2012: the tablet xmas.
its setting up nicely to be a great time for tablets.
Argos is so confident there’s a 32GB Nexus 7 tablet on the way it has put the machine into a Christmas brochure. Spotted by a recipient, photographed and emailed to Teck [sic] Comes First, the Argos rag shows the same old Asus-shot pictures of the Nexus 7 we’ve all seen before but with 32GB capacity clearly there in black and …
its setting up nicely to be a great time for tablets.
Yeah, preferably Valium.
Where have the corners been cut........
They didn't cut the corners. They filed them to a rounded shape, which may cause problems.
Kindle fire HD is ad-supported (as mentioned), runs old Android, a gimped version at that, that can't connect to Google Play, and can only use Amazon's out of date apps service.
A Nexus7 on the other hand, is cheaper (There is 8GB for £129, 16GB for £159 and 32GB for £199) - All Ad-free, all run Jellybean, and because they are Nexus, they will be updated to the latest Android on launch day, for as long as the hardware supports it (so for the forseeable future - 4.2, 5.0 and perhaps beyond), and guess what? allows you to run the Kindle e-book app and or load of the Amazon market app (if you really must play old versions of games/apps).
So in short, the Nexus7 is upto date, will stay upto date, has no adverts to support it's price, has more price options and better store integration.
In other words, the Nexus7 "only" got a 85% here on El-Reg, so the Kindle Fire HD is a 50% at best...
It isn't QUITE that straight forwardly one-sided. The Kindle, to its advantage, has HDMI output and much better speakers than the NEXUS making it a much better all-round media device. It also has dual-band WiFi which would be important to some.
However, the lack of card slot is currently stopping me from hitting the BUY button on either of these. Plus, I can't help feeling that both devices are currently a bit crippled in the UK. Google doesn't make most of its PLAY content available to us and Amazon offers a much better deal to US Prime subscribers.
The Ainol looks to be a similarly specced device, with HDMI, card slot and vanilla Android for £40 less than the Nexus and Kindle. But can I bring myself to buy a device called the ainol?
I have been looking at the Ainol Fire for £129, which at £70 less than the equivalent Nexus, looked good. However, if the introduction of the 32Gb version forces the 16Gb down to the current price of the 8Gb one, the Nexus suddenly looms back into view. The lack of HDMI slot isn't a problem, and a quick tweak will get OTG working on the Nexus, allowing SD Cards to be used.
As for Google not allowing some content into the UK, again a five minute workaround gets Play Music working here.
Strangely, both versions are currently "Coming Soon" on the Play Store.... pure coincidence, of course.
Hmm... wonder if Father Christmas will be good to me this year?
Man walks into Argos: "Have you got any Ainol Tablets?"
Cashier: "Try Boots next door."
Ainol ain't that bad. What would you think of a tablet manufacturer which calls itself "Shit"? No, not in English, thanks God, but still, quite merry.
actually the specs of their Kupa tablets look spectacular. Until we've seen the price, that is.
Google actiually makes MOST of it's content available here. It's missing Magazines and Music (which you can get via an initialproxy signup if you really want the streaming music).
So it's really just Magazines.
Books, Movies and Apps are all present and correct in the UK. And really, with a 32GB model, what do you want a SD slot for? If you are really desperate, you use "USB On-The-Go" and mount a MicroSD card for extra storage on the Nexus7.
The Ainol is old-spec and won't ever be updated past ICS. Nexus will be still upto date 2 two years from now. That's what the Nexus brand is, Google delivered updates.
"And really, with a 32GB model, what do you want a SD slot for?"
- To transfer pictures from your camera (use a micro SD card and an adaptor in the camera)
- To transfer any other sort of file from another device without faffing about with wifi
- To add more storage, because you will always find you will need more than "640k"
Please don't feed the Google Shill....
You really use physical media? Welcome to 2002...
Get a Wifi SD card, they are cheap as chips and send wirelessly.... Many cameras now come with Wifi anway (my Samsung does).
Cheap as chips?
Quick look on Amazon shows a class 6 8Gb card coming in at £79.99, whereas a non wi-fi Class 10 32Gb card for £21.10. Play.com prices are even higher. A class 6 8Gb non-wifi card costs less than a fiver, making a wifi card 16 times more expensive.
SanDisk only make class 4 4Gb or 8Gb SD cards with wi-fi, and DSLR cameras take CF Cards, which don't come with wifi.
So,you stick with your slow and massively overpriced wifi cards, I'll go for high speed and low cost, and use a USB cable to connect my laptop to the camera.
Out of date apps service? I presume it runs Amazon's current app service
I've used Android 4 and 4.1, and there's not really much difference that I noticed. (Google Now would be great if it wasn't always "No connection" when I have one.) Would much rather have the SD card slot - and at a way cheaper price. Future updates would be a plus for the Nexus 7, but at the end of the day, Ainol is offering great cheap tablets *now*, not "it'll be better if you wait two years" - by then, both will be outdated anyway.
(Can USB On-The-Go mean I can slot a card inside the device? When I look this up, it suggestts I need to have a cable hanging off all the time...)
But still, why argue - that's the great thing about platforms like Android, we're not locked into a single device unlike one certain platform. We don't feel pressured to buy the most popular single selling device, when we can instead buy what we like best, knowing it runs the most popular platform.
What are the latest rumours about a 3G version?
Since the Wifi-only version seems very reasonably priced, I'm hoping a 3G version of the Nexus will buck the trend of pushing up the price of a device by £90, as is the case with some tablets. After all, if there's no data connection, I can't view Google's advertisements...
People really want a 3G version?
two sim cards and all that nonsense. Just use your phones tethering....
Jesus! How can you people be interested in something I'm not interested in! SORT YOURSELVES OUT!!!!
just don't forget to pack a charger when you venture out and try that bit of tethering ;)
A fair few people find the text on smartphones too small... using a dumbphone + tablet with its own SIM is a reasonable solution for them. '3' 3GB SIM for a tenner. No fiddling with phone tethering, or draining its battery.
But yeah, your right, the fact that most people will tether is probably why most tablet 3G options are a touch pricey.
> People really want a 3G version?
Yep, I do. Saves a lot of faffing about when you go somewhere that claims to have wifi and it doesn't work or there's a horribly convoluted sign-up that wants your inside leg measurement. You just flick the wifi off and let it use 3G.
I've got a Mifi router, but that takes 30s to start and sort itself out, switching to 3G on the tablet is near-enough instant.
> two sim cards and all that nonsense
A Three SIM with a year's use (or 12 gig, whichever comes first) is around £50 on eBay.
> just use your phones tethering....
And have no battery left? Tethering can kill the (not exactly tiny) battery in my ZTE V9A in about 4 hours. That's just sat there serving data, no screen use.
Windows Phone and iOS are competing for the high end of the market, leaving the low end to Android, which has almost no competition in that space. I seem to recall a similar situation with smartphones, with Android subsequently broadening its market into the high end after the budget segment was secured. Will history repeat?
Whats really intresting is that the iPad mini will/might launch into the top end of the budget segment. That will really muddy the waters. Intresting times
Android is at all ends.
If you want the king of tablets, then you can't get much better than a Asus Transformer Pad Infinity 700, but it's iPad prices (but way better).
They have entry, mid and high end tablets, they have waterproof tablets, ones with keyboards. The choice is yours....
The new AmigaPad will/might/who knows launch and do it all at a quarter of the price of a Nexus 7. It's easy when you can just make stuff up.
"top end of the budget" is not the budget space.
Oops, I meant Windows Surface, of course.
so my source tells me, although these may be Google direct prices... (not sure if they will be instore at this price).
Even so, the 32GB model is half the price of a surface and has a proper set of apps.
I'm not sure I can see this happening. Google are reportedly not making any profit (and possibly even a small loss) on the 8GB model at £159 as it is, and given that flash memory wholesale prices have presumably not suddenly fallen, it seems unlikely Google could afford to shave an additional £30 off the price.
Also talk of a $99 Nexus in Q4, but whether it's based on the current Asus model, or a further costed down model, who knows...
Either way, the Nexus 7 blows anything Apple has ever done, or intends to do out the water. Not only is it half the price, I am not locked into a single suppler for my hardware (all the apps I have bought for my Android phone, work just fine on my Nexus7 just fine), I am not chained to iTunes or apple's proprietary Quicktime MOV format either, and I don't look like a clueless cretin that buys the first thing I see on CNET either, so it's all good....
xxx xxx and die with their 32 Gb onboard memory, I got a micro-sd for a tenner and plugged it into my [other brand, half-price] tablet.
but hey, it's a big world, different slots for different folks.
but the (funny brands) Chinese are coming folks, and they get better all the time. And cheaper, much cheaper than The Brands. And packed with all the features the Bigs don't want you to have. Interesting times are coming...
Yes like dual core chips, 8 gb storage 1gig RAM, and micro SD Jellybean HDMI output for 60 quid or so., or 50 smackers gets a 1 gghz A8 or A9 Coretex CPU, and 512 Mb RAM, and 4Gig with Ice Cream Sandwich on a 7". Yes they are coming, and for many or for the kids will be perfactly adequate.
The biggest bonus of 32gigs of storage built in is the ability to put large files (movies mostly) on it. With an SD card you're gimped by the FAT32 file system aren't you?
Interesting question. My (rooted) Nexus 7 reads perfectly well from my 64GB USB NTFS memory stick with Stickmount , so perhaps you could format an SD with something other that FAT32.
Do you really think the Raspberry PI (which uses SD cards) use FAT?
The last time I played around with the partition table on one it was using ext4 - yes they can have partition tables as well.
When I wrote http://blog.retep.org/2012/06/19/using-the-full-space-on-your-sd-card/ I actually add an ext4 partition to an SD card.
There's also exFAT, but the situation is getting a bit daft for something that is supposed to offer the large file support of NTFS but be more universal. MS charge license fees, so whilst the newer OSX is happy with it, other systems might not be. Many higher end cameras support it (its part of the SDXC standard) but others don't. I was under the impression that Android devices that connect as MTP as opposed to MSC, so last I knew Windows didn't like coping 4GB+ files to MTP devices regardless of file system... but I may be wrong an this.
So we're back to work arounds, such as bodging Windows to format bigger SD cards as FAT32 and splitting bigger files.
You could try formatting it NTFS, whether the device will read it is moot.
That's the real issue isn't it? I looked extensively for a tablet (unrooted and then rooted) that could read SD cards in anything other than FAT32. Spent ages trawling the xdadev forums. Came up with zilch.
Massive problem imho.
HDMI and a micro-SD slot are useful features, if you want then you can find them on cheap, and old, hardware, as well as more expensive hardware.
The internet does let us compare features and prices.
On the whole, I don't think tablets are for creating content. They're a tool to let you get at the internet, do the run and find out thing, Are they good enough for watching a video? Not with my age-worn eyes, but that is where an HDMI output could let me use it as a video player, feeding to a more adequate screen. But there are gadgets which will play back from a USB drive or SD-card anyway,
You can access media on a USB stick on a Nexus 7 without Root access:
You can't really compare these two at all.
The Kindle has old kit inside so dont expect it to be fast.
As a smaller travel device lack of GPS don't help. HDMI though is useful.
For those that already have WD TV, PS3, XBox 360, Apple TV, PlayBook gadgets with HDMI ports and media playing capability, then the fact that the Nexus 7 lacks this key feature is a non-issue. The point of a tablet is to kick back and consume media on the fricken tablet - that's what the lovely 7-inch display is for.
The Nexus 7 speaker does suck. But at least Android provides multiple choices for perfect and free DLNA playing apps (unlike the PlayBook).
"The point of a tablet is to kick back and consume media on the fricken tablet"
I apologise for not wishing to use my tablet the same way as you. I will try harder.
I bought the Nexus7 16GB from Tesco on Monday and when I signed in to it I got my £15 play credit, so I don't know what all this is about not getting the credit anymore.
Second - for people talking about wanting to use camera cards etc with the device - the Nexus7 supports USB OTG which means you just need to have an OTG cable (about £5 from Amazon) and you can attach a whole range of USB devices to the tablet - including Mass Storage devices.
Finally - the single biggest cause of slow Android devices and crashing Android devices is a slow SD card. Google/ASUS (and other Manufacturers) want to improve the reliability and speed of their devices - and the only way they can ensure that the devices run at the intended speed is by removing the ability to swap out the biggest bottleneck in the system. Yes I know that advanced users know about SD card speeds and know which SD cards to buy - but the majority of Android users are not "advanced" users.
Buy Class 4 or above, preferably Class 10 you know it makes sense
That was a problem only with the dumb days when you had a tiny internal disk, and most stuff had to be on the SD card. I don't think anyone wants a return to those days - sure, still give us 8 or 16GB of fast internal storage, but still have the optional storage for large files where speed isn't so important.
Given Apple is launching its 'mini iPad' next week and MS are launching the Surface/Win8 during the same timeframe, if Google and Asus want a winner in the Nexus7 32G of storage really does not cut it, on the other hand, 64G of storage would be a winner for all concerned, including the consumer.
My own concern over the Nexus7, and indeed the iPad3/mini iPad, is the lack of storage - and really people let's forget the cloud nonsense, whilst it may seem a great idea on paper, costs are high and that's just one of numerous concerns.
Given the lack of SDcards in the Nexus and iPad, 64G would be a sweet spot and steal one hell of a march on the competition, particularly if it were priced at £224.99.
Anyway, at least we now have some real competition to Apple and that can only be a good thing for the sheeple.
32 GB is good news.
For those who don't know, it's possible to add external storage via the USB Micro port on several Android tablets.
Inexpensive adapters or straight plug-in with NMI software.
Not elegant but works & works well without rooting.
Full details at:
Roll on next Tuesday.
Doesn't work when you have kids, I'm afraid. Anything snappable is a no-go.