The Nexus 7's footprint is about average. It's slightly thinner than the Kindle Fire (0.41 inch to 0.45 inch), and it's the same thickness as the Excite 7.7. The Nexus 7 is slightly longer than some of its competitors, too: it stands 7.8 inches tall, to Kindle Fire's 7.5 inches and the Samsung Galaxy Tab's 7.6 inches; the Excite is taller, though, at 8.1 inches. The Nexus 7 is also a smidge narrower than others, besting the Fire by 0.1-inch.
I find the dimensions of the Nexus 7 convenient and pleasing; at 7-inches, this tablet was unobtrusive to use in cafes or on public transit, and its dimensions made it easy to thumb-type on the on-screen keyboard in portrait orientation. Still, in spite of what the numbers say, I prefer how the Excite 7.7's feels in my hands; it seems more balanced, thinner, and lighter than the Nexus 7, in spite of the specs saying otherwise.
Other aspects of the physical design are noteworthy, too. The power/sleep and volume buttons along the curved right-hand bezel are sturdy and easy to press. Along the bottom bezel sits the headphone jack and a MicroUSB port, for charging the tablet as well as transferring data from your PC.
Above the ports is an approximately two-inch wide stereo speakers port (both speakers outlet from the same single port, as on the Asus Transformer Infinity TF700). The speaker location along the bottom doesn't seem to adversely impact audio playback; it could get covered by your hands if you hold the tablet two-handed in horizontal mode, but not if if you hold it along the bottom edge, as opposed to the center.
At the bottom left is a four-pin connector that Google says could be used for a dock, though no accessories appear to be available for the Nexus 7 at the time of this writing. Other hardware features include a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, and an NFC chip, which comes in handy for use with Android Beam if you happen to have another NFC-enabled Android device available.
The front face is smooth scratch-resistant Corning glass (but not Corning's Gorilla Glass). The glass is optically bonded to the 7-inch, 1280 by 800 pixel display, and this makes a tremendous difference in the image quality. With no air gap in play, text looks crisper, contrast is better, and glare is mitigated (although not eliminated). At 216 pixels per inch, the Nexus 7 is clearly way ahead of other 7-inch tablets' pixel density of 170 ppi, and the difference is palpable.