Jun 28, 2012
The worst-kept secret in Android is now out: the 7″ Nexus tablet is now a reality. It’s an Asus-produced 7-inch tablet with a 1280×800 IPS screen, Tegra 3 chip, 1 GB of RAM, an estimated 8 hours of battery life on a 4325 mAh battery, a front-facing camera, and will come pre-loaded with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The Nexus 7 will come in 8 GB and 16 GB storage configurations for $199 and $249 respectively. It will not come in cellular models, at least not right away. Google will be selling the tablet through Google Play, starting in July.
Of course, with the rumor mill nailing pretty much everything that the Nexus 7 would have in terms of specs, this isn’t a surprise. It should be intriguing as a gaming device, though: Nvidia has done a lot of work in getting titles to be either exclusive to Tegra 3 chips, or launching with Tegra 3 enhancements. That an official, mass-market Google device will have the chip is a good thing for Nvidia and thosse who partnered with them, and should provide some compelling content for the tablet.
Google is hoping for this tablet to push Google Play in the way that the Kindle Fire has pushed Amazon services, and their massive library of apps, with the burgeoning music and video stores, should help them along. Interestingly, there isn’t much word if Google’s going to try to get this thing out at retail, or if they really want to try and drive people to Google Play. The Kindle Fire may be sold by Amazon, and it likely would still be somewhat successful if it sold through Amazon alone, but it also has a major retail presence. The Nexus 7 could be slow to take off if Google doesn’t sell it through retail stores, or people who are interested in it may not pick it up if they can’t get it at retail.
Of course, selling it at least exclusively through Google Play, at least initially, may help Google get more people acclimated to buying their devices directly from Google. The HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus just dropped to $349.99 on their store as well. It’s something of a brute-force tactic, but if they market this device properly, it could be a boon for them. If not, it could just be another well-kept secret in their arsenal, produced solely for their own amusement.