Google Nexus 7 Jelly Bean tablet design includes back camera slot

by: Chris SmithJuly 30, 2012

Image Credit: iFixit

A few days ago we showed the response Asus gave when asked why the Nexus 7 tablet that it created together with Google – apparently the device would have been a little more expensive with a back camera on board.

Therefore, the final Nexus 7 design offers only a front-facing camera with support for video chatting. The lack of a rear shooter has been mildly criticized by some users that for some reason want to take pictures with a tablet, no matter how big such a device is.


A recent xda-developers unboxing and teardown of the Nexus 7 reveals various things about the first ever Jelly Bean tablet and focuses on a certain detail about the internal components of the device that previous teardowns did not mention.

Apparently, the Nexus 7 was initially designed to sport a rear camera. The motherboard has space for a camera module, which was left unused, probably to cut costs, just as Asus explained earlier. The Nexus 7 uses apparently the same design of the Asus MeMo 370t, a tablet that Asus unveiled earlier this year, and which should have been equipped with a rear-facing camera.

As you can see in the first image, taken from the iFixit Nexus 7 teardown, the rear-camera slot is present, but the detail has been overlooked so far by the guys that performed the teardown but also by the media, us included.

Does this mean future 7-inch Nexus-branded devices will come with a back camera? It’s too early to tell, but we’ll definitely keep you updated.

  • Robhimself79

    No loss at all. People that use tablets to take pics and video are fooling themselves.

    • guest

      … a seven inch tablet. I would have used the camera for social/media apps, not to post videos on YouTube or to pretend it can replace a DSLR.

    • Colin Wirt

      Fooling themselves? C’mon! There are real world enterprise applications that employ cameras and tablets.

      Do you have a 7+ megapixel camera? Perhaps you’re fooling yourself (ok that’s harsh — overkill maybe?)… How often do you publish your images in magazines and posters?

      How about the fields of insurance claim verification, warehousing, tech support, architecture, building maintenance, etc, where we annotate photos using a tablet.

      Being able to snap a pic, then annotate with dimensions, fault notes, etc without carrying and firing up a laptop to transfer images when logging reports is awesome! Saves us heaps in infrastructure and admin down-time…

      Use your imagination :)

    • Colin

      Example: camera used in a warehouse to scan 3of9 barcodes and QR Codes and take images for a web store.

      Saying that innovative enterprise system architects are “fooling themselves” by utilising tablets with cameras demonstrates how out of touch you are.

      What do you take pictures of which I assume a DSLR?
      Where do you publish them?

  • Greg

    Not having a back camera is tolerable. But so many of us want a microSD slot. 8 or 16 GB is not enough when you don’t have wifi access readily available 100% of the time. I’m so hoping that the Memo 370T is still launched with a microSD slot, etc!

  • John M

    Not having a camera IMHO is a non-issue. As stated earlier, not having micro SD slot is much bigger deal for side loading music, movies, books, document, pictures, etc, so that you have what you want available if you do not have a wi-fi signal available.

    • you can store them with internal storage. geez

      • John M

        That is true Prince unless the music, photos, movies, etc take up more memory than what the OS takes up plus what is left over. And you can also shuffle items back and forth, but why when if you had the storage expandability, you can do a once and done transfer. That was the gist of my comment. Plus, is the price of a micro SD reader in the device that expensive as compared to na camera?

  • max

    Back Camera? Duh..

    But, I do need a “Built in 3G” model with sim slot. Preferably mdm66xx type traveler chipset.
    Don’t advice me on phone tethering etc. My phone battery is very precious to me, especially when I am traveling.

    World is not USA and USA is not the entire world for few billion people. Some of the humans not spend their entire life around a WiFi hot-spot.

    Google should understand this and they SHOULD have offered a “Built in 3G model” for some extra dollars, Exactly the same way they are charging $50 for meeker 8GB extra storage.

    Dear Google, Please do NOT pull an Apple on us.


    • Colin Wirt

      I use pocket wifi to supply my multiple devices with wifi.

      Then get yourself a portable USB power-pack 5,000 or 10,000 mAh — and use that to run your tablet, phone and pocket wifi device.

  • DOA

    Really the camera!? Who cares? We want to know if it would have supported an microSD card reader! The BIGGEST flaw of the Nexus 7 is its lack of SD support, then maybe HDMI followed by USB… there was a reason that detail was over looked at teardown, its a non issue for most of us.

  • we care about back camera ofcourse. I would buy it if it have back camera. you can store item on internal storage 8GB is enough

  • Colin

    Hi Chris,

    Are you still needing some help looking “for some reason” people care about cameras on tablets?

    I’m not going to re-attach the image and reasons I posted in another comment on this article, but if you want me to list them I can.

    Thanks for the article — and I trust your reviews/articles will factor-in the enterprise and workflow engineering perspectives — so you don’t come across as out of touch with a few major user groups.

  • rohit

    It’s not even got a calling facility which is its major flaw. Just to cover up with the price the did not introduce calling facility with it. what’s the point of a tablet without a rear camera and no calling facility. better than this is to take a mobile of Rs 5000. Atleast it has a camera and voice call facility

  • Mike

    I want and need a camera on the Nexus 7. Badly!

  • shyrkahn

    Back Camera is important in some situations. Imagine that you are using your tablet when something nice happens (eg. your newborn is doing something first time) and you would like to take a picture or record a (HD) video. What do you prefer in this situation? You can drop down your tablet and get your phone or camera to record the moment for extra time (the nice thing may be end) or you can take a photo or take a video with your tablet. I prefer the latter. Ok, You can say that Nexus has got a front camera but it is not good in this situation because you won’t see what will be on the photo/video. So Nexus is cool but unfortunately it hasn’t got a back camera thus I will buy ipad mini instead.