I have written several times lately about the phenomenal growth of tablet computers and e-readers. That growth continues. At today's Google I/O conference in San Francisco, the company announced a new device that is part e-reader and part computer, to be called Nexus 7. The number 7 in the name apparently refers to the 7-inch, 1280 x 800 HD display screen.
The Nexus 7 is available for pre-order now via Google Play for only $199 with 8 gigabytes of memory or $249 with 16 gigabytes, and will ship in mid-July to customers in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia. Buyers will get a $25 credit to spend in Google Play, and the tablet will come pre-loaded with one movie, one book, and several magazines.
While the device seems to be mostly an e-reader, it also has computer-type devices, including a web browser, a front-facing camera, wi-fi, Bluetooth, and Near Field Communication (NFC). It also serves as an MP3 music player in order to compete as an over-sized music player to compete with the iPod. It includes the Chrome web browser and can surf the web by using a wi-fi wireless network connection. It should work perfectly with G-Mail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, or any other email system that can be accessed from a web browser.
The new tablet/e-reader should produce up to nine hours of video playback (and even longer battery life on less power-hungry applications) on a single charge, and up to 300 hours of standby time. It runs the Android operating system and weighs in at 12 ounces (340 grams).
NOTE: NFC (Near Field Communication) is an easy way to use smartphones and other handheld devices to quickly check out at a store's cash register by charging the customer's credit or debit card. The end result is exactly the same as handing a credit or debit card to the cashier today. The significant difference is that you can pay in a second or two simply by waving the handheld device near a sensor at the cash register. For example, Google Wallet allows consumers to store credit card and store loyalty card information in a virtual wallet and then use an NFC-enabled device at terminals that also accept MasterCard PayPass transactions. NFC has already become popular in cell phones sold in Europe but North American merchants have been slow to adopt the technology. Details may be found on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_field_communication.
Google announced that Nexus 7 users will now be able to purchase movies, while TV show episodes and seasons will also be available via Google Play. Magazines from publishers like Hearst, Conde Nast, and Meredith are also coming to the Google store. Playbackwill result in small images on the 7-inch screen but with a pixel density of 1280 x 800 in a high-def format should result in crystal-clear images. Those books should be easier to read than a typical newpaper.
You can learn more about the Nexus 7 in the dozens of articles available by starting at http://goo.gl/1ylIk.
At this price, the Nexus 7 Tablet Computer should become very popular as a portable, wireless web browser as well as an e-reader. I am curious if it will run all the present Android genealogy programs. I intend to find out as soon as I can. I ordered a Nexus 7 today. Stay tuned...
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