Asus: There’s no rear-facing camera on the Nexus 7 to keep the price down

July 20, 2012
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Google’s newly unveiled Nexus 7 has been making the headlines on our website for some weeks now, and, while the tab has just started to ship, it’s very likely that we will be talking about it for some time to come.

We’ve had a very interesting take on Nexus 7’s effect on the Android tablet market, we’ve updated you several times on when to expect the tablet to come your way, and we’ve even hit you with a cool unboxing video. Now it’s time to turn our attention to a very interesting official statement from Asus, which clarifies the reasons behind an important missing feature on the Nexus 7.

Yes, we are talking about the rear-facing camera, which has become a rather standard feature for Android tablets in the past couple of years, but is nowhere to be found on the Nexus 7. And, while we pretty much suspected why Asus and Google chose not to slap a shooter on the back of the new tablet, we now have some official confirmation on the matter.

According to a quick Q&A session from Asus about the Nexus 7, “adding a high quality rear facing camera will increase the price point and many users would not have a use for it”. Also, “adding a lower quality rear facing camera would compromise on the overall user experience so the decision was not to include a camera therefore keeping the price down and user experience extremely high.”

There you have it, folks, what we knew from the get-go has now been confirmed by Asus. There’s no high quality rear-facing camera on the Nexus 7, because its inclusion would have affected the Nexus’ strongest selling point – its pricing.

As for the decision to forgo a lower quality camera, I’m not sure it would have compromised the “overall user experience”. I mean, it’s not like a poor camera would have affected the smooth running of Jelly Bean in any other area, is it? Also, there are a couple of practical uses, even for a low-quality rear-facing camera, other than actually taking photos (barcode scanning, for example).

All in all, however, I think that this entire rear-facing camera problem comes down to a matter of opinion and personal taste for users. I for one don’t use barcode scanning and very rarely take photos with my tablet’s camera, so this Nexus 7 “inconvenience” doesn’t put me off in the least. Other users, though, might have a problem with that, no matter how Asus is trying to explain it.

What side are you guys on? Is the lack of a rear-facing camera on the Nexus 7 a deal-breaker for you, or are you actually happier with the tablet as it is?

Comments

  • jafa

    I think the problem is that the number of people will ultimately want to use their devices for augmented reality apps. I don’t mention such trivial issue as taking a photo of documents to make own annotations…

  • MasterMuffin

    I don’t mind if it has rear camera or not :)

  • rj

    This is not such an important thing to have on a tablet even when you don’t own an external camera. I believe tablets should be primarily used to transport data and view on the go, notes, reports, entertainment, movies, pictures, etc. The general idea of the tablet is not to hold a 7 or 10 inch screen in the air and take pictures which frankly I think looks retarded. For most people, cameras are the standard on any device if its implemented right but, to put that feature on a tablet is overkill I believe.

  • Perry Ahern

    “I’m not sure it would have compromised the “overall user experience”. I mean, it’s not like a poor camera would have affected the smooth running of Jelly Bean in any other area, is it?”

    That’s not what he’s talking about. He’s saying a cheap camera in a higher quality device like the Nexus 7 would have cheapened the unit and resulted in complaints from users and the press about the cheap camera being the worst part of the device. The camera would become the N7′s Achilles’ heel in a way.

  • geeknik

    I don’t care about the camera. I am disappointed at no haptic feedback though…

  • Tanner

    I like it better without the rear facing camera myself. I have a phone for that. No use taking out a tablet to snap a picture.

  • http://twitter.com/_r0del_ Rodel Zafra

    no front-facing camera also???

  • RiverCitySlim

    I am happy there is a good tablet out there without a rear facing camera. It is a feature I don’t need and I don’t want to pay extra for something I won’t use.

  • http://www.facebook.com/r.daneel02 Arvind Ramani

    bigger issues are absence of 3g/4g lte , micro sd expansion slot… and usb otg….back camera and mini hdmi arnt deal breakers….

  • Unbubba

    I need a rear facing camera to file documents, receipts, etc to evernote. It’s a poor decision to omit it.

  • Terrick

    Well these people who say that they could care less about the camera must be or at least sound like first time users of any device or even the internet! You can use your camera on trips, at events, at sporting events, graduation and etc……you can use the camera to do video phone calls even though the tablet has no phone service! You can make live video blogs! Suppose you accidentally leave your phone at home or tempararily leave your lose your phone, then you have a video phone in its place! Make video on a bigger device away from home for instant upload to youtube and facebook without lugging that big laptop around (you can’t haul that big desktop with you!) Better to have a camera if you need it than none! Wish it had an HDMI port to watch movies and etc on your HDtv if you dont have internet access at home…i dont (for netflix)

  • Terrick

    Well in reaponse to one post about they didnt want to add a cheap camera on a good device? No one is complainning about the cheap cameras on the iPad 2?