I posted recently about Google preparing its own branded 7-inch Android tablet, with a hardware assist by Asus. The most notable detail from those rumors was the price: $149, or $50 less than the similarly sized (and very popular) Kindle Fire.
But according to The Verge, Google's supposed initial vision has met with a cold dash of reality. While the tablet was probably never meant to be a money maker in and of itself, the aggressive price tag was going to be hard to reach without some serious costs to Google and Asus. Not surprisingly, then, the slate with its current specs is running closer to $249, with the companies hoping to trim costs to make the final price the same -- $199 -- as Amazon's best seller.
The efforts to tweak the device have also altered the release timing. Once due to launch in May, the Google tablet now could reach consumers -- through its own online store -- by July. As currently spec'd, the tablet is still using a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, despite earlier reports that it would abandon the chip for a less-powerful, lower-priced processor. Whether Google and Asus can stick with the more powerful Tegra 3 and retain a competitive price remains to be seen, but there's plenty of time for more leaks to emerge about those plans.
Would you still buy a Google-branded tablet at $199 instead of $149? How about at $249? Let us know in the Comments section below.