Tuesday, July 28


Nexus 8

[Updated and bumped.]

It's the Nexus 8!  Or near enough.  Asus shook up the tablet market in 2012 with the original Nexus 7, a genuinely good budget tablet, and again in 2013 with the updated model, which was a great budget tablet (and which I still use for several hours each day).

Asus recently announced a slate of new tablets, but the crown jewel is the Zenpad S 8.0, which is exactly what I'd want to see in a Nexus 8 and aimed dead center at the iPad Mini on features and design, while keeping the pricing that made the Nexus 7 a runaway success.

 $199 for the base "C" model with a 1.3GHz quad-core 64-bit CPU, 2GB RAM and 32GB of storage (plus microSD), and a 2048x1536 8" IPS display.

It's the same size, weight, and screen as the iPad Mini, but $199 for the 32GB version vs. $349 for the iPad.  Plus microSD.  (Android's support for removable storage is basically poop, but iOS doesn't support it at all, so...)  

So if, like me, you prefer Android over iOS anyway, it's an easy choice.

The advanced "CA" model should arrive soon, and offers a 1.8GHz or 2.3GHz CPU, 2GB or 4GB RAM, and up to 64GB of storage (again, plus microSD), plus support for a pressure-sensitive stylus.  (I don't think the stylus is actually included.)  It's a little lighter than the base model, and includes faster WiFi and a USB-C connector like the new Macbook and Chromebook Pixel.

Update: Pricing for the top-of-the line 2.3GHz / 4GB RAM / 64GB storage model looks set at $299, with pre-orders now and product shipping in a couple of weeks.

All models include Android 5.something.  Either 5.0 or 5.1, depending on which site you believe.

The Android tablet market has been pretty dull the last couple of years, but these look like excellent performers and great value for money.

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Apple pies are delicious. But never mind apple pies. What colour is a green orange?

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