Tablet Market Officially Googled With Budget Nexus 7

Tablet Market Officially Googled With Budget Nexus 7

Google have confirmed the rumours of a budget Android tablet yesterday at its inaugural  I/O developers conference in San Francisco.

The Nexus 7 has been launched as a Google branded tablet in partnership with ASUS, aimed at the lower end of the tablet market without compromising too much in features. Rather than take on the iPad, the Nexus 7 aims to compete with tablets such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire ($199), by releasing the 8GB model for $250 and the 16GB model for $300. The Nexus has been developed for mostly media consumption rather than productivity, placing an emphasis on gaming, video playback, e-reading and web browsing:

The inclusion of the Nvidia Tegra 3 Quad core processor along with gyroscope and accelerometer sensors, definitely places the Nexus 7 as a tablet “designed with gaming in mind.” The HD screen benefits not only gamers, but also those looking for a device to access e-books, magazines, music, apps, movies and TV shows.

Of course, to keep the cost down ASUS and Google have had to compromise a few features. The Nexus 7 is Wi-Fi only, no 3G capability and the tablet does not support expandable memory. The tablet also does not have a rear-facing camera, only a front-facing one, presumably for Hangouts.

The Nexus 7 also sports Android’s latest OS, 4.1 Jelly Bean. While Jelly Bean is not considered as a giant step up from 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (indicated by the 4.1 tag rather than a jump to 5.0), it still offers significant performance improvements. Codenamed “Project Butter”, Jelly bean 4.1 was developed with the intention of creating a smoother and faster experience.

Jelly Bean provides update to Voice Actions, Google’s take on a voice command system, as well as offering a new service called Google Now, which combines data from your activity and various Google services to deliver custom info cards catered to your needs. For instance, Google Now will provide you with the weather in the morning and the time of the next train for when you’re leaving work in the evening. It also has the ability to anticipate an upcoming calendar appointment, factor in the best method of transportation and current traffic delays, and alert you at the exact time you need to leave in order to arrive on schedule. Jelly Bean also includes updates to Google maps, Google earth and YouTube.

The Nexus 7 is only available through the Google Play store.

Let’s get technical:

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  • 7-inch 1280×800 HD display (216 ppi)
  • Scratch resistant Corning glass
  • 1.2MP front-facing camera
  • 8 or 16 GB storage capacity
  • 1GB RAM
  • Quad Core Tegra 3 Processor
  • Up to 8 hour battery life
  • Wi-Fi enabled
  • Bluetooth Enabled
  • Micro USB port
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS
  • NFC (Android Beam)