While Android smartphones have in many ways caught up to, if not surpassed, the iPhone, tablets are a different story. At times it has seemed as though the Android OS just wasn’t made for tablets. But this year things have started to turn around a bit. Of course, it took Google itself to start righting the ship. They released the Nexus 7, a 7-inch tablet that takes great advantage of the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean platform. And just about everyone’s raving about it.
If you’ve jumped on this $200 tablet — which amounts to $175 when you take advantage of the $25 Google Play credit — you might want to trick it out a bit. There are quite a few accessories that make the Nexus 7 a better experience. Here are our favorites.
Amzer silicone case
It always starts with the case, right? After all, when you spend all this money on a tablet you probably want to keep it protected. Yet part of the Nexus 7′s appeal is its size. That is, you don’t want to put a huge bulky case around it. A well-designed silicone case will do you well, and that’s what we like about the Amzer case. It comes in a number of colors, too, so you can make your Nexus 7 look the way you want it. You can get the Amzer case for just under $20.
SPIGEN SGP screen protector
A case might protect your Nexus 7 from dings and dents, and perhaps a shallow fall, but it really only protects parts of the device. It will not protect against scratches and cracks on the screen. And since the screen is everything on a tablet, you’ll want to keep that protected too. There are various screen protectors out there, but we dig the SPIGEN SGP ones. It sticks on without any adhesive, so you can remove it when you want. We also didn’t experience any bubbles when laying it down. It’s a decent thickness, yet there’s no change in the screen responsiveness. The anti-glare feature is a nice little bonus for those who like to use the tablet outdoors.
Quality comes with a price, of course. You can get the SPIGEN SGP screen protector for $25.
Kropsson 900 tablet car mount
To be clear, I hadn’t even thought of this. Tablets seem a bit bulky to mount in your car. And yet, when you actually go do it, it works great. A buddy of mine mentioned that he was using his Nexus 7 as his GPS device in his car, and after riding around with him I can see that it really works. It’s a lot better than a normal GPS, too, because the screen’s a lot bigger. That, and you can catch baseball scores when you’re stopped at red lights. The Kropsson case is pretty universal for all tablet sizes. It holds the Nexus 7 well, which is all you really need.
Yeah, you’ll drop a few dollars on this one, but if you want to mount the tablet in your car it’s worth the dough. You can get the Kropsson 900 tablet car mount for $50.
SANOXY USB adapter
Ever get annoyed that tablets don’t have USB drives? It would make life so much easier for us. Of course, tablet manufacturers probably don’t want USB ports, or else they would have included them. But on the Nexus 7 there is a micro USB port, and you can get an adapter that expands that to full USB. Then you can plug in all sorts of USB devices, including a mouse, keyboard, and even a flash drive (though you’ll need to root your device and use StickMount). It’s a great addition to any Nexus 7. And it’s cheap, too. You can get the micro USB to USB adapter for under a buck.