No microSD card slot on the Nexus 7? No problem

No microSD card slot on the Nexus 7? No problem

Summary: Don't let the lack of a microSD card slot on the Nexus 7 be a deal-breaker.

TOPICS: Google, Android, Apps, Tablets

It seems that a lot of readers are worried about the lack of a microSD card slot on the Google Nexus 7 Android "Jelly Bean"-powered tablet.

I like the Nexus 7, but it worries me that Google is only offering it in 8GB and 16GB flavors. It concerns me more that it doesn't come with a microSD card slot to allow me to expand the storage.

Do you see this as a deal-breaker?

It's a shame that Google chose not to include a microSD card slot on the Nexus 7. The reason why Google didn't add a microSD card reader is so that it can push you into spending an $50 more for the 16GB version that only costs the company an extra $7.50 to manufacture.

But is it a deal-breaker? In my opinion: no.

The reason is that the Nexus 7 features a USB OTG (On-The-Go) functionality that allows you to connect devices together without the need of a PC. This allows you to connect a USB flash drive or a microSD card via a USB adaptor. All you need to be able to browse through the storage is a file manager, such as ES File Explorer or File Manager HD (Tablet) -- both of which are free.

While I'll be the first to agree that this isn't as convenient as extra storage packed onto a microSD card tucked into the machine, it works well and means you can add storage at will.

If you're unfamiliar with USB OTG, here's a video showing it in action on the Sony Xperia S.

Image source: Google.

Topics: Google, Android, Apps, Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Ok thats pathetic. I guess we just found Larry Page's lost voice.

    Holy crap AKH. What the h*** happened to you man?
    Johnny Vegas
    • Not Adrian in the Video!

      He's just basically saying Nexus isn't as crippled as everyone thinks. But how in the world you get that a Brit sounds like Larry Page is totally absurd!

      But obviously you don't now own or plan to buy a Nexus 7. So you're no doubt the first Troll to get here! ......nuff said! ;-P

      Anyway it's not mentioned that you need to root the Nexus 7 in order to take advantage of Android built-in external SD card ability. It enables you to download Apps like games and move them to the SD card storage too. From there, it's no problem running even heavy weight games like Dark Knight Rises and Dead Trigger. Because of Nexus 7's Quad Core CPU and 12 Core GPU off loading high bandwidth and 1GB memory, it can play these games from a USB SD Card no different than on device drive.

      But there's plenty of Bonuses to having the OTG cable and root access. Which is really simple to do. For instance, you can simply plug a PS3 Dual Shock controller into it and have a whole different experience in game play. Besides the obvious not having to touch the screen to control the game, you're instantly left only handling the controller.

      This is something you can't do on Apple's iPad, that makes it a no brainer for GAMES over what seems like a huge awkward device compared to a Nexus 7 for long game play. If your worried about smaller screen, don't be. In all actuality side by side, though iPad has more screen real estate, you'll find it's pretty much useless for gaming. On a premium game like Dark Knight Rises, your peripheral vision on what is on most platforms designed for games played in 16:9, the side are cropped off. Meaning you're missing a lot of the action.

      On another note comparing screens. I ran a double blind test on 5 friends, 2 of which have iPads (one w/ New iPad Retina). The Nexus 7 tops iPad 2 w/ no problems on screen and processor power. What's shocking is that Game for Game Nexus 7 also tops the New iPad Retina and at the same distance from the screens, you really can't tell the difference while gaming. But.... iPad Retina has one sore spot that has Nexus 7 looking and running better on games like Dark Knight. It has very slow screen response time, that show ghosting and a whole lot more glitching that you don't see on Nexus 7!

      But here's the killer difference between the New $500 iPad Wifi only and the Nexus 7. With not only NFC and Bluetooth 4.0, you can Tap to Pair, Tap to Share and Tap to Pay at a growing number of stores. Then don't forget that iPad Wifi doesn't have a REAL GPS so any App that requires it isn't really going to work. Those are the killing feature between the two that have Nexus actually Topping the not so portable New iPad Retina $500 tablet!!!
  • Is USB storage really available vis OTG on the Nexus 7

    The CNet review of this device very clearly states that while OTG is supported, it is only for some device types and USB storage (for instance) isn't one of them. Is this incorrect or is it just the native lack of the file manager that leads them to this statement? For me the lack of a card reading capability is the deal breaker as I want to put it in my DSLR camera kit for picture review. Please confirm and thanks.
    • I may have a solution for you and AKH that doesn't require USB cables

      This solution works on my iPad and Seagate indicates that it will work on Android devices as well. I am referring to Seagate's external battery powered 500 GB hard drive with a local WiFi signal generator storage device called the Seagate GoFlex Satellite. (BTW, there are other similar devices by other manufactures available.)

      If one needs extra storage, with a supplied file manager app and an ability to transfer files wirelessly to and from the HD and the target device, one could do a whole lot worse than the GoFlex Satellite.
      • Sounds like an expensive solution

        Sounds like an expensive solution. 179.99 for an addon to make your tablet useful?
        • I'll grant you that it IS a relatively expensive "solution" but ...

          the added storage capacity should be all that a mobile tablet user could ever need. One other advantage of the GoFlex is that using it's built-in WiFi signal, three seperate stored videos can be streamed to three separate Android tablets at the same time. (I have not tried this out yet but Seagate advertises this capability.)

          Personally, I prefer to operate my tablet without any additional hardware accessories but for those times that require such devices, it is nice to know that a solution to solve that need is available.
          • Nonsense

            Quit making lame excuses for GREEDY BLOOD SUCKING companies like google.

            Your solution is ridiculous, I do not want to tinker with unreliable wifi that wastes battery. I want my media files right away. You can't browse 5mb JPEG files reliably or stream HD MKV files from the toilet reliably.

            I would love one of the nexus tablets & the nexus 5 but INTENTIONALLY OMITTING THE MICROSD SLOT is just plain greedy & disgusting

            BOYCOTT GOOGLE
            Que Rue
          • Just bought a Nexus 7

            Blood sucking thats funny. Severe exsanguination troubling you?
    • Word on the Intertube

      Is that Root + Stickmount = USB Storage
      • Yes, Root and stickmount and you're golden

        That's correct. Root and Stickmount and you have USB mass storage and can play videos, etc. from USB drive (using VLC Player or similar app).
  • I'll Pass...

    Or just wait for one that will come with a microSD slot? It's called voting with our wallets.

    Sure, we can adapt by buying and carrying more after-market adapters/readers -- but seriously, why should we encourage Google to "push us into spending $50 more for the 16GB version that only costs the company an extra $7.50 to manufacture."???
    • Nope

      "It's called voting with our wallets."

      Actually it is called only as "voting" as you can not:
      - vote with your wallet
      - vote with your feet
      - vote with your....

      because you can only vote but not "vote with your" because otherwise you could "vote with your vote". You either vote or you don't vote.

      So in this case, you either buy or you don't buy, both are voting.
      • votes

        I think he meant the same thing when he said voting with your wallet he meant the use of the wallet to decide to purchase or not purchase would make the deciding vote.
    • Nope

      "It's called voting with our wallets."

      Actually it is called only as "voting" as you can not:
      - vote with your wallet
      - vote with your feet
      - vote with your....

      because you can only vote but not "vote with your" because otherwise you could "vote with your vote". You either vote or you don't vote.

      So in this case, you either buy or you don't buy, both are voting.
    • SD card?

      Does it have a regular size SD card? If so you can use adapters
      Most crappy gracery stores sell a 2GB micro card with fat adapter for $9.00
  • It is funny how Apple was damned for not doing slots and Google gets green

    ... pass (I do not meak AKH here). ;))
    • AKH's sneaky attack

      Don't you get it? AKH is subtly attacking N7 in this piece by pointing this out!

      He's poisoning the well!

      He's a paid Apple shill!

    • yup - Google gets a green pass.

      Looking at the video - I can't help but to think of Apple's usb "dongle" accessory for the original iPad which was heavily criticized.
    • No Dongle

      I start out saying we have Android, MS and Apple in the house and I just wanted to say we still have the original Ipad and have never had and don't use a dongle for wifi or for anything.
  • Huge Deal Breaker

    Folks, simply put, the Nexus 7 not having storage is actually in fact not only a deal breaker, but a huge deal breaker. Avoid the Nexus 7. I am not sure what type of relationship the author of this piece has with Google but he clearly abandons all logic to arrive at his conclusion. The Nexus 7 has a screen resolution that invites users to enjoy Hi-Def content, yet, after you take into account the OS install, the user is only left with enough room to store ONE ( 1 ) HD movie, maybe two if you reduce this bit rate ( quality ) of the movie while you're encoding. This device is very severely limited in terms of what content you yourself can add to the Nexus 7. This is by design as Google wants you to use their market place to make lots of money off you. Never mind if you already have a large collection yourself of movies and music that you could easily add yourself. Also, you should know that the Nexus 7 is a design that Asus had come out with, The original design had a SDHC memory slot that Google insisted be removed. The problem with authors like this is that they know a little about everything but never a lot about about any one thing. Had the author had a true passion for tablets he would have know the true history of the tablet and the ends and out and could have made a more appropriate statement in records to the missing storage. And no, not comments I wanted to hear but comments the general public deserved. I'm sure he is a swell guy and all, maybe even with one of those 4 year degrees that got him a job in the first place but this is the worse type of advice ever.
    Marc Brown