My first tablet was a brand new white iPad 2 64GB (Wifi + 3G) bought sometime in 2011. Back at the time, I was an established Android fan, I owned a SonyEricsson Xperia X10, Samsung Galaxy S (I9000), and a Samsung Galaxy SII (I9100). I was not a fan of iOS with all its limitations, restrictions, and it's iTunes dependance. For example, when I first turned on my iPad 2 (can't remember if it was iOS 4 or 5), it showed my a picture of a USB cable and didn't want to do anything else, huh? I wasn't able to use it until I went home, downloaded & installed iTunes, and connected the iPad to activate it. I knew all this before I bought it though, so why did I buy one? The answer is simply because there were no good Android tablets at the time!
|iPad 2 with the uber quality Sena leather case, next to my Galaxy S II|
One bonus feature was the high color accuracy of the iPad's display, it displayed pictures beautifully, with very accurate colors and tones. I used it to show my pictures to everyone, using that gorgeous 9.7" display, since I don't print my photos (remind me to post about this, what do you do with all the pictures and videos you take?). One silly problem with iOS is that you can't just copy folders with pictures in them to the iPad, you have to do it through iTunes, and if there's a picture that you want to delete from the iPad, oops, sorry, you can't, you have to delete it from the computer first and sync it through iTunes. But I didn't mind that too much, since all my photo processing and archiving is done on my PC, so after I finish exporting an album, I just sync the iPad.
As I said, I had swell time with the iPad, I even jailbroke (?) it, and was able to download torrent files (legal stuff), copy files between the different apps, and even copy things to and from a flash drive using the USB camera connection kit. But happy things -unfortunately- has to come to an end. iOS 6 was the breaking point, it didn't play well with the oldie iPad 2 with it's outdated hardware. I had lots of crashes and restarts, which was irritating and caused me to start hating the iPad more and more, until one day, I was writing a blog for this site using Blogsy, and before I was finished, I switched to another app (which is a normal procedure that I did all the time), only to come back and discover that the Blogsy app had crashed and I lost all of what I've written. I sold it next day.
|The new split volume buttons on the iPad Air|
Anyway, I monitored the Android tablets closely, and was looking for a good tablet with the following features:
- High resolution screen (at least 2000px on the long side).
- Display with very accurate colors, not the over saturated punchy colors of the AMOLED Samsung displays.
- No less than 8" screen (I later tried the iPad Mini and decided the screen was too small for my taste).
- Very fast, no stuttering or splutering anywhere across the system.
- Large storage, at least 64GB.
- Cellular connectivity.
- Long battery life (at least it should match the iPad 10 hours).
- Light weight.
- Solid with high build quality.
|Samsung Galaxy S4, Nexus 7, iPad Air|
Let me ask you a question, an iPhone 5 with a 4" screen compared to a Galaxy S4 with a 5" screen (both screens 16:9 ratio), how much larger the area of the Galaxy S4 would be compared to the iPhone? Any guesses? 10%? 20%? Wrong, it's a whopping 50%, can you imagine that? That's why the Nexus 7 with it's high res 7" display started making sense to me, especially that it sold (at the time) for $259. I was impatient, and instead of waiting for the new iPad release, I went ahead and bought the Nexus 7(32 GB, WiFi only). If I liked it enough, I would keep it, otherwise I will give it to my wife since she needed one anyway (that's what families are for :p).
|All three displaying the same picture, check out the difference in size, oh, and look closely at the Nexus, is the picture centered? Read below to find out.|
- The bloody Android buttons (back, home & tasks) taking a permanent place at the bottom of the screen, and using precious screen estate! One main reason I keep buying Samsung Android phones is because of the hard home key, and the capacitive buttons to the side, not using any space on the screen. Why am I complaining? They look ugly, they use too much screen space at the bottom, especially when using the device in landscape mode with it's very narrow 16:9 aspect ratio display, and they stay there forever, even when viewing photos, imagine that, you can't use the full screen to view your photos! What genius designed that? But to be fair, they fully disappear when watching videos in full screen mode. By the way, I know there is a workaround using root and Xposed, but they were not updated for KitKat at the time, and regular users should not bother with that.
- After installing a few apps, the device started slowing down a little, the RAM started getting filled up quickly, and it shut down some of the apps working in the background.
- There were a few restarts and crashes.
- I was not able to enjoy using it as a tablet without the iPad famous gestures, 4 fingers pinch to go to the home screen, 4 fingers swipe to the sides to move between recent apps, 4 fingers swipe to the top to show the recent apps, etc... I tried GMD Gestures for Android, but it didn't work well for me with the small Nexus 7" screen, and it decided some day to stop working altogether.
- Finally, I realized that Apple made a brilliant decision with using a 4:3 aspect ratio for their displays. It makes browsing much more enjoyable whether in portrait or landscape modes, with generous space for wide sites and for having several tabs open at once. The 16:9 display used in the Nexus 7 is way too narrow to be enjoyable in general web browsing, and can only effectively be used in portrait orientation, not to mention the keyboard, which if you opened in landscape mode, it would swallow half of the screen space. Not with the iPad though.
|Check out how each of them renders this blog. And look at the awful black bar at the bottom of the screen on that Nexus!|