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Retail Nexus 7 vs. I/O Nexus 7 [Pictures]

A retail Nexus 7 showed up on my doorstep today, so I thought, “What the heck, let’s do a comparison to the one handed out at Google I/O.” As many of you know, the Google I/O edition comes in white and the retail edition is officially “brown” (at least according to the box). Other than that, the retail version has a silverish rim between the screen and the rear rubber backing. On the white version, its a black top, black rim, and then the white backing. The “brown” back of the retail version is already showing a few fingerprints from holding it, while the white version does a great job of hiding sweat marks. With that said, the white one will show scuffs or stains much more than the brown. 

The microphones, camera, pin connectors, headphone jack, and microUSB port are all in the exact same places. These two devices are exact replicas, but in different colors. In a way, this situation is similar to the DROID RAZR and RAZR MAXX, which are identical aside from their different battery sizes, only these have the same battery, just different color schemes. They run identical software builds, have matching kernels, and will receive updates at the exact same time.

And that’s pretty much that, just wanted to share.

Which one would you prefer to have if you had a choice?

  • LionStone

    Just got mine last night and the brown looks much more elegant than the white one, imo. If I had a white one I’d have to sell it or slap a cover on it. This thing flies!

  • Does the retail version have the same image ghosting problems that the I/O one did?

  • Corey Foltman

    i havent seen a single white device that i’m a fan of (unless its free or extremely discounted)…with that said, i choose “brown”

  • abhele

    is there a i/o grey/black version?

  • Adam C

    White, man! That’s not racist, right? Wanting white over brown? Meh.

  • What’s In A Name

    Well, since recently having a heart transplant and not back to work yet, I like either one. Hey, it’s the Nexus 7.

    • LionStone

      Speedy recovery!

      • What’s In A Name

        TQ LionStone I do appreciate it.

  • InyRules

    I’d prefer the Google I/O white Nexus 7. I have too many black/dark grey gadgets.

  • feztheforeigner

    I just want my pre-ordered Nexus 7 to get here…I don’t care if it turns out to pink I just want to have it!!!

  • Narb

    White one

  • Tweekex

    So.. the color. Wonderful post.

  • cgalyon

    Not a fan of the silver rim. On the whole, I think the white one looks nicer.

  • EvanTheGamer

    ANY Nexus 7, as long as it’s actually a Nexus 7 and not some poor knock-off. Black, white, makes no difference whatsoever.

  • Scott Lawson

    The new brown looks pretty sweet but that silver edge kinda blows at least in photos. Hopefully it looks better in person. :-O

    • cyclejoc

      Looks great in my hand

      • Jawbox

        Haha somehow I knew that would be the case. I guess I just needed to b*tch about something because I was jealous I didn’t have one. 🙂

  • Tyler Chappell

    I actually like the retail version more because I dont like the glossy black edge of the I/O edition even though I like the white back.

  • ApplesNAndroids

    Maybe I’m lucky but won an I/O edition 7 off of eBay for 215 shipped

  • I’d prefer the white one IF it didn’t show scuffs like it eventually will, if it had like a micro skin of something that prevented dirt and grossness. I’ll be fine with my “brown” one though 😀

  • dawn m. armfield

    If I could have bought a white one, I would have. But I’ll take brown…as soon as it finally arrives.

  • Mimeo Ink

    Can I have one with the Galaxy Tab I/O edition back instead, please?

  • Droidzilla

    I’d take the brown one.

    Out of context, that’s kind of funny.

    • Must be a zune joke?

      • Knlegend1

        hey now the zune HD was nice lol

  • Steven Roy

    I don’t care much about the back color they both look nice. However the silver rim I’m not a fan of. So I guess the I|O version would be my choice.

  • fanboy1974

    Enough with the small talk Kellex. It’s time to crack this biatch open and start rommimg it up. What’s the best method?

  • I want the I/O white to match my white GS3

  • Hmm….

    It’s not like the RAZR vs RAZR MAXX at all. What were you thinking, man? It’s exactly like white RAZR vs black RAZR. Since when is a color scheme difference an actual difference?

  • zeprider25

    white looks sexy.

  • Pedro

    Y U no unbox?

  • zeiroe

    Sliver bezel? Bleh! Skinomi will come to the rescue.

  • Mashhood Asalkhou


  • n7day

    i dont care i just want mine, less then an hour to go, my head might splode from anticipation, i am gonna drive home sooo fast, hope there are not any cops on the back roads. But as to the question, im going with the dark, i have a tendency have a green sticky substance around and perfer not the get the byproduct of said substance on the back. 🙂

  • fanboy1974

    I like the dark back but with the black rim. I love the feel of the back regardless the color. Any word on a otterbox case?

    • ericl5112

      You love the feel of the back, so you want to cover it?

  • Michael Potter

    The Google I/O for sure

  • AnthonyMoya

    The boot up animation on mine is different from the I/O version that you showed. Mine is a glowing nexus X.

    • Martin Pelant

      The I/O one also has glowing X – the same one as the Galaxy Nexus

      • AnthonyMoya

        Hmmm. Could have sworn the I/O version had a bunch of animating Play symbols. Guess I’m wrong. Either way I love this tablet. 😀

        • JMonkeYJ

          I saw the same thing. Maybe the 4.1.1 update changed it? I kinda liked that play animation, since it would make it different from my gnex.

        • Nathan Buth

          That got changed to the X almost immediately. As soon as I tok mine out of the box and hooked it up to wifi at my hotel, it updated and switched to having the glowy Nexus X 🙂

  • MTPenguin

    Why the @#$@!@## doesn’t the droid-life app work on the nexus 7 yet??????

  • RadicalPie

    I would prefer the one Kellex gives me for free cause he doesn’t need two. 😉

    • albertadds

      i agree

    • Rob

      I can’t believe someone would down vote your comment. Unless it’s Kellex since you know, he might not need two but could definitely want two. 😛

  • Hmm…. idk, maybe the nexus 7 I ordered from google on the 27th…

  • Taylor Daniels

    Even if I had a choice, I’d go with the one with the gray back.

  • The I/O looks looks better with the black edges.

  • JG

    you forgot about the raised glass on the left side of the device. along with the horrible clicking sound it makes when you press on it.

  • If i had a choice? White

  • I’d take the white one any day over the black one =(