Google will introduce its Nexus 7 tablet today at Google I/O and give early units away to conference attendees we’ve confirmed with sources. The tablet looks like a good starting point, but it is not an iPad killer as some Android enthusiasts have hoped for.
With a price of “less than half the cost of an iPad” according to our source, it’s clear that Google had to make some compromises. But Google’s not looking to knock the iPad off its throne with the Nexus 7. Instead, the company is hoping to get developers and Android users excited about Android tablets.
Asus is manufacturing the first Google-branded Android tablet. As the name suggests, the Google Nexus tablet will ship with a 7″ display that packs 1280 x 800 display. Viewing isn’t limited to the small display however thanks to both a docking connector and HDMI port. The HDMI port follows Google’s renewed TV efforts and may encourage developers to build apps for the living room.
Leaked renderings show a black Nexus 7, with the Nexus branding emblazoned across its back. There will be a white Nexus 7, though our sources couldn’t say if it would actually be sold to the general public. Instead, the white Nexus 7 may be reserved for Google I/O attendees, Google employees and partners. Google’s given away customized Nexus devices to insiders in the past, including a Louis Vuitton inspired Samsung Galaxy Nexus to celebrate the launch of Ice Cream Sandwich.
Unfortunately, the Nexus 7 tablet doesn’t come with a rear-facing camera. This is a bonehead move on Google’s part. Rear-facing cameras may not be used all that often by many tablet users, but it’s something they’ve come to expect thanks to other manufacturers, such as Apple and Samsung. This will be a black mark on the Nexus 7 spec sheet.
Google will stress how the Nexus 7 works its cloud services during its presentation. That’s understandable considering the Nexus 7 tablet will ship with just 8GB or 16GB of storage capacity.
The Nexus 7 will feature Jelly Bean, a new version of Android, Google’s mobile operating system. Apple made quite a splash by introducing iOS 6 earlier this month at its WWDC 2012 keynote. Jelly Bean details are still under wraps, but we’re sure Google will introduce several killer features to set it apart.
The Google Nexus 7 is the first ‘pure’ Android tablet. Designed to showcase Google’s mobile operating system and act as a development testbed, it will be free of third-party apps and other nuisances that make it onto most Android devices.
Google will be the second company to introduce its first tablet this month. Microsoft announced its Surface tablet on June 18, much to the dismay of traditional PC vendors.