For some time now, I’d been toying with moving on from my Google Nexus 7 2012 edition. Partly it was the weight: at 340 grams, the Nexus 7 is a pretty porky beast for its size. Also, I wanted a cheap and cheerful tablet that I could sling in my pocket and not worry about, ready for use when I wanted to write something. The Nexus 7 was just a trifle too unwieldy for that, and costly.
For a long time, I toyed with getting a Kindle Fire HD 6. Price was a big point in its favour, of course, as was Juli Monroe’s positive evaluation. But I didn’t fancy being confined by the Amazon Fire OS and the Kindle ecosystem, without access to the Google Play Store. And until a short time ago, there was no root exploit available to root the Fire HD 6 and allow installation of non-standard mods. Also, I realised that the Fire HD 6 also had a rep for being weighty for its size, at 290 grams, and critically, that there were full Android tablets with around the same dimensions, especially width (important for pockets), but with full 7″ screens, and at around the same price point.
I was tempted by the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, which at 108 mm wide, was just 4 mm wider than the Fire HD 6. It was also about twice the price of the Kindle device, though, which put paid to the cheap and cheerful idea. However, I did find the Lenovo A7-10, which although it had a slightly lower-resolution screen a 600 x 1024 pixels versus the Samsung’s 800 x 1280 pixels, and a faster chip, at 1.3 GHz. And it was about the same price as the Fire HD 6, just 2 mm wider at 105 mm wide, slightly lighter at 269 grams, running Android 4.4 Kit Kat with a microSD card slot for storage expansion, unlike the Kindle device or the Nexus 7. So I went for it. And so far, it’s been a winner: zippy performance, nice bright display, and an upgrade to Android 5 Lollipop due in 3Q2015. And I don’t have to slouch any more. Not so much, anyway.