When Google offered to give me a review unit of the Nexus 7, the company’s seven-inch Android tablet, I almost said, “No thanks.”
In the past, when I’ve tested a new Android tablet, the process is usually the same: Open the box, spend a few minutes trying to figure out where the power button is to turn it on, shuffling through the software, and then quickly realizing that it isn’t a contender to the Apple iPad. Back in the box it goes.
But with the Nexus 7, the opposite happened. I’ve been using it. A lot.
Several months ago, as rumors began to swirl around the prospect of a 7-inch Nexus-branded tablet, my immediate reaction was analogous to that of Mr. Bilton. Dismissive of a predominantly awful segment of the market, I simply could not conceive of a pleasant, mass-market appealing Android tablet experience — regardless of what brand might’ve been slapped on the marketing materials.
And yet, today, I find myself winding down for the day with the UPS tracking page constantly refreshing as I yearn for the arrival of the Nexus 7. Having spent several weeks with the Android 4.0-equipped One X, I’m fascinated by the prospect of a lightweight, well-designed, and highly-received stock Android experience.
Several weeks ago, my former self would simply not have believed that I could retain such optimism and excitement for a Nexus tablet, and yet, here I am. Regardless of whether or not I enjoy the experience, I think the far-reaching and well-documented appreciation and excitement for the Nexus 7 speaks volumes about the shifting state of the marketplace in a truly fascinating manner.
For more on the topic, I had plenty to say on the topic during last week’s episode of Bionic.