The ever-elusive official Nexus 7 charging dock finally made its way to Google’s Play Store last week, and I was fortunate enough to snag one up before the first batch quickly sold out. Despite the quoted 1-2 week shipping time I got when ordering, the package actually managed to land on my doorstep in just shy of 48 hours from the time of the transaction. So before this review even begins, things are already off to a great start in my book.
We saw this bugger pop up on various 3rd part retail sites, but for the most part, a $40 price tag (or higher) came along with it — and even then folks couldn’t stop raving about the dock, so I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to order one when the floodgates opened.
To make the deal even sweeter, Google is offering the dock for only $30, but now the ”Ships Soon” status is what you’ll see if you check for one on the Play Store. The estimated shipping date is March 15th, so you won’t really have to wait all that long if you decide you want one now.
So now that I’ve had a few days to enjoy the dock, I figured I’d share my thoughts about it and a nice fat gallery of images for you to gaze upon. Take a look at the eye candy below before we get started.
Behold the almighty Nexus logo!
Now, let’s get down to business, shall we?
Inside the box, there’s only the dock — nothing more, nothing less. This means you’ll need your own charger, which you should already have from when you bought your Nexus 7. If not, most any micro USB charger will do, though we typically suggest only using the manufacturer-provided chargers, as some 3rd party charges may not actually charge your device properly.
On the back of the dock there is a 3.5 mm audio output jack next to the micro USB port. You can use the jack to connect any type of external speaker setup, and you can choose to have all audio routed to those speakers when you dock your tablet, or to continue playing through the tablet speakers, if you so wish.
Unfortunately, there’s no HDMI output, nor can you access your device’s storage through the dock (you probably shouldn’t even bother connecting the USB cable to a computer. Stick to using the wall charger). Essentially, all you’re getting here is charging and audio output.
As for device positioning, I’d say you can’t get a better viewing angle than you’ll get with this dock. The Nexus 7 fits snuggly in the cradle, which does unfortunately prevent you from being able to use a case. This is probably the only downfall to this accessory, in my opinion. I have a nice case from Cruzerlite (check out my review, if you haven’t already), which won’t see nearly as much action now that I have to take it off to use my dock.
All in all, some will say the Nexus 7 with the dock is just an overpriced alarm clock. Those people have obviously never used a Nexus 7 before, so their opinions can’t be taken seriously. Of course, you can set your device to make use of Jelly Bean’s Daydream function, which acts as a screensaver when you dock your tablet. One of the stock Daydream’s is a clock, so yes. You can have yourself a glorified, expensive alarm clock, if that’s what floats your boat.
Charges using contacts, not via USB
Great viewing angle
Audio output via 3.5 mm jack
Great value (At just over $30, shipped from Google’s Play Store, this dock is worth every nickel!)
No HDMI output
TPU cases don’t fit
If you have a Nexus 7, you know how sexy it is. What better way to show some love to your device than to sit it in a sexy throne? If you can find one, they’re certainly worth their weight in gold. Hit up Google Play and pick one up to complete the experience!