In essence, the main reason why some pc tablets, including the Asus Google Nexus 7, only have front-facing cameras is easy. Front-facing cameras are employed for video calls, whereas rear-facing cameras are employed principally for taking images and videos. The average tablet pc’s front-facing camera works the same way as a webcam on your laptop might, but the rear camera is nearer to a camera-phone.
So, inside a world where one and all who can afford a tablet PC likely carries a mobile phone (with some form of camera attached to it) within their pocket, taking photos isn’t an increased priority for today’s tablet pc’s. Tablet pc’s, even 7” models like the Asus Google Nexus 7, are bigger and much more cumbersome than camera-phones and, when it comes to snapping pictures, are somewhat less than ideal for the duty.
Brandon Miniman, of tech blog Pocketnow.com, offers a constructive spin for the choice.
“The vast majority of tablet users don’t use their rear-facing camera. Why? Because not only do tablets take horrible photos, but it’s awkward and cumbersome to use your tablet to take a photo. A tablet is characteristically less mobile than a phone, so you’re unlikely to have your table with you when you need to snap a photo of that special moment. You also look silly when taking a photo with a tablet. Have you ever tried it?”
That appears to be a popular consumer belief, as Amazon customer D.L.C wrote in his/her review of the Nexus.
“Camera is pretty terrible. The front facing 1.2 megapixels is nothing to get excited about. And there is no back camera. I honestly don’t get why that’s just a big deal. You look like a tool using the back camera. Anyone does”.
Another reason for that loss of that rear-camera in the Nexus (and others) may be the pricing; PC companies often get monetary savings on development expenses (and therefore decrease RRP) by elliminating or downgrading, certain nonessential workings. A back-facing camera adds to the manufacturing expenses, as well because the general cost of components and building and thus, ups the general price of the product as it hits the shelves.
When enquired, this could be the answer that Asus made in their formal response.
“To make [the Google Nexus 7] accessible to the widest possible market, price is very important. ASUS believes that for this device a good rear camera is important. Adding a high quality rear-facing camera will increase the price point and many users would not have a use for it. Adding a lower quality rear-facing camera would compromise on the overall user experience so the decision was made not to include a front facing camera therefore keeping the price down and user experience extremely high”.
It essentially makes ideal sense, if you set it to a vote, what would the majority customers choose, a function they aren’t prone to use fairly often/whatsoever and a bigger cost, or one less function and some money off? I do know which I’d choose, but then, I am a cheapskate.