I scored a 129 dollar official refurb of the latest generation of the Google Nexus 7 off eBay. Granted, it’s probably about to be refreshed any day now, but it’s still a full featured tablet and doesn’t seem to be in danger of going obsolete any time soon.
I spent a pretty long time trying to get the thing to work today because the wifi connectivity on it was absolutely horrible. However, the nature of the problem didn’t seem to be hardware related. I eventually narrowed it down to an incompatibility with the Airport Extreme in WPA2 Personal (aka not mixed) security mode. Crazy. I’ve now read a lot about Nexus 7 wifi problems in the past few hours, but none of the feedback was especially specific in what would solve the problem. This seems like a rather huge bug to be solely WPA2 related, but I have no way of verifying that right now.
Otherwise, the tablet is obviously a steal at 129. The screen is good quality and “retina”. I’m not impressed with the incompatibility with one of the most popular routers/access points on the market, but beyond that, it seems like it does everything one would normally want out of a tablet. It’s adequate at web surfing, but the lack of horizontal size means you really start to struggle with getting web pages large enough in a vertical orientation. As a device for wifi surveying, I think it will do the trick, but the iPad is so far clearly a superior device, even if it is significantly more expensive.
Update: My Nexus 7 is behaving well right now and I think it ended up being some sort of bug with Bonjour Sleep Proxy functionality that was being served off one of my Airport Extreme’s. Once I rebooted that Airport, the Nexus began connecting to the wi-fi correctly.