The 7-inch tablet has been somewhat of a read-headed stepchild in the mobile computing world. Samsung had the 7-inch Galaxy Tab a few years ago and there have been a series of 7-inch also-ran’s from other manufacturers; Well known and less so. Of course, there are the Kindle Fire and the B&N Nook that have gained a fair amount of popularity though both are reading-oriented and focused on their respective corporate eco-systems. The popularity of these devices has been, overall, somewhat limited simply because they are not iPads.

Indeed, the late Steve Jobs looked down his bespectacled nose at the 7-inch form-factor  pronouncing them unworthy and unable to provide the full iPad experience. In the post-Jobs world, there have been a series of rumours that Apple has a 7-inch iPad in the works but, so far, none of these rumours have borne fruit. Perhaps the Nexus 7 will serve to help 7-inch tablets really take hold . . . even though it is not an iPad.

On my recent road trip to Albany, NY I took along my 10-inch HP TouchPad. It was great to have this device with me but it required me to use, for an extended period of time, a gear-bag larger than I’m used to carrying. The bag was great for toting the tablet but it’s bulk made it a bit impractical for anything else. A 7-inch tablet would have fit nicely into my standard gear-bag.

For more on Google’s Nexus 7, read this article on ZDNet. There is also a slide show containing pictures of the Nexus 7 and screen shots of the Android “Jelly Bean” OS.

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