I've been giving my new Nexus 7 a good, hard workout. I'm still happy with it, but I'll be taking a long look at the next-generation iPad mini -- whenever that comes out.
The big test came Monday, when I attended a conference across town. As has been my habit since soon after I got the original Nexus 7 a year ago, I left my laptop at home. I was confident that I could do my work on the Nexus 7. And I was right. Good thing, too -- the conference was a bust, and I spent five hours working on the Nexus 7 in the hotel common area.
I got a lot of work done just using the Nexus 7. I read and responded to a ton of email. I posted a dozen comments on the Internet Evolution message boards. I edited and posted an article, researched a couple more, and updated social media. It was the longest time I've spent working on a tablet and the most intense work I've done on one, but the Nexus 7 stood up to the job. It took everything I could throw at it.
I did it all without touching my Bluetooth keyboard. Thumb typing worked fine. The stock Android keyboard does a great job speeding me up by anticipating what I will type.
Now here are some additional impressions after 10 days of using the Nexus 7.
Power and stability
Battery life was disappointing. Google boasts up to nine hours of battery life. Those are big words: "Up to." I found the battery in the red zone after my five hours of use. AllThingsD's Katherine Boehret's more rigorous test clocked the Nexus 7's battery at six hours, compared with more than 10 hours for the first Nexus 7 and the iPad mini.
I don't expect mobile devices to last a full day with hard use. I carry spare batteries with me when I'm out of the office. Even the original Nexus 7 used to run out of gas before I did; I carry the mophie juice pack powerstation to get me through the day.
Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation
Seen here with iPhone 5.
As for stability, I had Chrome crash once and Evernote crash twice while using the Nexus 7. I didn't lose any work or a significant amount of time.