Overall, I’m quite happy with the build on the Nexus 7.

    Apps: As a Google device, you get all the Google Apps you can shake a stick at, right on the home screen. If you love Gmail, Google Maps, Google Search, Google+, and on and on, you will have them ready to go right out of the box. As for Google Play (Android Market) apps and Amazon Android App Store apps, most apps run, but not all. Apps requiring a rear camera, will not install. At launch, few other apps wouldn’t install, but all seem to be working now (with an update to Android 4.1.2). Being a Google branded device, there are no manufacturer or carrier specific apps; translated — no crap apps. You can add all the crap on if you’d like, but it’s your choice.

    Price: Starting at $199 for 16GB (just reduced from $249). Just added are two 32GB models, with and without a cellular plan, priced at $249 and $299 respectively. The price can’t be beat, be it iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook, or other Android tablets.

    Wrap It Up: As a long time Android user, and having used several Android tablets before, I have to say the Nexus 7 leaves all others in the dust. Sure the screen size is 3 inches smaller than the big boys, but the size, weight, and screen make this THE Android tablet to get. If you have an Android phone and would like a tablet to run your apps on, get the Nexus 7. Don’t waste time looking elsewhere.

     

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