Geeks on Campus

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Nexus 7

Posted by jeggent on December 23, 2013

When I started my new job I had to learn a lot.  There were new systems, new people, and lots of information that was new to me.  So I wanted a way to easily take this information with me to meetings.  Of course the answer was to get a tablet.  I put a lot of thought into which tablet I should get.  I decided early on that I wouldn’t be entering much data in via the tablet.  I hate “typing” on touch screens.  And I didn’t want to take around a table with a blue tooth keyboard, I might as well bring a laptop/ultrabook with me at that point.  I was going to use a 7″ tablet for information retrieval and a paper steno book for taking notes.

My choice was the Google/Asus Nexus 7

The Google Android platform has apps for the tools that I am using: e-mail, calendar, Google Drive, Trello, and OneNote.  I use Google Drive for the PDFs, spreadsheets, and documents that I need access to at work/home/mobile.  I use Trello for project and task management.  And I use OneNote as a knowledge base and for meeting agendas.  The other apps that are not core to my work activities but are nice to have are Twitter, Pocket, Feedly, Kindle, and Keep.

The Nexus hardware is great.  It’s super fast, even when I have all of those core apps mentioned above all open.  It fits right into my pants pocket, so I don’t feel burdened taking it around campus for meetings.  I take my notes on paper and then transcribe just the important parts into Trello, OneNote, e-mail, or my calendar once I’m back at my desk.  I will create more specific posts to talk about how I use e-mail, Trello, and OneNote which will hopefully show how taking this information with me on the tablet is so beneficial.

Your mileage may vary.  Of course I considered the Apple iPad.  I don’t already have any Apple products that I use regularly, so I’m not already locked into the Apple ecosystem in any way.  I really wanted to go with the 7″ system for portability.  I also looked the the Samsung Galaxy Note and Tabs.  They looked really nice, but the performance data that I looked at indicated the the Nexus was superior hardware.  I’ve used a Kindle Fire at home for two years now and really like it.  It looks like Amazon is working on getting the Fire line updated to support more business apps, but I don’t think it’s there yet.

Happy computing.

-John

*Edit
I ended up receiving a bluetooth keyboard/case  as a Christmas gift.  I don’t currently plan on taking it with the tablet to meetings but I guess we’ll see if I change my tune after having some time with it.  It will be nice for typing e-mails at home though.

I have found another use for the Nexus now that I have the keyboard.  With the additions of the AndFTP and 920 Text Editor, I am now able to download, edit, and re-upload webpages right from the tablet.  Both apps are free and very easy to use.  The 920 Text Editor even supports multiple files open at the same time, so I can review both the HTML and CSS at the same time.

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