Google Introduces The World To The Nexus 7 Tablet

Proud parent Google has finally unveiled what we all knew was coming — its very own tablet to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet will sell for $199 and will run on Android software dubbed Jelly Bean. Cute.

The tablet was built with Asus, and is already available for order today on Google Play. Tablets should ship in mid-July, said Google.

Google is setting up the tablet as basically a conduit for its own Google Play store, where consumers can buy apps, movies, books and other content. In a nutshell, Nexus 7 is “built for Google Play,” said Hugo Barra, product management director for Android at Google.

Another product introduced at the company’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, is the Nexus Q. It’s a spherical Android-based device designed to distribute music and other content over home stereo systems and displays, by using your Android smartphones and tablets to control it.

Google launches Nexus 7 tablet, Jelly Bean and spherical Nexus Q device for home use [Computer World]

Introducing the Nexus 7 [Google Nexus YouTube]

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  1. GMFish says:

    No slot for an SD card makes me sad. Very sad.

    • Mr_Magoo says:

      Agreed. This, and the missing rear camera, make me think Google’s slipping.

      One of the big advantages most Android tablets have over the ipad is the expandability that an SD card slot allows.

      • Remarkable Melba Kramer says:

        Don’t they make an SD Card adaptor for iPad??

        • rdclark says:

          They do. Add the availability of several cloud storage options and I have never been storage-challenged on my iPad 2.

      • cyberpenguin says:

        Between the Kindle Fire (no SD card slot), the Nexus 7 (no SD card slot) and the Nook Tablet (with SD card slot)… advantage to the Nook Tablet on hardware specs.

        • cyberpenguin says:

          argh… should have been “advantage on storage specs”.

        • incident_man says:

          The Kindle and Nook are locked into their respective ecosystems, unless you root the device to install the google play store. The Nexus 7 has the play store by default….no rooting necessary. Also, if the Nexus 7 holds true to form regarding the other Nexus devices, it’ll have little to no outside crapware. Simply…..pure Android, nothing more, nothing less.

          Winner: Nexus 7

          (disclosure: I’ve used one other Nexus device, and the lack of crapware more than made up for the fact that there wasn’t an SD card slot)

    • tbax929 says:

      My ASUS Transformer has the SD card slot, but it was a lot more expensive than this one.

      I’m an ASUS fan, so the fact that they build this intrigues me. If I were considering a Fire I’d certainly consider this one instead. But as it stands, I don’t need another tablet. I wonder if Google isn’t getting into this game a bit too late.

  2. MutantMonkey says:

    This tablet has some really nice specs for a $200 device. Looking forward to seeing how it does.

    1.3Ghz quad-core CPU
    12-core Tegra 3 processor
    NFC
    1 GB of RAM
    1.2MP front-facing camera
    8 hours of battery life
    Two different storage variants: 8 GB and 16 GB

    • rdclark says:

      And a real GPS chip, apparently. And Bluetooth. The current Kindle Fire cannot compete with this, not even at $150.

  3. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    I am looking forward to playing with this one.

  4. Costner says:

    Nice… but since I already own an iPad not sure I could justify yet another. I’ll wait for the Kindle Fire 2 and see how it compares – I might be convinced to get a second tablet for the kid so she can play her games without begging for my iPad all the time.

    Would have preferred an SD Card slot though. That is one thing that annoys me about the iPad.

  5. SG-Cleve says:

    The problem with the Kindle Fire is it is very locked down and tied to Amazon.

    You can buy this Nexus tablet for the same price and have a nice “unlocked” Android tablet at a good size for reading books.

    Then you can just install the Kindle app on it if you want to read your Kindle books.

    For that matter you can also install the Nook app.

    • Vox Republica says:

      That’s clearly Google’s point of competitiveness here: lowering the walls of the garden to include content-delivery competitors’ wares. And really, this feature didn’t become all that attractive until Google announced the partners for Google Play—which still doesn’t seem all that feature-competitive with Amazon Prime unless there’s consideration of (similarly limited) “free” streaming of TV/movie content a la Amazon, Netflix, etc.

  6. Will Print T-shirts For Food says:

    -Waits for lawsuit from Apple claiming patent stealing-

    • Auron says:

      Yep, something tells me thats gonna be the lead story on Consumerist either by the end of this week or early next week.

    • cyberpenguin says:

      Looks rectangular… with rounded corners.

      Design patent infringement all the way.

  7. seth_lerman says:

    A deal breaker on the Nexus Q for me is no where in the specs does it say it will stream from local video sources (like I have a NAS box full of video files).

    • rambo76098 says:

      There’s android apps that do that via UPNP. I use Bubble UPNP to get stuff from my NAS, it’s free.

  8. Peter V says:

    I was planning to buy my first Mac but…
    $349 (New Lower Price) Galaxy Nexus Unlocked
    $199 Nexus 7 Tablet
    $299 Chromebook
    $847.99 + Shipping w/ Free $25 Play Store Credit
    = $823.99 + Shipping vs $999.99 + Tax.
    Sell iPhone 4 for ETF on Verizon then Join T-Mobile Prepaid. Next Month: Gone Google

  9. Telekinesis123 says:

    No SD card slot, no trackball (can live without this but makes me quite annoyed love it on my Nexus One). Sad small pitiful storage and as mentioned before no SD card to use my $20 32 GB and they want me to pay $50 more for 8Gb. No back facing camera, bad 1.2 mp front.

    I’d rather pay more for a device that was not designed to be a throwaway piece of electronics.

    • Captain Spock says:

      Almost all devices these days are designed to be throwaway.

    • Costner says:

      I’m with you on the SD card slot, but a trackball? Seriously?? What is this… 1998? I see no reason for a trackball when you have a finger that can point and drag with much more ease. I think you might be in the minority if you consider a trackball an important feature.

      The storage is somewhat limited, but more and more tablets are sacrificing storage since everything is moving to the cloud. I bought the 16GB iPad thinking the 8 would never be enough, and I even gave strong consideration to the 32GB model, but after using it for a few months I’m glad I didn’t. I haven’t needed more than the 16GB – and with cloud storage options increasing all the time… I’m guessing the trend of not needing tons of storage space will continue. $50 for an extra 16GB isn’t exactly cheap… but that same amount of space costs $100 via Apple so I can’t really bash them for it.

      The one benefit of the SD slot would be an easy way to transport large files like movies. I’d love to have a handful of cards loaded up with various offerings so if I was taking a road trip I could load a card full of kids movies for my daughter without having to sync with a laptop to transfer the files back and forth.

      The camera isn’t stellar, but the pictures I see people take with these things aren’t exactly archival quality. Personally I never use the cameras in my iPad – then again I rarely use the one in my phone either. If I know I want to take pictures ahead of time I use my DSLR or if I don’t want to lug that around I use my Canon point-and-shoot… I only use my phone in a pinch. I think most people use those cameras for video chat, so a lower resolution camera is probably sufficient.

      • rdclark says:

        I use my iPad’s front camera for video-calling all the time. Tablets are fantastic for that. I use the back camera as a document camera, mostly; combined with OCR software it’s really effective for doc capture. The idea of using a tablet to replace a real camera seems ludicrous — but then I went to a graduation and the number of people I saw waving iPads above their heads taking pictures (and blocking everyone’s view) made me realize once again that being able to afford an iPad doesn’t make anyone special.

      • Telekinesis123 says:

        It’s for precision things like editing words or letter in sentences, it is far superior. It’s also better at cycling through links on a webpage or finding a link when it is in a jumbled collection of others or is just plain small. You just scroll and highlight the link then click the trackball, the scrolling does not have a cursor but instead acts as hitting tab does on your computer, cycling through links on the page with your keyboard. You’ve probably never used one on your phone as having the choice between a trackball and touchscreen is far superior and versatile to being limited to only touch controls. Touchscreen controls for certain applications are inferior, but coupled together with the trackball makes being without a keyboard somewhat bearable. I love it on my Nexus One and is the main reason why I haven’t upgraded.

        Most poeple don;t know what they are missing becuase they’ve never had it.

    • who? says:

      Agree about the SD card slot, but as for the rest….it’s a $199 device. There are limits to what they can do for $199. If you want all the rest of the stuff that’s on an iPad, you have to expect to pay iPad prices.

      • Telekinesis123 says:

        My $49 mp3 player has a micro SD card slot with a 32Gb card in it, it’s 4 years old and it’s around 1 1/2 x 1 1/4 inches.

  10. gman863 says:

    I’m still waiting on Microsoft’s new tablet that should be out this fall.

    Although I doubt it will sell for under $200, the prototype I saw on TV has some cool feaures:

    * A case that has a built in keyboard – a real keyboard. Touch-typing on glass is OK for a GPS; however I want a real keyboard when doing e-mails or word processing. It also has a touch screen.

    * It will run Windows 8. The people I know who currently are running the beta copy of Win 8 have given it mostly positive reviews. Win 8 will, by default, have a desktop that is much friendlier for touch-screen use.

    * It has a USB 3.0 port – basically unlimited storage using a flash drive or external hard drive.

    * Windows 8 means I can use the same software as on my desktop and notbook PCs. No stupid “apps”, no having to convert word processing files back and forth between formats. I’ve seen people with so many apps on their iPhone they have to scroll up and down for a minute or two before they find what they’re looking for.

    • cyberpenguin says:

      They’re talking about $699 as the low-end price. They’re trying to compete at the high end with Apple.

      • gman863 says:

        This is a suicidal move on Microsoft’s part.

        I can see the higher end business model at this price; however MS is going to have to price the base model at or below the lowest current iPad price to cut into Apple’s market share.

        Once again, Bill Gates screws the pooch.

        • Actionable Mango says:

          Bill Gates has LOOOOOOOOOONG since retired.

        • JJFIII says:

          Bill Gates has been retired fro years, and without Bill Gates, Apple is a remnant of the past. Microsoft had a tablet BEFORE Apple ever thought of one, but don’t let facts spoil your “knowledge”

    • cyberpenguin says:

      Also, you might want to keep an eye on Woot.com. They seem to think they’ll have a large supply soon at pretty good prices.

      http://www.woot.com/offers/energy-by-klipsch-2-1-speaker-system#read-more

    • dush says:

      The model with the USB 3 port is the Pro. It is supposed to be price comparable to ultrabooks. So definitely not as cheap as this Nexus 7 or even an iPad.

    • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

      Don’t forget that Microsoft’s entry into the tablet market (revision 2, we may add–they tried going down this path back in the early 2000s to a “er, what?” reaction from the consumer market) comes in two flavours–the “we wanna compete with the iPad” version with the ARM processor (likely NVidia’s Tegra 3, but no exact spec yet) with that cover/keyboard (sold separately) for “a price competitive with the iPad” (read: $500 at least) running Windows RT (oops, not the real Windows 8, so no x86/x64 based Windows apps for you.) Or choose the “pro” model, running some Intel based processor and real Windows 8 Pro. No hardware specs yet on this, but Microsoft says they’ll price this “competitively with Ultrabooks” (read: $800 at the very cheapest.) Any word as to whether either one of these tablets will support 3G/LTE wireless? Nope. Any firm commitment from well known 3rd-party app developers to support Windows RT at this juncture? Nope. I’m guessing right now you’re stepping into a minefield. Ask anyone who’s bought a Blackberry Playbook or an HP Touchpad how well their investment went, even if they scored them dirt cheap.

  11. Hartwig says:

    For great specs this device is almost at the perfect “Well it’s only …” price for me to take the plunge. Plus it is a true Nexus so updates will quick. Been fighting myself all day to not pull the credit card out of the wallet.

  12. Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

    To hell with that, when’s the Asus Transformer infinity coming? Asus says “mid July.” Asus also has a tendency of lying about things like this. 1920×1200 res on a Tegra 3 chipset = sweeeet! Of course having to buy another docking keyboard (as this tablet’s keyboard dock, despite it also being from Asus, won’t work) make Flunkie a sad panda.

  13. justhypatia says:

    Meh, I can’t get excited. Last time I did that Google screwed me. My poor Nexus S can’t receive a text while on a call lest it fall into a conniption fit. Basically I keep my expectations low, and then I might be pleasantly surprised.

  14. golddog says:

    Took the plunge and ordered one today. There’s a couple of things that got me to the tipping point. First, yes there’s no SD but you get free cloud storage and can always transfer files via BT or USB port or over your WLAN. I can manage a 16GB rotation with that. Next, Google finally ponied up and paid for human support. I had a question about how the thing would be shipped and did a ‘click to call’ support request, and got a return call in under 30 seconds. Granted this could be dog and pony during the IO conference, but at least they’re making an effort. And finally, it’s stock Android, JB looks pretty polished, and it supports NFC. At this price point I’m willing to overlook the lack of SD and a rear camera. The rear camera would be nice for doc capture though.

    Now the “Q”? That’s a different story. I don’t know what they were thinking with that thing, both in terms of price and features, especially as related to Google TV.

  15. JonBoy470 says:

    This Nexus 7 sounds intriguing. The lack of an SD slot is a bummer, but sadly, no one other than techie-geeks would use it. So it’s a feature that either goes un-used by the customer, or the customer does use it, and all you’ve done is cannibalize the sales of the pricier 16GB model. Even Google can’t make a business case for that. Rear-facing camera? I have an iPad and the rear camera almost never gets used. No loss there…

    It’s still in that uncomfortable size range. Not bigger-enough than a smartphone to be more useful than a smartphone, while still being too big to actually go everywhere like a smartphone.

  16. skrolnik says:

    I just hope the batteries are more durable in this new Nexus-7. Nexus-6 was only good for like four years, then they’d just up and die on you.

    And it was no good trying to contact the manufacturer about the issue either, because you’d just get a canned response that they “were made as well as we could make them.”