Retrospective Review of the Nexus 7
Product reviewers often have a compressed time frame to evaluate a thing and write a comprehensive review of it, but consumers who end up buying the thing based on their recommendations end up living with the thing for years and years. Who has more insight as to whether the product was a righteous purchase? That’s right: it’s me.
The Nexus 7 came out as a relatively inexpensive but seemingly higher- quality alternative to the iPad, to largely rave reviews.
Now, a few years on, this reviewer can tell you the truth revealed by the sands of time: the Nexus 7 is a piece of shit.
The first evidence of this shittiness is the absurdly short mini-USB charging cord included with the device.
In addition to being of a length seemingly optimized to be as useless and as uncomfortable as possible, it’s also of astonishingly shoddy quality, failing within one month of service. One of the touted benefits of non-Apple products is their use of standard charging peripherals. Certainly, this was a benefit to me, as I was able to immediately conscript one of the jungle of micro-USB cables floating in the ether, no doubt about it. But you know what would even be a better benefit? NOT FUCKING FAILING IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Asus has a reputation for being the “good one” out of the two similarly named brands, Asus and Acer. If their build quality of the Nexus 7 and its peripherals are in any way representative of their output, this reputation is undeserved. The goto replacement cable ended up being one from the Amazon Kindle 3G, which, despite many faults, was surprising in a number of ways with regards to the level of unnecessary quality dumped into its components. The Kindle is an e-reader, and thus has no real value as an MP3 player, yet they have embedded in an absurdly loud and clear set of stereo speakers in the device. Similarly, their USB charging cable and outlet dongle is slim, sturdy, and of a generous length. Perhaps Amazon has taken a cue from other manufacturers since then and have decided to let their products go to shit, but at least back then, Amazon made some attempt to overdeliver.
Moving onto the device itself, the housing of the Nexus 7 has, over the years, squeezed itself right off, revealing its shoddy construction. Android itself has become sluggish with each iteration. Google understandably must make sacrifices in supporting an explosion of devices compared to Apple, but the Nexus line is their flagship, and if each iteration of Android is going to make their legacy devices suck more, they should, as a default, remember not to forcibly update you to the latest slug emulator.
In the intervening years, the tablet category in general has shrunk. Apparently people are not that enchanted with tablets in general. It would be nice for reviewers to have that foresight, but of course it is hard to tell the future from just one week with a device.