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Google readies $199 Nexus 7 tablet, report says

Long-rumored tablet expected to be unveiled this week at Google I/O conference in San Francisco

June 25, 2012 10:43 AM ET

Computerworld - Google will launch its own sub-$200 7-in. Nexus tablet at its Google I/O conference in San Francisco this week, according to training documents viewed by Gizmodo Australia.

The report comes in the wake of a slew of rumors, including reports of a Google tablet called Nexus 7 that would run Android Jelly Bean, the next generation of the Android operating system.

Jelly Bean, or Android 4.1, was recently described as a modest upgrade from Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich.

A $199 starting price would put the Nexus 7 in the same category as the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook tablets. Both have the same price tag and feature the same screen size as the expected Google tablet.

The most popular tablet by far, with more than 60% market share, is still Apple's 9.7-in. iPad, whose latest version starts at $499.

According to Gizmodo Australia, the new device will indeed be called the Nexus 7, and the site reports that the documents it viewed state that the new tablet was built for Google by Asus and that it runs a 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor from Nvidia and a GeForce 12-core graphics processor. The device will include 1GB of RAM and either 8GB or 16GB of internal storage.

The Nexus 7 will also have an NFC chip to run Google Wallet and Android Beam, the Android 4.0 tool used to for transfer data between NFC-ready Google phones.

The documents also describe a tablet with a screen resolution of 1280 x 800, a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera and a nine-hour battery.

Gizmodo Australia puts the 8GB model's price at $199 in U.S. dollars and the price of the 16GB version at $249. The report says the device will be released in Australia in July, which -- based on prior history -- could mean that the U.S. release would occur at about the same time or earlier.

Of interest to many Android fans is a comment in the documents stating that Google will handle all updates of Jelly Bean going forward, a policy that might only relate to the Nexus 7, Gizmodo Australia noted.

Updating Android on the many different models of Android-based smartphones has been a recurring problem for both Google and mobile service providers. At the June 2011 Google I/O conference, Google announced the Android Upgrade Alliance of phone manufacturers and carriers. The Alliance was created to help keep upgrades to various Android models on track.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at Twitter@matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed Hamblen RSS. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.



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