dennis s. hurddennis s. hurd

Friday, November 18, 2016

Farewell, Nexus 7 / Greetings, ZenPad 8

Continuing with my knack of throwing devices on the floor, I dropped my Google Nexus 7 tablet. The screen cracked.

I'd owned my Nexus 7 for three years and three months and absolutely loved it. It upgraded to all the newest Android OSs through Marshmallow. All Google-branded devices run the stock operating system free from all the stupid tweaking that vendors do to differentiate their products. I found the form factor perfect for reading. 'Damn Google to hell' for not replacing it after 2013! After the demise of mine last night, I could hardly imagine being able to replace it. Yet I knew I couldn't exist for long without a tablet on my lap near constantly. I started looking online for something.

All the Samsung tablets seem horrible with WizBang or whatever the name of their skin is. And why in the hell are manufacturers, in 2016, creating 4x3 orientation screens on devices; televisions went wide ten years ago! I was so frustrated because finding out something as simple as actual screen resolution often remains hidden beneath layers of slick product propaganda. That, plus there's a problem of numerous SKUs with the same name, but differing specs! Lastly, I don't know why a screen on any Android tablet is still offered in 1024x768 resolution. It is no wonder they aren't selling any; they're making crap. The industry has gone nowhere but backwards in the last four years.

2016_11_18

I nearly ended up with a Samsung that I would have hated out of the odd 14 or so on offer. Luckily, further along on the shelf, I saw an ASUS ZenPad 8.0. I hadn't considered one but it is as close a replacement as I could've hoped for. In fact, my old Nexus was manufactured by them. No dumb Samsung home button. Its screen is a smidgen larger than the old tablet but not noticeably more inconvenient. Best yet, it is widescreen!

I was worried as I saw ASUS software on the one running at the store. I hoped I could get back to something resembling stock Android. Happily, as I was setting up the device it allowed me to copy absolutely everything from my defunct tablet. Then, magic! It asked if I wanted to use my Google Home settings. Voila. I am looking at a near clone of my beloved.

Phew! This ain't perfect, but it looks like I'll be able to continue along without too much interruption.


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