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?

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