If there’s one thing I noticed immediately about the Nexus 7, it’s that is’s intended to be held in one hand in portrait mode, like a phone, rather than being orientation agnostic like the iPad design.
And surprise surprise, the only thing it’s shown doing in landscape on Google’s website is media related. And rightly so. There’s no good way to read in 16:10 landscape. 2-Up still gives you plenty of unused room on the sides. And “scale to fill” gives a really awkward 1-paragraph viewport.
If the 7″ iPad ever does exist, it will have a uniform bezel like it’s bigger brothers, and you’ll hold it the same way as your iPad, with one hand holding it, the thumb placed in the bezel, and your other hand operating it. I would love a 7″ iPad with 3G to offset my MacBook growing from 11″ Air to retina 15″ (whenever mine ships).
On that note, I bet the reason this doesn’t even have a 3G option is because Google wanted to make something completely out of OEM and carrier control. They want to show that they can ship something with Jellybean and update it to KeyLime Pie. That way they can steer the blame for fragmentation onto the carriers/oems where it rightfully belongs, and hopefully Android can be more like a desktop OS, that merely has general RAM, processor, and HDD requirements. You’d think drivers would be easier to come by given that there are only 3 display makers, 2 processor makers, and 2 cellular radio makers… but as an iOS user I don’t care enough to actually have this discussion.
I bet the Nexus 7 with 3G (maybe not LTE) does exist somewhere, but for political reasons Google needs something to twist carriers arms. They still don’t have the leverage Apple has to not have AT&T or Verizon stamped onto their hardware. A Nexus 7 with WiFi selling in big numbers might get them there.
Still… it’s won the race for which Android device (tablet, phone, or otherwise) I’d start with. That doesn’t mean I’m ready to make that plunge. Unlike games and Instapaper, people haven’t been clamoring for an Android version of my apps.