November 01, 2013

Google Nexus 7 tablet as it relates to vegan blogging | Happy World Vegan Day | Giveaway


Does anyone remember way back in 2009 when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) started cracking down on bloggers because of all the products and money they were 'raking in'? I did a post about a Nasoya product that I had received for free, and had incorporated into a banana cream pie. In my review I included a sarcastic riff about the FTC inquiries as they related to my meager freebie. I wrote:
"The June 22 edition of our local morning paper had a front page headline blaring, "Bloggers' Freebies are Under Scrutiny." Subhead: "The Federal Trade Commission is expected to issue guidelines for online consumer reviews, which can be tainted by perks." Gasp. The article goes on to describe how bloggers accept "free laptops, trips to Europe, $500 gift cards or even thousands of dollars for a 200-word post." Then it describes how a blogger from New Hartford, N.Y. who earns up to $800 per month as well as assorted gifts from her five blogs, now worries that even an innocent review of a product she purchased herself could bring an inquiry if the FTC gets involved in bloggers' lives. Does this free product thing sound familiar? I have to admit I didn't realize some bloggers were cashing in to this extent. Anyway, in anticipation of the proposed FTC scrutiny for every little review we bloggers do, I just want to come clean and say that although Nasoya gave me thousands of dollars, a free laptop, a free trip to Hawaii, a Vitamix and a new car, in addition to three coupons for their product, my review is totally honest and aboveboard. I'm stating only what I truly believe to be truly true. And that's the truth."

I don't know about you, but I 'rake in' a few cookbooks and a couple of product samples a year, and review them without compensation. So, when I was contacted by Staples representative, Britt, and offered a Google Nexus 7 tablet for me, and a Moleskine Evernote Notebook for one of my readers, I was stricken. This is a food blog. How would I explain this? My sarcastic youngest son suggested I should start a second blog called, 'Andrea's Easy Vegan Cooking Electronic Reviews.' Hahaha. Okay, so it's not a free cruise or thousands of dollars of free goods, or compensation for the review, but still. An electronic tablet is not exactly in the same category as a cookbook or a bag of chips.


Britt had suggested that the tablet would be handy for organizing recipes and reading blogs, and the more I thought about it, the more I started thinking how handy it would be to be able to take the tablet into the kitchen for reading blog recipes. And maybe I would finally start using the e-cookbooks I've been accumulating. I have a large iMac that sits on my desk. It's certainly not portable, and printing recipes has become so unwieldy, I don't want to do it anymore. I have thick stacks of recipes, and I can never find the one I want. I don't own a laptop, and had never used a tablet. Getting one to test was sounding more and more appealing. I said OK. I have to admit I was a little stoked that Staples had chosen a vegan blogger to test the Nexus 7. Seriously.


I've had it a week, and though I'm sure I've still got a lot to learn, in the short time I've owned it I've enjoyed using it immensely. I kind of love it. I uploaded all my e-cookbooks, and it's great to be able to look up recipes right in the kitchen. The tablet is approximately 4-1/2-inches by 8-inches, and the screen colors are bright and gorgeous. It's so easy to read, and the image size adjusts in a flash if I want it larger or smaller.

I love being able to read blogs — or facebook, e-mail, etc. — wherever I want — like in the living room in front of the fire, for instance. It's so much easier to read than my phone. (I never read blogs on the phone.) I can take it with me when I travel, and keep up to date. It's so easy to leave comments on blogs and fb, too. I've even left comments and sent e-mails using the voice feature. I speak, and the tablet types it out. (I wouldn't do this in public, of course.)

I can watch movies, listen to music, take photos, navigate, search the Internet. I'm about to start testing Ethiopian recipes for Kittee-Bee Berns' upcoming cookbook, so I asked Google where I could find gluten-free injera. It answered, "Here is a list of nearby places where you can find gluten-free injera." When I search for directions to a specific location, I love how big the map is compared to my phone, and how easy it is to read.


This is my first Android product after using only Apple computers and phones, and my first experience with a tablet. I've had a couple of learning curve incidents, but nothing too serious — it's pretty easy to figure out, though I must say that Google is not very helpful in the directions department. I've had to go on user forums to find the answers to my questions. I can't compare the nexus 7 to an iPad mini, because I haven't used an iPad, but I can tell you the Nexus is a lot less expensive. So far, the Nexus has been a real pleasure to use, and I'm very happy to have it.

Do you use a tablet? A Nexus 7? An iPad? How do you use it? I'm looking for more ideas for ways to make the tablet even more useful. And fun.

Along with my tablet, I received an offer to give away a Moleskine Evernote Notebook to one of my readers. I believe it works in conjunction with the Evernote app (which is a free organizer app for phone, tablet or computer) to turn hand-written notes and hand-drawn illustrations into electronic files. If you would like to have one, please write 'notebook' at the end of your comment. Notice, this is not an electronic tablet like mine. It is an Moleskine Evernote Notebook. And, as always, be sure your name links to an e-mail address so I can contact you if you win. I hate eliminating names because I can't reach you. The giveaway will end at midnight Nov. 9.

Happy World Vegan Day! Here's an article with lots of suggestions for how to celebrate World Vegan Day — and World Vegan Month.

Full disclosure: I received a free Google Nexus 7 tablet for review. I agreed to write about 600 words. I received no other personal compensation. All opinions are my own.

55 comments:

  1. Well that's a pretty unique and fun freebie! So awesome! I have one of the original Kindles and it's very temperamental. It does not like to play by the rules.
    I've not heard of the Evernote stuff; it sounds like something out of Iron-Man. Pretty cool! I would LOVE to test the software with my insanely terrible handwriting. Haha
    notebook

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    1. Probably the most fun freebie I've ever received. I hate to be greedy, but I kind of want to test the Evernote Notebook, too. My son told me I should just go buy one.

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  2. Check you out! That's much more exciting swag than a sample of a new kind of popcorn or protein drink. It sounds like you're really enjoying it! notebook

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    1. Certainly a different category of swag — not quite a Vitamix, but pretty cool. :) And yes, I'm enjoying it.

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  3. I love using Evernote in the kitchen - I can 'clip' recipes from blogs and other websites, then search by ingredient to find something to cook and pull up the recipe in my Evernote cookbook to use it in the kitchen. I mostly use it on my phone (which is an android) but I have an iPad app as well - I would highly recommend trying it out! Notebook.

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    1. Evernote is certainly intriguing. I have the app on my phone but have never used it. Everything you've described sounds like something I want to learn more about. Thanks for the info.!

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  4. We don't have a tablet but have considered getting an iPad. They seem so convenient for traveling. That's really cool that they chose a vegan blogger to test their tablet! I'm glad you're enjoying it. :)

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    1. I can see all sorts of potential for the tablet. My husband has an iPad and loves it, but I've never used it for some reason.

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  5. Lucky you! I have a Nexus 7 and love it. ChefTap is my favourite app for storing the recipes I want to earmark from online sources. I love that it is free, too. :)

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    1. Thanks for the tip. Evernote is also free and shares info across platforms, so I can link between my iMac, iPhone and Android tablet. I've been adding recipes to it. I'm going to check out ChefTap next.

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  6. Holy cow Andrea! That is an awesome freebie! I have wanted a notebook for a while now, but I don't have one. I am glad you like yours!
    Notebook

    Courtney

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    1. The tablet is definitely a different type of freebie than I'm used to, and I like it a lot.

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  7. this is magic NOTEBOOK :)

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    1. We all need a little magic sometimes. :)

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  8. Both are superfun toys to play with...that Nexus is so small and has 2 cameras...crazycoolness! I have to admit the Moleskine notebook wildly spins my spurs just cuz I'm an obsessive doodler and have often longed for a quick easy way to computerfy my scribblings. Then maybe turn them into cards and books and t-shirts and make zillions of dollars, justifying all the time I spend doodling. So yeah, I love the notebook. :)

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    1. I'm pretty intrigued by the notebook, too. I have an electronic tablet that I can draw on with a stylus, but it never feels quite right to me — I prefer pen on paper.

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  9. I think accepting product testing for un-food related things can make sense - you were able to find the connection - I applaud your decision. If you didn't find a connection, that would be a different thing. I'm interested in the notebook.

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    1. It took me a little time to wrap my head around it, but once I did, I couldn't say no.

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  10. I love your earlier riff! Right now I've only gotten a handful of free stuff. I get emails for a lot of things but I only respond to things that sound like I would truly like them because I don't want to be in a weird position that I probably don't have to explain to you because you're a blogger :-) I would have been all over this awesome gift! To me the connection to vegan and vegan food is obvious! I frequently use my ipad for the reasons you mention. It seems especially relevant now with so many vegan bloggers coming out with great ebooks. I also prop mine up when I'm cooking to read recipes AND most importantly to listen to music when I'm in the kitchen.

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    1. Yes, I know the weird position you mentioned. I get multiple offers every day but accept very few — only ones I'm really interested in and have time to review. 'm going to use the tablet to read recipes in my kitchen today — can't wait!

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  11. Lucky you! I've only gotten the usual cookbooks and food stuff to review. I'm an Apple person myself but the Nexus seems like a cool tablet. I see you checked out my mummy carrot dogs on there. :-) notebook

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    1. I'm an Apple person, too, but I'm coping nicely. :) I was hoping you'd stop by and notice the carrot dogs in my photo!

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  12. I have an iPad mini and love it! Notebook

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    1. Ken has an iPad and loves it, and I'm pretty happy with my Nexus 7. I'm pretty intrigued by the Notebook, too. I've just started using the Evernote app.

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  13. what a handy dandy item. hahaha. and I remember the Nasoya days, myself. Nasoya coupons coming out of the yin yang, and 2 xxl shirts I turned into dusters. I am one lucky blogger.

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    1. Uh oh. I think I was supposed to review some items from Nasoya and never got to it. It was all connected with your blog if I recall.

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    2. yes, I am the culprit.

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    3. If I find my items I'll send them to you. :)

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  14. I've never had one of these! Thanks for the giveaway. ammauceri@gmail.com notebook

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  15. we're looking at getting a tablet soon for me to use mostly and i'm so intimidated but really looking forward to it also
    notebook
    pryfamily5@gmail.com

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    1. It's not hard to use, and very handy.

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  16. hottdeanne@hotmail.com11/4/13, 3:49 AM

    I would use mine to share and network animals in need of homes. I would also use it to more easily organize my vegan recipes and sites. NOTEBOOK hottdeanne@hotmail.com

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  17. That is an awesome freebie! And, like you said, awesome that they wanted to give it to a vegan blogger!

    I think a lot of the issue that comes up with bloggers' product reviews is that there is a feeling that nothing is genuine or that it's forced to be positive. And that is sometimes true; some bloggers just aren't able to talk about a product in a natural, honest way or in a way that fits in with the voice/style their readers have come to expect. But I really appreciated your review here because you described how you actually put the product to use and how it affects you. This is information that your readers are interested in! So thank you :)
    Also I have not heard of the notebook thing but it sounds like a lot of fun so I'm definitely entering to win that! notebook
    acookinthemakingblog at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for your remarks. I like to give honest reviews because I don't want to mislead anyone. I'd never heard of the notebook either, but I have been using the free evernote app a lot since I got the tablet, and it's been really helpful.

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  18. It really IS wonderful that a vegan blogger was offered this opportunity: congrats and I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! I have the Evernote app on my iPhone but haven't used it yet; the notebook sounds pretty awesome, so I think I should start making better use of the app. Let's face it: my simple lined-page "notes" app isn't doing it for me anymore. notebook

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    1. I've been using the evernote app like crazy in conjunction with the Nexus to bring recipes into my kitchen for the Ethiopian testing. You can install a little thingy on your toolbar and use it to select and copy Web pages to the app. I've got all the recipes I want to test right in front of me. So cool.

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  19. That is so cool! What an awesome tablet. I've been thinking about buying one, but there are always so many things that I need before I can splurge on a tablet.

    I find it helpful when bloggers that I know and trust review a product that I might be interested in. You never know when someone might be saying that they liked a product only because they got it as a freebie, but when it's one of the bloggers in my circle of trust - I know they're always telling me the truth! :)

    Enjoy your new tablet! (sounds like you already are!)

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    1. I probably wouldn't have bought one but now that I have it I don't want to be without it. Thanks for your confidence in my honesty — I do tend to be honest — it's a Libra thing.

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  20. I really do like Evernote, just for organising general work stuff, as well as recipe clippings! Glad you enjoyed the Nexus!

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    1. I've had the evernote app for ages but just started using it. It's a pretty cool way to save recipes.

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  21. I love moleskine notebooks - and combining them with Evernote would be perfect for class notes! Notebook.

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    1. I have to find out more about the notebooks — they sound like something I would really like.

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  22. How cool! And just a few weeks ago, you were jealous that I got some booze to review. :P

    I have an iPad and use it a lot when I'm cooking and developing recipes. It's so much easier than running to my laptop on the table after each step!

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    1. Now that you mention it, a nice cocktail by the fire while I read blogs on my tablet would be nice. :)

      You're so right. Having the tablet on the kitchen counter has made a big difference.

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  23. That is pretty cool they chose a vegan blogger to test their product! Congrats to you, it sounds like a fun gadget to play with. I have a first generation iPad and to be honest I barely use the thing and when I do it's just as an eReader. I have a laptop so that's what I use for pretty much all my online needs. Notebook.

    P.S. the comment form didn't ask for an email, but I think you have mine :D

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    1. I don't have a laptop so the tablet is coming in very handy as a portable device. I haven't tried it yet as an e-reader but I might. Yes, I know how to find you. :)

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  24. I'd love to win the notebook!

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    1. Maybe the random number generator will pick you. You never know!

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  25. Tablets are such a fun addition to a home, for me specially because they function as books,blogs..and notebooks :).What I love about evernote is that its very Mac friendly and flexible to how you choose to collect info. Chorme also has great evernote apps that make it easy to surf and store as you go. Notebook!

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    1. Something I really like about evernote is when you save a Web page, all the links remain as working links!

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    2. Totally! Also its nice to find that increasingly more websites have an Evernote icon to connect to :)

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  26. Evernote is supposed to be awesome! And what a fun new toy!!!
    Would love to win :)
    Ttrockwood@yahoo.com
    Ttrockwood

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  27. Awesome tablet! I saw ChowVegan's awesome wrapped hot dog buns, too :) look so tasty!

    ReplyDelete

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