Google Nexus 7 pre-orders kick off in India

Pre-orders of the tablet have started one week ahead of the official release date as it goes up against Apple's iPad mini and Samsung's Galaxy Note 8.0, but how much will the Indian market embrace it?

Google Nexus 7 at INR 15,999 (US$295)

Google has already starting taking orders for the Nexus 7 in India in advance of its April 5 release date. While shipping of the new device won't officially begin until April 5, orders can be placed online at the Google Playstore.

The Nexus 7 is priced at INR 15,999 (US$295) for the 16 GB internal storage, expandable to 32 GB variant, with a shipping time of 3 to 7 days. Hailed as the lightest tablet, at just 340 grams, the specifications include the Google Android 4.2 OS Jellybean, running on a NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad core processor with 1 GB of RAM. It also has a separate 12 core graphics processing unit (GPU) for gaming, in addition to an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer.

The display itself is a 7-inch backlit IPS HD display with 1200 X 800 resolution, and is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass for protection. The camera is quite basic, as it's just a 1.2 MP front camera and to add to the disappointment, there is no rear camera either. Furthermore, in contrast to other tablets, there is no SIM card slot orsupport. The Nexus 7 tablet connects only via Wi-Fi, but also has Bluetooth and Near Field Communications (NFC) support, in addition to USB, MicroUSB, and GPS.

What I find interesting is both the lack of a SIM card slot or support, but the inclusion of NFC support.

Perhaps this is Google's way of trying to push Indian consumers to embrace devices with NFC in order to also introduce mobile payments and machine to machine (M2M) communications within India. That being said, most retailers in India are not equipped with both the technology and training for this to be implemented yet.

Some of the preloaded apps include, and no surprise here, Google apps such as Chrome, Gmail, Google+ and YouTube, in addition to accessing Google Play, which is Google’s online store of over 600,000 apps. The Nexus 7 will also have Google Now , which provides cards of information as the day progresses. For example, the weather report is given first thing in the morning, and traffic updates are provided as you commute to work. Also, other items such as scheduled meetings and bookings for movies and flights will also appear with Google Now on the cards.