Returning to the back of the Nexus 7 you’ll find the word “nexus” embossed across its back in large letters, which is joined by an “asus” stamp at the bottom of the device. The camera is located in the top left corner that is flanked by a speaker and headphone jack. The bottom of the device includes another speaker (and mic) and a microUSB port.
Turning to the right edge of the Nexus’ reveals the the lock/power and volume buttons. I found these to be the most painstaking of the Nexus’s design as it’s difficult to discern between what is volume and what is the lock button. In other words, I often found myself locking my device mid-YouTube video instead of increasing or decreasing the volume. As you can imagine, this can be frustrating and happened enough that it made me ask why they didn’t place the lock button on the top or the other side, much like the Nexus4’s setup.
In the hand the Nexus 7 feels right at home. The 16:9 form factor makes one hand operation possible for even those with less than man hands. This means reading a book or a magazine isn’t a two handed affair, though I wouldn’t go as far as to say one handed operation is all that viable. Nevertheless, once the page or video is dialed in, you can relax one of your mitts and take in the Nexus 7’s amazing screen, which I’ll get to in sec. Surprisingly, the black rubber doesn’t mar all that easily, if at all. However, I’ve been pretty careful with my Nexus 7, and I’ve already got a nick in the plastic bevel – I can’t help but wonder if it came like that. But either way this should serve as a cautionary tale that that is the most fragile part at least in terms of dings.
Rock steady and rock solid thanks to the 7.02” 1920×1200 IPS display that boasts 323ppi. No other 7-inch tablet has a display of this resolution (update: save for the just announced Amazon Kindle HDX). I won’t go as far as to say quality, since perception is reality, and telling you that the Nexus 7 kills all others would be a gross overstatement. Nevertheless, color saturation and temperature are on point, and the viewing angle of the IPS panel is wide as the next.
In direct sunlight the Nexus 7’s display is viewable without a shred of doubt. Though, and it goes with out saying, you’ll need to crank the brightness and turn off the auto function. Fortunately, unlike some other Android devices, it doesn’t suffer from the auto brightness variance, which is to say the Nexus 7’s screen doesn’t wildly increase or decrease in brightness like some other devices, such as Samsung’s Galaxy S4.
Touch responsive, while not as boosted as the GS4 is down right accurate and provides just the responsiveness to make me feel at home. More importantly, I can’t detect any difference in accuracy over any other device, including Apple, though Jordan said there is a slight jitteriness when pinching to zoom compared to Apple devices. Hardly an issue for me, probably because I don’t know what I’m missing.