I love the Nexus 7. I use it for so many functions in my daily life. I listen to audio books, podcasts, and music from it, among other uses.
My Nexus 7 already travels with me and has great battery life. The nice high resolution screen coupled with the ton of customization and apps made it a no brainer to integrate into my car.
I ran into a problem immediately. Unless I wanted to be a tool and mount a 7 inch tablet to my windshield, I was going to have to custom make this solution.
I wanted to be able to keep the factory audio system and be able to use that system even if the Nexus 7 wasn’t with me. Additionally, I didn’t want to alter the dash in a way that I would need to replace parts in order to sell the car later.
I toyed with InstaMorph, which in its own right is an awesome product. I settled on painted lumber connecting straps from the local hardware store. They ran ~$1 each and I only needed to buy two as I could get 2 supports from each.
I cut the straps to size, bent them using a hammer and vice, then painted them with PlastiDip. Using strong Velcro, I attached them to the top and bottom of the factory head unit, then put the center dash piece back in place. I wish I would have taken more pictures during this process, but at the time I was thinking it would be merely a prototype. I may redo the straps in the future so that have a little cleaner look as it isn’t as polished as I would like, but time will dictate that.
The tension level was just right and the screen of the Nexus 7 remained unobstructed. With the battery life and a Bluetooth link to the Belkin Bluetooth Hands Free Car Kit (Alternate: Kinivo), I am able to keep a clean look and not have to attach data and power cables every time I get in the car. I have a Verizon MiFi (Alternate: TMobile Hotspot) at the moment providing a data connection. The navigation app you see in the pictures is Waze.
All in all it solved the immediate need and I haven’t had to revisit the project at this time. If you have questions, please let me know.