Google are aiming to shake up the tablet market with the launch of the Asus-built Nexus 7. As with every Google I/O developer conference each year, a significant release of the company’s mobile OS, Android, has come to signal the simultaneous announcement of a new piece of hardware designed with each new release in mind. Hugo Barra and friends were on hand to talk Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and all of the features that come with it, but it was the developers who really had something to shout about when they were told they’d be walking away from the convention centre with all of Google’s latest and greatest hardware, including the Nexus 7.
The tablet which was on stage just yesterday, has fortunately arrived in our laps today. As such we’re able to go hands-on with the Google Nexus 7 to really understand what it’s all about. For those who missed out yesterday, the Asus-made tablet is a 7-inch Android 4.1 Jelly Bean running device which makes use a of a beautiful 1280×800 HD display, features a front-facing 1.2 megapixel camera and promises up to 9 hours of video playback. What’s more it’s the first Tegra 3 powered device of its size and the first Asus/Google collaboration, with previous products produced by the likes of HTC, Motorola and Samsung.
The appeal of this small but powerful tablet is only boosted by its price point, as the 8GB version will retail for £159 and the 16GB version at £199. Users can expect to receive a £15 voucher for the Google Play store on purchase too, meaning you can fill it with new content immediately. Asus told us that although the 8GB model is available for pre-order now and will remain available for purchase online from Google directly, the larger 16GB capacity model will only be sold via retailers such as Carphone Warehouse, at least in the UK.
As you can see, its tactile design and mix of metal and plastics, instil the Nexus 7 with an air of simplicity. Paired with the improvements over ICS brought on by 4.1 Jelly Bean, the Nexus 7 is one of the nicest Android tablets on the scene, rivalled only by Asus’ own brand Transformer products, with which the 7 shares its design philosophy.
Special thanks to Three for providing us with a Galaxy Nexus.