Most helpful positive review
93 of 102 people found the following review helpful
Excellent alternative to Kindle Fire
on January 14, 2012
With the Next7 Premium, Nextbook has hit its stride in tablets. This model has Android 2.3, which sets it apart from earlier Android 2.1 models, and that is probably the biggest difference. In addition to on-screen navigation buttons, there are touch buttons externally (Search, Home, Settings, Return) which make navigation much easier in case the on-screen display doesn't show the navigation buttons.
It has a (RK2918 chipset) A8 Cortex 1Ghz processor with 256Mb RAM, and Android is Linux, of course, and therefore runs quite quickly (almost twice as fast as the earlier Next6 model, which I also had).
The 7" inch color TFT capacitive touch screen (i.e. not pressure activated) is one of the nicest on any tablet, and it is surprising to find it on an inexpensive model like this. It has built-in WiFi (but no 3G/4G or Bluetooth) that works instantly with one touch (and works flawlessly), scanning and recognizing APs quickly. I have never had a problem connecting, even while traveling.
There is built-in 4 Gb Flash memory, and an SD card slot that can accommodate a 32 Gb card. It has a micro-USB port, and when plugged into a computer is recognized as an external drive (allowing easy file exchange). I share the SD card between my MP3 player and my Nextbook, and I have no problem moving the SD card back and forth between the two (i.e. the format is the same for both).
There are built-in speakers (and a standard-size earphone jack) but no camera and no mic. Although Skype runs well on this unit, without cam and mic it doesn't make any sense to do so. (I have not tried to set up an external webcam/mic through the USB port, but that probably requires advanced "root" level hacking to accomplish driver installation).
A built-in G-Sensor (gyroscope) orients the screen depending on how the device is held; this behavior is adjustable/preventable in the settings.
It has a very nice Browser included (and Flash 11.0 is pre-installed and works great), and an E-mail app (which I love) that is easy to set up with both POP and IMAP servers. The music player is great, as is the Photo/Slideshow viewer. The superb Video player automatically resizes videos (for both 16:9 and 4:3 viewing) and the videos are crystal-clear. It plays my .AVI videos (with DivX/Xvid video encoding and MP3/AC3 audio encoding), my .MP4 videos (with AVC video and AAC audio), my .M4V videos (with AVC video and MP4A audio), my .MKV videos (including with .srt subtitle files!), and my .FLV (Flash) videos. (The only format it won't play is .WMV video.) Volume buttons are always readily accessible, too (the lack of which irritated me on earlier tablets). The eBook reader reads both ePub (which looks the best on this tablet) and PDF files, as well as .txt files. The default font size is just right for my eyes and is slightly larger than an average paperback. The screen brightness is adjustable, and I read books routinely on this unit (which is one of the reasons I originally got it).
The desktop is 5 screens wide (only the middle screen is shown by default -- gestures are used to slide to the other screens) so that I can add as many widgets and shortcut icons to the desktop as desired. There are several widgets pre-configured and available (such as the Weather/time widget, a Photo widget, the default Google Search widget, and the wallpaper background widget (for photo and "Live" (i.e. animated) wallpapers).
This device is not recognized by the official Google Android Market, so I have gotten additional apps from the Amazon Android App market, the pre-installed SlideME/SAM market, and the open source F-Droid.org repository.
What did I add to make my laptop obsolete?
From Amazon Android App marketplace: the Netflix app (works very well on this device); the Sky.FM Internet Radio app, the Winamp/Shoutcast Internet Radio app, the Smart App Protector (allows passwords to be required when starting up selected apps), WebLiveWallpaper (allows random display of images from the Internet), and a few games (yeah, the usual, like AngryBirds and Words Free).
From F-Droid.org: the OsmAnd+ app (Open Street Maps and navigation, which can be used offline in place of Google Maps or MapQuest); the aCal Calendar app (which plays well with my CalDAV and ics calendars on the web); the Contact Owner app (which allows me to put a "If Found: Call me" type of message on the lock screen); and other games like FrozenBubble and JewelLust.
The browser also automatically allows access to my WebDAV folders on the web, so I can access files on my home WebDAV server. (Two browsers, Explorer, and Astro are also pre-installed, but neither work well with WebDAV folders. Of the two, Explorer has a nicer UI; I also don't like Astro because it has ads.)
I therefore no longer travel with my laptop -- this tablet is now suitable for me and, unlike larger tablets, fits in my pocket (which for me is very important). This tablet is comparable in every way to the much more expensive Kindle Fire and I can't recommend it highly enough!
11 month update: I still use this tablet daily 11 months after purchasing it and it is my main mobile device. I still love it. The battery life remains good and the screen excellent. It has become one of my main business devices (I travel for a living and do a lot of business through browser-based cloud systems, for which this device is just fine). I use OSM maps on it for my (offline) driving navigation, and that has been pretty satisfactory (though there is no GPS since there is no 3G/4G). I don't miss the camera, or Skype, or a microphone (I do have a regular phone, after all). I use it (as do my kids) for Netflix every day, and watch movies and streaming Internet Radio on it constantly. I also use it as a portable storage device for files, and since I have AndFTP on it, can access files on my home FTP server and can then transfer the files to remote customers that way as well (using a mini USB/USB cord I carry with me).
This unit has Android 2.3, which does not have "USB host mode", so that I cannot attach an external keyboard through the micro-USB port (which requires that mode). That is my biggest complaint with this unit. To be able to connect an external keyboard, Android 4.0 (which has "USB host mode") is required, as comes with later models (usually the S-series).