Keep­ing tabs on things

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - BY JEN­NIFER DUD­LEY- NICHOLSON

GOOGLE NEXUS 7 2013 $ 299-$ 439 play. google. com

TECH­NOL­OGY can change a lot in a year and this is true for Google’s home­brand tablet.

The Nexus 7 2013 edi­tion, is smarter in­side and out, and it’s ob­vi­ous from the mo­ment you take it out of the box.

The new edi­tion is 50g lighter than the orig­i­nal, shaves 1.8mm from its profi le and of­fers a more so­phis­ti­cated ap­pear­ance.

Im­prove­ments to the seven- inch tablet aren’t all for show, ei­ther. The new Nexus 7 runs faster, thanks to a 1.5GHz quad- core chip, 2GB RAM and An­droid 4.3 soft­ware but, per­haps best of all, its screen fea­tures the high­est res­o­lu­tion of any small tablet: full high- defi ni­tion with 323 pix­els per inch, mak­ing it sharp enough to read fi ne print.

Some An­droid quirks, such as swip­ing from the left cor­ner for no­tifi cations and the right for set­tings, take ad­just­ment but the speed, size and ad­di­tion of a 4G op­tion are worth ap­plause.

ASUS MEMO PAD HD 7 $ 199 asus. com/ au

THE sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween this new bud­get tablet and Google’s old Nexus 7 are uncanny, per­haps due to ASUS’s in­volve­ment with that tablet.

Re­gard­less of its ori­gins, the MeMO HD 7 is a ca­pa­ble unit and per­haps more slick than you should ex­pect for less than $ 200.

It ar­rives in a colour­ful, plas­tic form, with a choice of four coloured back­plates, and is com­fort­ably por­ta­ble at 302g, if not slim at 10.8mm.

Its seven- inch screen of­fers a high- defi ni­tion res­o­lu­tion and In- Plane Switch­ing tech­nol­ogy for an­gled view­ing and is easy to see, though not ra­zor sharp.

Google An­droid Jelly Bean soft­ware ( v4.2) runs on a 1.2GHz quad- core chip and 1GB RAM, de­liv­er­ing most apps but oc­ca­sion­ally slug­gish re­sponse times.

KOBO AURA $ 189.95 kobo. com

AMA­ZON isn’t the only com­pany pro­duc­ing book- friendly de­vices and Kobo can prove it.

Its lat­est cre­ation, the Kobo Aura, is the most ad­vanced to date with a touch­screen, built- in light, tiny body and plenty of in­ter­net ex­tras.

The Aura’s size is its most jar­ring fea­ture, as it has a sim­i­lar weight to a phone ( 174g), an 8.1mm profi le and just cov­ers an av­er­age hand.

It packs in a six- inch screen, how­ever, with an E Ink dis­play, 212 pix­els per inch and touch sen­si­tiv­ity. Its screen light can be trig­gered with a but­ton and bathes the screen in blue, when a lamp is not nearby, and when hooked up to wi- fi the Aura will de­liver book pur­chases, rec­om­men­da­tions, and can be used to share pas­sages on Face­book.

Its 1GHz chip de­liv­ers no­tice­able lag, but its con­ve­nient size is a ma­jor plus.

KU­RIO 7S $ 226 bigw. com. au

THE Ku­rio 7S prom­ises to be a “kid­friendly An­droid tablet” and its soft­ware is to be com­mended.

The seven- inch tablet from Moose En­ter­prise lets par­ents lock this tablet down in many ways, cre­at­ing profi les for up to eight chil­dren that spec­ify whether they can ac­cess the in­ter­net, what apps they can use and whether they should be sub­ject to a fil­ter­ing sys­tem.

Par­ents can even set up a timetable for tablet use, with dif­fer­ent hours each day.

The Ku­rio 7S also comes with a rub­ber case for pro­tec­tion and plenty of pre- in­stalled apps such as Fruit Ninja and more ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams.

Un­for­tu­nately, the de­vice is let down by slow hard­ware, an av­er­age screen and, strangely, an age min­i­mum of 14 years.

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