Love my new Android Tablet!

July 25, 2011

As you can see from my previous postings, I’ve become a new Android OS fan. Last month I bought a Samsung Nexus S 4G Google phone (Sprint) running the Gingerbread version of Android, and just a few days ago I picked up an Acer Iconia Tab A500 Android Tablet running Honeycomb. Now, I have to say that for the last two years I’ve been using an iMac 27″ Desktop machine at home along with an iPod Touch as my media player (video, primarily) and an iPhone 4 for company business, but I’m now an Android convert.

I really didn’t see the need to getting a tablet device, as my smartphone usually can cover my mobile needs and slip comfortably in my pocket. However, when Staples offered the $100 off coupon on its tablets, it was just too good to pass up. I decided to get the Acer Iconia Tab mainly for the price, as it was the cheapest of the available tablets at Staples where I could use the $100 coupon.

I do have to say this tablet is a fantastic mobile device! The Iconia has a beautiful 10.1″ screen which is bright and colorful. The tablet itself is very fast, and shows no hesitation or slowness when switching between screens and/or apps. And there are lots and lots of Honeycomb-ready apps in the Android App Marketplace.

What I like best about the tablet, is the USB port present in the side of the device. I copied some mp4 videos to a standard USB Flashdrive and plugged it into the Iconia’s USB port, and was able to play them using the built-in video player. Perfect feature for when I go on travel and don’t want to spend time copying video files from my iMac over to the Iconia’s Flash Storage Drive.

The tablet is also really slim and lightweight (which is in opposition to what I’ve read in online reviews, where users complain the Iconia is too thick and heavy). Sure, it may not be as thin or light as the Apple iPad 2, but it’s definitely a slim and lightweight device (check one out yourself).

Now, I’m a real stickler for detail and fit-n-finish, and I have to say the Acer Iconia is one fine piece of equipment. In fact, I’d go as far as to say I think the Android Honeycomb OS in conjunction with the Acer tablet hardware is much better than the original Apple iPad and iPad2 products. You’ve got a lot of freedom with what you can load on the Android tablet and what you have access to which really makes a big difference for power users.

So, for now I’m really enjoying my Acer Iconia Tab and I’m planning to take it with me on my next business trip. I’ll have to report back how well it worked from that trip, and later when I’ve used it for a few months.

Staples $100 off tablet coupon

July 23, 2011

If you’re like me, you’ve been holding off getting a Tablet Computer because of the high prices. Spending $400-$600 US is just too much money for a portable device for reading emails, viewing web pages, and other assorted mobile tasks. However, I discovered that Staples has a great deal going on now that will give you a $100 instant discount on most tablets in their local stores. I say “most” because it excludes the HP Touchpad and Nook tablets, but it does include the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola XOOM, and Acer Iconia Tab A500. Of those three Android tablets, the Acer Iconia Tab was priced at $400 so with the $100 coupon the price of that tablet drops to $300, which really got my attention.

So, I did a bit of online research and discovered that the Acer Iconia Tab got some pretty good reviews. It had a following features:

  • 10.1 inch 1024×800 res screen
  • Tegra 250 dual-core processor
  • 16 GB Flash storage
  • 1 GB Ram
  • 5 MP rear, 2 MP front cameras
  • GPS
  • WiFi b/g/n
  • Bluetooth
  • microSD card slot (expandable storage)
  • 3260 mAh battery
  • Standard and micro USB port
  • HDMI output

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A skin for my Nexus S

July 22, 2011

From my previous posting you learned that I recently got a Nexus S smarphone to replace my Apple iPhone 4. The Nexus S is really slim (which is what I wanted), but the back of the phone is pretty slick too, making the chance of me dropping the phone pretty good over time. So instead of waiting for the inevitable, I decided to find a case that would make my phone less slippery but still keep it as slim as possible.

After some googling I came across the Incipio Feather case which is a semi-hard shell made of some plastic polymer. It fits tight around the back and sides of my Nexus, and gives it just enough grip so that I feel confident I won’t accidentally drop my phone. But, it also keeps the Nexus S very slim where I can slip it in my front pants pocket.

So if you need a slim case for your Nexus S check out the Incipio Feather– you won’t be disappointed!

My new Android phone

July 22, 2011

I took a new job with a different company and as such I needed to return my company iPhone.¬†After using an Apple iPhone 4 for the last 6 months it was hard to go back to my Palm Pixi smartphone again. I’ve used the Palm Pixi in the past for about 1.5 years (and it worked great) on the Sprint network, but it was hard to use it again because I was so use to the larger iPhone screen. Also, the Palm Pixi had very limited apps available since Palm had neglected their WebOS phone lines for several months while they were acquired by HP a year or so ago. I wanted to stay on the Sprint network because my family already had an account with that carrier, so getting an iPhone was out. The only option I had was going for an Android phone.

After some research I narrowed my choices down to the Samsung Nexus S and the Samsung Galaxy S II Android handsets. Both had large touch screens and were very thin (no slider keyboard) and ran the newer “Gingerbread” Android OS. Unfortunately, the Galaxy S II wasn’t available for the Sprint Network as of yet (just a rumor), so I could either wait several months until it did become available or just go with the Nexus S (which was available now). The Nexus S looked really good and got great reviews, but I also read a lot of negative comments on the various Android/Sprint Forums with regards to the phone’s weak radio signal and WiFi strength. In the end, I decided to just go for it and get the Nexus S and after owning one for three weeks I’m glad I did!

I have to say that this phone is much better than the iPhone 4 in my opinion. It’s about the same size as the iPhone 4, but has a bigger screen. The resolution of the Nexus S screen may not be as high as the iPhone 4, but it still looks really good and has very vibrant colors. It runs smoking fast, flipping through screens of icons and popping up apps almost instantaneously (definitely not laggy as my Palm Pixi phone!). I’m also very impressed with the Gingerbread OS in general, as it looks really slick and very functional compared to the iPhone 4. Best of all, my Nexus S is considered a “developer” phone and is open to do lots of stuff a standard iPhone 4 can’t do (unless it is “jail-broken”).

The Android App Marketplace has thousands of apps available for download, most of which being the same apps as those I used on my iPhone 4. Just like the iPhone being backed up to Apple’s servers, my Nexus S backs up certain data to my Google gmail account.

The battery life with my Nexus S is actually pretty good, as I can go an entire day from 5:30 am to 9:00 pm at night with about 20% battery power remaining. That’s pretty good for a smartphone that is polling for email every 15 minutes, playing Pandora music for about 2 hours and browsing the web.

So if you’re in the market for a new smartphone definitely check out the Nexus S on the Sprint network. From what I’ve read, the Nexus S is currently available on T-Mobile now and soon to be available on AT&T.