The official Nexus 7 case provides protection for the front and rear of the Google’s 7-inch tablet.
This $20 case is made of rubber with a matte finish that uses the same dot texture finish as the back of a bare Nexus 7. The soft touch material adds grip, but is not as pleasant to touch as the back of the Nexus 7, which is a shame.
The official Nexus 7 case retails for $20, but the only shipping option takes the price up to $30.
The rumors of a magnet in the official Nexus 7 case aren’t true. The case doesn’t activate a sleep and wake function when opened.
The case provides protection from bumps and small drops. The front of the case is very flexible and does not offer a lot of protection. There is nothing to keep the front cover closed, which means no added bulk. With a case this small the lid stays shut while carrying it on either side.
It will protect the screen from scratches, and during several drop tests from 4 to 5 feet to a soft surface the front cover remained closed, so it will offer some protection if you drop the Nexus 7. That said, I’m not sure how well it will fare against a hard surface like blacktop.
The front cover folds around flat to the back I the Nexus 7. The hinge is flexible enough that I can lay the nexus down with the cover folded open and it will stay in place. It is comfortable to hold with the flap open on the hinge and on the open flap side.
Out of the box the case fit the Nexus 7 poorly. The front flap was not uniform along the open side and the port openings were askew. After several hours of use and taking the case off and putting it on half a dozen times the port openings lined up better. The front cover is still askew, with a larger gap at the top of the case. This is a small issue, and one not all users will care about, but I expect more from an official case.
The case doesn’t officially offer a landscape dock mode for watching movies or video chatting in a Google Hangout, but it is possible to prop the Nexus 7 up with the front cover as shown in the image below. Just don’t plan to tap on the display while propped up like this as it is not stable.
The case offers cutouts for the headphone and charging ports with plenty of clearance to fit larger headphone plugs. There is also a cutout for the microphone at the top of the device. The power and volume buttons are covered in plastic. They respond well to touch.
The official Nexus 7 case doesn’t add significant bulk, but it doesn’t fit in the front pocket of my pants as easily as without, due to the added size and grippy material.
Overall the official Nexus 7 case feels more like something you would find in a mall kiosk than a first party case. One of the nicer cases at the mall kiosk for sure, but still a far cry from what I expect for an official case with a total cost of $30.
If the finish was nicer, it used a magnet or a real landscape kickstand the Nexus 7 case would be worth the price, but I recommend saving the $30 and looking at another Nexus 7 case.