What can I say, life happened 🙂 . A lot has been happening in tech as always. The new and exciting gizmo of the moment has to be the Nexus 7 tablet with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, then there’s Mac OS 10.8 Mountain Lion released today. Having tried these out, there are a few thoughts I have on them.

Nexus 7

The Nexus 7 doesn’t really break new ground. Yes, it is the first 7 inch tablet with a quad core processor yada yada, but the most important feature it has is wide availability. The Kindle Fire was the first powerful-but-easy-on-the-wallet 7 inch tablet. Problem was and still is – you can only get one in the US. Enter the Nexus 7. Boom.

It’s widely available, powerful and super affordable. The only other company that has the resources and experience to pull a hat-trick like that is Apple. Maybe that’s why the rumors of a 7.8 inch iPad are starting to brew.

Back to the Nexus 7. I wasn’t really sure I was a fan of the 7 inch form factor until I tried it out. I love the iPad but at times I think it’s just too big to take everywhere with me. The Nexus 7 is just right. It’s light and just portable enough to go everywhere with. It doesn’t get in the way. It is the perfect balance between mobile phone and tablet.

It’s not without flaws though. There are issues with the display that people are reporting: the screen is lifting off the unit on the left side, dead pixels, over saturated images etc. On the features side, it lacks a micro SD slot – a trend that seems to be getting more common with mobile devices. The iPhone is to blame, pity the HTC One X had to follow suit. Despite these petty issues, it costs about half the price of the low end iPad so… hey,16 gig will suffice.

Overall, great device at a reasonable price. Jelly Bean is also a great update to ICS. It doesn’t add a whole lot in terms of features but it adds spit and polish to a solid Android OS. I will be looking forward to the JB update HTC promised on my One X.

Mountain Lion

Mac OS 10.8 is a bigger shift to iOS than Lion (10.7) was. It’s bolder and more refined than its predecessor. There are more than 200 new features but the ones I have actually noticed without digging in are few.
Visually it looks and feels about the same. There’s a new notification centre icon in the top right corner where spotlight used to be. The dock has lost its glossy reflections aaand that’s about it. It has a new dictation feature, a bunch of new apps from iOS, notifications and improved performance. At $US20 there’s no reason not to love the update. It make a couple of commercial apps like Growl notifications redundant. Awesome, unless you’d already paid for them 🙂

Well that’s all for now, tune in next year on some random day when some random things happen in tech and I have time to write about them!

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