The nVidia Shield K1 Tablet

Let me be clear, I was a big fan of Google’s Nexus series. It started with the Galaxy Nexus, which impressed me so that I later bought a Nexus 4. In 2012 Google also released the first generation of the Nexus 7, which I also purchased.

The Nexus experience continued, so favorable that I didn’t even hesitate when they released a second generation Nexus 7 in 2013. I ordered one immediately.

The Nexus 7 saw heavy use around the house. I loved the Nexus 4 for a device on-the-go. It was the perfect size IMHO. Around the house, where fitting into my pocket was less of an issue, the Nexus 7’s larger screen made it my go-to device.

I’ve actually had three Nexus 7s over the years, replacing one with a shattered display, and later buying a spare when Google stopped offering them. I still have the Asus dock with micro-USB and HDMI ports that lets the tablet run on external power, even as you use it to feed a monitor or HDTV.

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Deal Alert: Groupon Offering Nexus 7 For $149

Yesterday I received my third Nexus 7 (2013 edition) by way of a Groupon deal that ends later today. The offer is new, not refurbished, versions of the 16 GB model for $149.  That’s down from the $199 list price, which was an unbelievable bargain in the first place.

Nexus7-Groupon

There are dozens of cheap Android tablets to be had, but few that run Lollipop. In my case, my existing Nexus 7, which has a few scrapes and nicks, will be rotated into a utility role, very likely as a pseudo-Squeezebox.

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Deal Alert: Nexus 7 (2013 model)

Nexus7 verticalI still like my Nexus 7 tablet. In fact, I like it enough that I could use a spare. Moreover, there are currently two noteworthy deals being offered:

Groupon has new 16 GB models for $135 with free shipping. It’s actually $149.99, but you can use a coupon (SALE10) to drop another 10% on checkout.

If that’s not good enough, Staples has them on offer as well. They have the 16 GB model (SKU: 215186) for just $99 and the 32 GB model (SKU:215185) for $128. This notice comes courtesy of User Quote, who also has an online inventory checker.

Sadly, my nearest Staples doesn’t have any in stock. It might be worth a drive to get one from a suburban store. I have some novel new application ideas for such a tablet, especially now that I have the ASUS Official Nexus 7 Tablet (2013) Dock.

WSJ On Computer vs Tablet

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch property posted an article called “10 things not to buy in 2014” by AnnaMaria Andriotis.  Hey, it’s the end-of-the-year and lists are sprouting up like mushrooms in the morning dew. I wish they held as much value as those edible fungi. Still, I suppose there’s little point in being listless at this time of year.

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Revolve Robotics Kubi: Telepresence Robot or PTZ mount?

kubi-telepresence-robot-holding-surface-proTablets are everywhere these days. In the early I’m morning often seen sitting on our front porch reading news on my Nexus 7.

I occasionally used both the Nexus 7 and an iPad to make video calls using Polycom RealPresence Mobile. I’ve even joined a Google Hangout from a tablet.

Tablets are not exactly video end-points. Holding them up in front of one’s self is tedious, especially for calls of any duration. Propping them up against things is unreliable and leads to unflattering camera angles.

Revolve Robotics hopes to improve this situation. They are about to ship their KUBI device, which is essentially a robotic PTZ mount for common tablets.

Perhaps “PTZ” is not quite appropriate since it normally means pan, tilt and zoom. Tablets don’t have zoom lenses, but KUBI does support rotation, making it perhaps a PTR mount?

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Waiting For Doorbot: Appification Can Be Disappointing

Like many people, I’ve come to enjoy using a tablet to do things that were once entirely in the domain of the computer. Over the past year the Nexus 7 has become part of my routine. I use it routinely for checking email, reading news feed & e-books and watching the occasional video, amongst other things. It’s a wonderful device.

There are some things that I do with the tablet that leverage specialty apps, like the remote control for our Nest thermostat. This makes perfect sense to me as the function of both the thermostat and the app are clearly and completely defined. Also, their operation is largely isolated from the rest of the elements of our lives. For example, we simply don’t require that the Nest integrate with the home phones.

With such clearly defined requirements, or more exactly, limits to the scope of requirements, a smart phone/tablet app is good solution. It certainly makes more sense than a traditional hardware remote control as one might get with a TV.

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