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Review: Asus Nexus 7 Travel Case – and why it’s not half as bad as many reviews suggest

There have been many reviews about the official Asus case for the Nexus 7 by now, and most of them aren’t very positive. I have been looking for a long time to find a good case for the Nexus 7, ignoring the Asus travel case due to the bad reviews. And since I just couldn’t get myself to buy one of these extremely ugly leather cases, I opted for an Apple smart cover lookalike for my Nexus 7 at first. It was all well and nice, but after 2 months it just started to fall apart.

So getting a no-name case from eBay wasn’t a good idea. This time I didn’t want to get another 3rd Party case with dubious build quality, and ordered the official one from ASUS.

The material Asus uses for the Nexus 7 travel cover is a soft rubber and plastic mixture, with the same pattern that you have on the Nexus 7 back. I prefer this material choice to all of the leather cases as it looks much cleaner and doesn’t wear off that easily. Since the cover is flexible it’s very easy to put your Nexus 7 into it. As expected the case is matching the Nexus 7 hardware perfectly, and all the ports can be used with the cover on.

Strangely Asus decided to cover up the volume and power buttons completely. This makes pressing those buttons much harder and I would have preferred cutouts to directly access the original buttons. On the other hand you won’t be turning on the tablet unintentionally in your bag.

The back of the cover looks like the original Nexus 7 back with the big Nexus logo at the top and smaller Asus engraving beneath. It also feels nice and provides good grip.

Everybody knows by now that the Nexus 7 has a magnet that can be used to provide smartcase features, like turning on the screen whenever you open the cover and shut the screen off when the cover is closed. And even though most of the 3rd Party covers support this feature, the official Asus Nexus 7 travel case doesn’t. You have to turn on the screen manually every time. I really hope that the premium Nexus 7 case which leaked months ago will finally arrive with the magnet feature included.

The next issue is the fact that the cover hasn’t any kind of mechanism to keep it shut, it will just open if your turn the nexus 7 upside down. So this is another area where the 3rd party products are better.

At least the display cover is very thin and fits perfectly on the nexus 7 screen. You can say whatever you want about the missing features but the Asus Nexus 7 Travel Cover looks very nice. Much better than any other case out there. And this is where the pros of the Asus Travel Cover come in place. Not only does it look great and has nice grip, it’s also the thinnest cover that you can find. It doesn’t add bulk and maintains the Nexus 7 hardware design.

All of my colleagues which saw the case for the first time told me that it looks really good, and some people noted that the book like cover is a nice touch. Compare this to the bulky and ugly looking leather cases and it’s clear why some people might prefer the Asus Nexus 7 Travel Case despite its shortcomings.

At the end of the day I had to decide between a regular leather case with sleep/wake function and stand feature or a slim case with nice grip and good looks. To me the form factor of my 7 inch tablet is very important so I traded the features of the other cases with the perfect fit and shape of the Asus Nexus 7 Travel Case and I’m very happy with it. My suggestion is that you shouldn’t only focus on smart cover functionality, but the overall experience and decide what’s more important to you. If you want the slimmest and best fit of all Nexus 7 cases, go ahead and order the official Nexus 7 Travel Cover. The only other product which could possibly compete in the perfect fit department is the leaked Asus Nexus 7 Premium Cover, which actually isn’t even officially announced yet.