Google has announced they are bringing out a 7-inch tablet called the Nexus 7, which will actually be manufactured by Asus with Google branding on it.
The portable device comes with an NVidia Tegra quad-core processor (which makes it easier to do things like run multiple apps at once) and a screen resolution of 1280×800.
The Nexus 7 is priced at the US $199 (AU $198) to directly compete with Amazon’s 7-inch tablet the Kindle Fire. It should be noted though, that when it’s released in Australia, the Nexus 7 will be priced at $249 for the 8-gigabyte version and $299 for the 16-gigabyte option.
The more expensive release in Australia will be in July, according to a report in The Australian.
To make up for the additional $50 Australians will have to pay, Google will be including a $25 voucher for buying apps at Google’s online store.
Google’s new tablet will be run on the next version of the Android operating system, codenamed Jelly Bean. The Nexus 7 is being measured up against the iPad 3 (known as the ‘New iPad’), which is 10 inches when measured diagonally, as opposed to the 7 inch Google tablet.
Jen Dawson, the chief telecoms analyst at Ovum, believes the aggressive pricing is an important step forward for Google’s Android tablet strategy. He believes that it breaks the dichotomy that exists between low-priced, low-performance devices, and over-priced, high-performance ones.
“The Nexus 7 borrows heavily from the Amazon Kindle Fire in that it puts content front and Centre, but it doesn’t solve the biggest challenge for Android tablets: the lack of apps optimized for the larger screen size,” he said. “At 7 inches, this problem is less acute, but it doesn’t solve the problem and Google said nothing about how it will address this problem.
“In addition, the price point likely benefits from some subsidy and therefore isn’t sustainable in the long term – Google still needs to solve the fundamental problem of Android tablets, which is the lack of compelling apps and content optimized for the devices.”
Dawson also pointed out that Google was including other options to match up against Apple, such as Google Now, which is the company’s answer to Apple’s Siri voice control system.
“Perhaps, more importantly, Google announced that it would begin seeding a platform developer kit, or PDK, to hardware vendors several months before the platform is launched to users, which is Google’s first serious attempt to reduce both fragmentation and the long delays in getting the latest version of Android onto devices and into users’ pockets,” added Dawson.