Taylor Wimberly of AndroidAndMe dropped some tasty tidbits into the swirl of rumors around Google’s supposed Nexus Tablet. He claims that two anonymous but trusted sources informed him that ASUS will make the tablet — must be why they’re so confident they’ll be able to bring Jelly Bean 5.0 earlier than others — and that it will run on a quad-core Tegra 3 chip.
Again, this information is unconfirmed by official sources. It’s not completely out of left field since ASUS proved themselves a capable tablet maker last year and was among the first companies to release a Tegra 3 tablet and to get Ice Cream Sandwich to their already-launched device (the Transformer Prime).
Another rumored specs for the first Nexus tablet is a 7-inch, 1280 x 800 resolution display. And it’s supposed to cost just $199.
Hmm, Tegra 3, 7-inch HD display, sub-$300 tablet from ASUS… doesn’t that sound like the Eee Pad MeMO? Why, yes it does. According to Wimberly, ASUS impressed Google with the MeMO, so the search giant asked the manufacturer if it would be possible to tweak it a little to get the price down from $249 to $199.
When I first saw the MeMO at CES I wondered how ASUS could possibly sell the tablet for such a low price. The Amazon Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are only that low because they cut back on specs. Meanwhile, the MeMO has a gorgeous screen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, cameras, the works.
Compare this to the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus which retails for $299 – $349 and the Tab 7.7, currently only available through Verizon Wireless for $499 with a 2 year contract term. Though we don’t have official US pricing for the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2, it’s selling in some European countries for $419 – $568.
So why is it that ASUS can make a tricked out tablet and sell it for $249, possibly $199, and Samsung can’t? Whatever the reason, Google is (allegedly) about to take advantage of it to release a tablet that is light on the wallet and they’ll get maximum benefit from, unlike the Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet.
(Related: Can A Nexus Tablet Compete with the iPad?)
Honestly, if the ASUS MeMO is as great as it seemed when we went hands-on with it at CES then a bunch of other 7-inch tablets are in trouble, too.
The rumors around the Nexus Tablet also say that it will be ready to ship in June, just in time for a Google I/O announcement.