Monday, 31 December 2012

Google Nexus Tablet: What we know so far

From being called the iPad-killer to a tablet targeted at a low to mid-segment market, Google Nexus has become the highlight of the Google I/O, which is a few hours away. It was late last year that Eric Schmidt spilled the beans on a tablet in the pipeline, and since then there has been no looking back for the rumours and speculations about the Nexus that have been making headlines. The search giant is about to take the wraps off its first tablet and show us what it really is and we’ve listed down everything that we know about it so far.
Nexus tablet to be unveiled soon...
Nexus tablet to be unveiled soon...

Build and Looks
Unlike what many may have predicted, the tablet isn’t built by Samsung. Google’s flagship Nexus tablet is built by Asus. The company had demonstrated its low-cost, yet effective Eee Pad MeMO 370T at the CES this year, and since then there were whispers about Google-Asus partnership, but nothing was clear. At the end of the last month, we saw a leaked benchmark of this highly anticipated tablet – Google Asus Nexus 7, clearly showing and for the first time that Google has partnered with Asus for its newest tablet. Moreover, the numerical ‘7’ further suggest that it is going to be the usual 7-incher, putting an end to speculations about the size of the tablet. The rumours didn’t stop, and finally early this month, a leaked image of the Nexus tablet was spotted circulating on the web claiming that it would be priced under $250. However, Gizmodo had also stumbled upon a training manual of the Nexus, and the leaked image by Gizmodo looks promising.
Will the Google Nexus look like this?
Will the Google Nexus look like this? (Image Credit: Gizmodo)

The Nexus tablet will be the first to feature the newest iteration of the Android operating system – Jelly Bean. However, Jelly Bean is expected to be an update to Ice Cream Sandwich and won’t come with a complete overhaul. As this leaked document shows, the Nexus tablet will run on Android 4.1, and not Android 5.0 as many may have expected. Nexus tablet will be powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 3, which is really big news, since it will be the first time a quad-core SoC-based tablet will be available at this price point. By using Nvidia’s SoC, the Nexus tablet will automatically get an upper hand when it comes to gaming and other multimedia aspects, where the Tegra 3 really excels.

So, the spec sheet that we know so far includes Nvidia Tegra 3 processor that runs at 1.3GHz and packs in a quad-core CPU and a 12-core GPU. The SoC will also be accompanied by 1GB of RAM and two different storage options – 8GB and 16GB. This will also be the first stock Android tablet to feature NFC support, so you can use features like Android Beam and Google Wallet. The screen is said to feature an IPS panel with a resolution of 1280 x 800 and also a 1.2 MP front-facing camera. The spec sheet doesn’t show a rear camera, which means Google has probably skipped it, probably to save on the cost. Then there is no mention of the battery capacity either.
Leaked benchmark...
Leaked benchmark...

Two variants of the Google Asus Nexus tablet that are likely to be announced are the 8GB and 16GB variants. The 8GB model is likely to be priced around INR11,373, while the 16GB model will be priced approximately at INR14,231. These prices are likely to vary till the devices hit store shelves and depending upon the region of sale.

What we think
The Nexus smartphone was aimed at high-end users, but with this tablet, Google comes with a change in strategy. In fact, the tablet doesn’t fall in the price range of the iPad, and will compete with a significantly lower market segment. In India, the market has various sub-15k Android tablets and this one could intensify the competition further, that is, if it maintains the same price range. This also means that the Nexus Tablet is in no means competing with the Microsoft Surface either, which is reportedly going to come attached with a higher price tag than the iPad. Google is trying to create a strong base at the low to mid-level tablet market. Although the dimensions and weight of the device is yet unclear, the above mentioned specs look good and promising (if the Nexus happens to feature them).

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