Google appears to aim low with new 7-inch Android tablet

Summary:According to reports, Google and Asus will be releasing a new 7-inch tablet running Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, at this week's Google Input/Ouput conference.

If the rumors are true, Google s Nexus 7 tablet will compete with the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire, not Apple's iPad.

If the rumors are true, Google's Nexus 7 tablet will compete with the low-end Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire, not Apple's iPad.

If the stories from Gizmodo Australia are true, Google and Asus will be releasing a new 7-inch Android-powered tablet, Nexus 7, at this week's Google I/O Conference.

We knew Google was going to release a new tablet soon. What we haven't known is any of the details.

According to sources, this new table will be built by Asus and will be powered by a 1.3Ghz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, with a NVIDIA GeForce 12-core graphics processor unit. It will also have 1GB of RAM and come in two models. The low-price model will retail for $199 and come with 8GBs of solid-state drive (SSD) storage and its high-priced brother will list for $249 and have a 16GB SSD.

For a display, the Nexus 7 will have a 7-inch, In-Plane Switching (IPS) display with a resolution of 1280x800. It will also have a single 1.2Megapixel front-facing camera. For networking it will support the 802.11 family and Near field communication (NFC).

It's also believed that the Nexus 7 will be the first device to run Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, the next generation of the Android Linux operating system. We don't know a lot about Jelly Bean. It's believed to be a relatively minor update of Android 4.0. Jelly Bean's most interesting new feature, if the stories are true, is that it will support Google's popular Chrome Web browser. Indeed, there have been some speculation that Jelly Bean will dual-boot with Google's Chrome operating system.

Regardless of what happens with those rumors, if the core hardware facts are true, the Nexus 7's will not be competing with the iPad or Microsoft's vaporware Surface devices. Instead, it's aiming at the sweet spot that such hybrid tablets/e-readers as Amazon's Kindle Flame and Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet already occupy.

Will it find success? We don't know enough yet to say. It is interesting, none-the-less that Google seems to believe that what customers really want is low-priced tablets. That's a very different take from the high-end approach that Apple has taken and that Microsoft now seems to want to follow.

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Topics: Hardware, Android, Google, Laptops, Mobile OS, Mobility, Security, Smartphones, Tablets

About

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, aka sjvn, has been writing about technology and the business of technology since CP/M-80 was the cutting edge, PC operating system; 300bps was a fast Internet connection; WordStar was the state of the art word processor; and we liked it.His work has been published in everything from highly technical publications... Full Bio

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