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Pointed Development

20 Days With the Google Nexus 10

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It’s pretty great. I suck at virtual keyboards.

UPS delivered the Google Nexus 10 on November 16th, 2012. So sheltering was I of my new toy that I managed to keep the protective plastic around the device for 15 days until I finally purchased a cover, one designed for the Samsung Note (the cover works perfectly, by the way, despite the slightly smaller formfactor of the Nexus 10).

My primary intention for the Nexus 10 has always been to use it as a device to connect to my development machine, with a secondary goal of writing.

After 20 days, the Nexus 10 has proven it can handle both tasks admirably well. However, without a physical keyboard or mouse, it’s much better at general “research.”

Yes, the screen is incredible. With 2560×1600 at 300 dpi, video and images look crisp and clear and beautiful. Similarly, connecting to my remote development box through VNC over PocketCloud is a pleasant experience.

I like it.

Unfortunately, the worst part about connecting to a remote machine is the virtual keyboard. I expected this, but it’s worse than I imagined: The typing experience is horrendous. I plan on acquiring a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse sometime in the near future which should substantially improve remote development. Yes, with a hardware keyboard and mouse, it’s an Android-based laptop, but I’ll only utilize the hardware keyboard and mouse while at home when I’m unable to physically sit in front of my desktop. That’s my use case, anyway.

And it’s a trade off I’m willing to make in exchange for the extreme portability and simplicity of the device as a whole.

The fact that I can carry around a very slim, very elegant, ultra-high resolution device while I’m at work, at lunch or otherwise away from house is the real charm of the Nexus 10. I enjoy sitting at various restaurants and jotting down blog post ideas, application thoughts or even code snippets into Evernote or WordPress for Android.

For this, the virtual keyboard is perfect. However, I ended up replacing the default Android keyboard with Swiftkey and though it took some adjustment on my part, I now really appreciate the split-key mode and predictive text capabilities.

Overall, the device is great. I’ve had some weird issues with time drift during sleep (a bug report has been filed), and I suspect the issue will go away during a future update.

It meets my needs, it’s fast, it’s beautiful. A . Good job, Google/Samsung.

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