It was my birthday in early October. Right before Network Field Day before. I received amongst many other treats a Nexus 7 tablet. I was very spoilt. Here within is my Nexus 7 review and how I have used it.

The Tablet

Google’s Nexus 7 tablet by Asus

Tech Specs here.


The tablet has a sound build quality. The  seven-inch tablet has a delicious 1280×800 resolution with IPS display. The ten-point touch screen provides sound and snappy responsiveness. The backlit screen I have found is fantastic; others will argue that it isn’t bright. Mine has had no issues of bleeding like some report. I sometimes wonder if I am just lucky or some people are UBER fussy. MicroUSB is the connection type at the base; it is compatible with many things! The weight is quite light. Sure, it isn’t the lightest on the market but nothing that will give your hands or arms aches. Battery life is also impressive. 9 hours is what I get doing light things; reading ePubs or browsing. Video I seem to get 7-9 hours depending on brightness. I found that games do kill it. GTA III + PS3 controller over bluetooth managed to reduce it to five hours. Still impressive though! Oh and you know what is great? I have the Nexus branded cover too. Great little flap and awesome screen protector. The size of the device with cover fits in my back pocket and makes for handy ‘anywhere’ internet fix.

Operating System

I last used an Android device around the days of Froyo and Gingerbread. They were far from polished and getting stomped by Apple. Google’s persistence and drive to match and surpass iOS as a mobile operating platform shines. Jelly-bean delivers an exceptionally refined and intuitive experience of  a user of any level. Full integration with Google’s services is so well done you get excited by using their applications. It has come a long way; it is clear why they are beating Apple in numbers.

Certification Study Material

I have one main use for this tablet. Portable certification study. Video, Audio, and printed text. It simply does all them. By default a lot of video codecs are supported by the default player. I choose to use the VLC app because of its ability to access my network devices and streaming features. Here is an example of Keith Barker’s CBT CCNA Security Nuggets on Nexus 7.

Videos are great!

With an internal storage of 16 GB I can carry quite a lot of these bad boys. My friends over at INE actually sell a CCIE level training package that has all of their digital content on one of these. Definitely worth checking out.Next big one is text books. I use ePubs due to their increased flexibility and PDF’s where there is no alternative. PDF’s from INE and IPX work fine. They render well and look good. The same goes for Cisco Press e books. The built-in PDF viewer is more than capable; Adobe is available for the devout. One annoying thing is that the Play Books app which is native only allows reading of purchased ePubs from the Google Play store. Painful if you acquire ePubs from elsewhere; Amazon, CiscoPress to name a few. MoonReader Pro is my choice for ePub reader. Below is a comparison of Play Books vs Moon Reader.

Fantastic book. It was 0.99 cents! Great TV series too.

As you can see; crisp display and nice content. Logical browsing too. Below is MoonReader Pro.

I believe that MoonReader, despite its convoluted menu, delivers a better reading experience. Day/Night settings, text to speech, auto-scroll, text manipulation, mark down, app interaction such as email, text, Ever note, are just some examples of what it can do! MoonReader itself could be a blog post in its own right so I won’t focus too long on it.

Audio is simply like any other audio device. It plays the standard suite of audio protocols. Google Play Music is a fantastic streaming service in which I place all my learning audio. What I like to keep a copy of local I mark for local storage and I have access anywhere. This applies to anything stored on Google’s cloud services! I can have Brian or Marko anywhere in my pocket!

Other Apps

I also have installed Anki flash cards. These sync with my decks online so I carry my flash cards also with me! ConnectBot gives me SSH access. I hit my LAB box and then can use IRC and my GNS3/Breakout test bed. Very handy. Here you can see myself and Daniel Dib talking in #cciestudy. The screen size of IRC is skewed due to being logged onto another box viewing the same session at an odd size.

#cciestudy baby!


OTG Cable

Micro USB to USB  On the Go USB cable allows for peripheral access. USB storage, Keyboards, controllers and more. I use this slot for a serial console to USB cable. I am going to test this out more thoroughly during the week and do a write-up on that. This expansion gives the user the ability to use many peripherals that are supported by the Nexus to further enhance the experience.

My home screen


Overall this product is great. Fast, Zippy, and importantly it is reliable. I have been a happy consumer of this device. If you are looking to purchase one based on my review I would suggest reading others too. You will find my statements echoed. I see where Google has come and you can see where they are going. Also to add in closing; do not buy a 16gb as of today. There are rumours that are proof that a 32gig model has been leaked and will feature around the same price. For me size is not an issue as most of my stuff is “out there” somewhere. Whatever you do, enjoy your tablet. I have read more books in the last 3 weeks than I have in 4 months. I am loving mine.

7 thoughts on “Nexus 7 tablet

  1. I have been thinking to purchase this for long time to take meeting notes and all things you mentioned here. With iPad you can use get console for console access. I am interested for something like get console to login to devices. This comes handy when you work in data centers.

    1. You will like it. If you are an iPad person I would await the new Mini launch to see if it suits your needs. So far I have been impressed with my tablet. I left it at home today so no training videos at lunch.

  2. hi i am thinking of getting one this device too for certification video and pdf books on cisco. Am just wondering how visible are video and text without zooming.Can you read from it for a long time stuff like that.Thanks

  3. Did you ever get the USB – Serial cable working? I’m interested to try it on my own Nexus 7, would be so much better than dragging a lapptop from datacentre to datacentre.

      1. Thanks, I’ll give it ago. I was thinking it would be useful in emergency situations if I needed to check something, doing real config work I’d still prefer to use a ‘proper’ computer, but this could be very useful. According the play store the Slick 2 Terminal isn’t compatible with the Nexus 7 though.

        1. I have it now on my tablet. I believe one of the versions wasn’t compatible, not the entire up. I also have Android USB serial monitor lite.

          For SSH and telnet sessions I have ConnectBot which works well. Sorry for the late reply, I fell asleep!

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