Google ups challenge to iPad, Kindle with debut of $199 Nexus 7

The device is built by Asus, and as expected, comes with a 7-inch display.

Play

The worst-kept secret in Googleland is now official.

The Nexus 7 tablet was unveiled today at the Google I/O Conference. As previously reported, the device was built by Asus and comes with a 7-inch 1,280-by-800 HD display. According to Google, it's running the Tegra 3 processor and has a front-facing camera for video chatting. Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as Bluetooth and near-field communication support are also included in the device.

Rumors had been swirling for months that Google would offer the tablet. Earlier this morning, the company mistakenly let slip a banner image of the device on its Google Play store.

With the announcement, Google is making a play for a piece of a hard-fought market where its entry will compete against Amazon.com's Kindle Fire -- which the Nexus 7 approximates in size and price -- as well as Apple's iPad.

The Nexus 7 comes in 8GB and 16GB models. The 8GB option retails for $199, while the 16GB version will go on sale at $249. The device will start shipping in two to three weeks, Google said. However, interested customers can start preordering the tablet today.

Rounding out the specs are a Micro-USB port, 1GB of RAM, a 1.2-megapixel front camera (no back camera included), a gyroscope, GPS, an accelerometer, a microphone, and 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi.

The device measures 10.45mm thick, weighs 0.7 pounds, and, from the looks of the first pictures released, has a textured, grippy backside and appears to be about the same size as the Kindle Fire.

The Nexus 7 will be the first device to run the latest version of the Android 4.1 OS, also known as Jelly Bean. Google says to expect 9 hours of 720p HD video battery life.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Looking for an affordable tablet?

CNET rounds up high-quality tablets that won't break your wallet.