We Tried Google's Affordable Answer To The iPad (And It Kinda Rocks)

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r29Too many companies have learned the hard way not to mess with Apple. But nothing lasts forever, and we personally are wondering if and when consumer interest will start to wane and possibly open up a sliver of space in the market for other gadgets. So, when we took a tour of Google's NYC offices (don't worry, we have a slideshow coming out so soon!), we kept an open mind. Besides peeping their crazy cafeterias, we spent a couple hours playing around with the tech behemoth's plan to break the iPad's iron grip, a.k.a. the Nexus 7 tablet , which has all the same fun features of Apple's tablet, but retails for only $199, versus upwards of $500 for an original iPad. We watched some previews, checked out the R29 site, Instagrammed...even listened to some Frank Ocean. Our prognosis? Two thumbs up (or one, depending on your touchscreen typing prowess).

Steve Jobs, if you're listening from your big MacBook in the sky, we're not saying anything bad about Apple — we love you too much. But maybe, just maybe, this is a way for the rest of us without $500 cash lying around to enjoy the mind-numbing pleasure of playing Angry Birds on a big screen. Bonus: It fits in your pocket, which means we don't have to open our bag when we wanna do a little light subway reading (it does have the world’s largest ebook store, after all). Has anyone out there tried this, or any other iPad alternatives? Inquiring minds would like to know if they're worth the hype. We think this one is.

Nexus 7, $199, available at Google Play.

Photo: Courtesy of Google.