Review – CruzerLite Experience Cover for Nexus 7 FHD (2013)

n7fhd-exp-mainOne of my complaints about CruzerLite’s offering for the 2012 Nexus 7 was the selection was limited to their Androidified (BIG Bugdroid) and Clone Army patterns. For the Nexus 7 FHD (2013,) CruzerLite has stepped up and made several of their patterns and printed cases available. If you are looking for a TPU case for your Nexus 7 Full HD, CruzerLite continues to the one of the better choices on the market in terms of quality fit and finish and design. The Experience Cover for Nexus 7 FHD continues this tradition.

The Experience Cover hits all but one of the right marks with me. The cutouts are perfect, there are eleven colors available (or ten since clear is not really a color?) to select from and the TPU material used has a lot more grip to it than the Androidified pattern on my (now the kids) 2012 Nexus 7. The price, $17 at the time of this post, is a bit much in my opinion for a TPU case but it is a step up from the generic S-Line style cases that have been flooding Amazon under various branding. Good news is you can still use the buy two get one promotion in CruzerLite’s official Amazon store.

CruzerLite dropped the ribbed texture from the sides so you have a feeling closer to holding the Nexus 7 FHD sans cover and it all but disappears when using it. That said, it does not cause any issues with grip like I thought it would. The cover itself is finished with a matte surface instead and the inlay of the AOSP icons is a smooth glossy finish. The texture provided by the Experience pattern icons on the back gives your fingertips plenty to hold onto with your thumbs folding over a nice matte finish edge to press on the bezels.

The fit is perfect. There are zero gaps between case and the Nexus 7 FHD and the tablet literally wears this cover like a tailored suit. This matters since gaps between the device and the cover provide a place to trap dirt and give a “loose” feel to the device when holding. A properly fitting case feels as if it is part of the device when you are holding it and this one does. This cover doesn’t add bulk to the Nexus 7 FHD but only provides minimal protection for “lap” drops and picking up damage from daily use.

With a fit this perfect, there is an issue. Not a big issue but it is a PAIN to get it on and off. The TPU material used by CruzerLite is somewhat stiffer than others. The lip of the case also wraps over the side edges of the Nexus 7 FHD to cover just past the transition from frame to screen edge so you have a combination here that takes a good deal of pressure to push that last corner on. Taking it the cover off is a similar experience.

Last little peeve. Mine at least came in a clear plastic bag with a just a small sticker designating the contents. No, I didn’t expect a box wrapped up like a present with gold foil but my initial thought was Amazon screwed up my order or I bought a knock-off by mistake. Presentation goes a lot way, spend a few pennies to at least print your company information on the bag if you go that route.

From CruzerLite:

Picture this You’ve cleared your device of all that bloatware and it’s running like never before! Or you’ve finished flashing a stock ROM and that fresh Holo color palette is making you smile. Maybe you’ve just unboxed your first fully-vanilla phone and it greets you on its first boot. Stock Android is a unique thing – the case protecting it should be too. Introducing the Experience Case, a TPU case that represents all the possibilities of vanilla Android. Available in select colors, the case features a molded design with icons representing the power of a stock device. Set in the middle is the vanilla app drawer icon – the gate to every experience Android provides. Showcase the abilities of your device while keeping it safe from falls and other physical bloatware – order your Experience Case today! Designed by the Asher Simonds.

Now about the pattern and Asher Simonds. You may recognize this as the Holo wallpaper from CyanogenMod by Asher Simonds that was inspired by the 2011 Google I|O Special Edition Galaxy Tab 10.1 Google Employee Special Edition Galaxy Nexus battery cover. If you are not running CyanogenMod on your Nexus 7, Asher also created a version of his wallpaper with the Nexus logo found here so you can have everything matching up front to back.

To sum it up:

  • Good fit and finish
  • Like the design
  • “Grippy”
  • Pain to take on and off
  • Little pricy unless you can get a deal

Product page: CruzerLite

Kevin Krueger

About Kevin Krueger

Self-proclaimed "know-it-none," I prefer HTC hardware with AOSP ROM's. When not writing about technology or shooting YouTube videos, I like to tinker with motorcycles and R/C cars.

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