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Google Nexus 7 tablet won't have 3G or camera, rumours say

The 7-inch Google Nexus 7 Android tablet will show off Jelly Bean, but it won't have a main camera or 3G.

More details have trickled out about the hotly tipped Google tablet, the Nexus 7. The 7-inch Android tablet will be the first to show off Jelly Bean, and now sources say it won't have a main camera or 3G. Can the Google Nexus 7 face up to the iPad or the new Microsoft Surface and Microsoft Surface Pro?

In order to keep the cost down to the rumoured $200 (£125), it seems Google and tablet manufacturer Asus plan to only offer Wi-Fi for connecting to the web, with no 3G option.

Industry watcher DigiTimes reports that component suppliers for the Nexus 7 also say there's no main camera -- just a lower-resolution front-facing camera for video calls.

Perhaps it's this camera that captured two photos posted to Google's online photo-sharing service Picasa, which claim to have been captured by a device called Nexus 7. The 1,280x960-pixel snaps are of the ceiling in 'Google Building 44', according to the attached geotagging metadata. One has since been deleted.

It's a tough market the Nexus 7 enters: making Android tablets is a hard row to hoe. None of them have come close to toppling the iPad as the most popular slate. Things are so tough, LG is giving up on tablets entirely to focus on phones.

And things got even tougher today with the announcement of the Microsoft Surface and Microsoft Surface Pro, flagship Windows 8 tablets that introduce the world to the next generation of the software that runs most of the world's homes and offices -- and by the end of this year will power tablets too.

The Nexus 7 will not only have to contend with the apparently invincible marketing of the iPad, but also with the widespread brand recognition of Windows. In fact, this is turning into a three-way head-to-head battle of the brands between Apple, Microsoft and Google, with the latter two putting their own names on the hardware for the first time. Who will win?

It's a safe bet that the Nexus 7 will take a bow at Google I/O, the annual Android developer event on 27 June in San Francisco. Keep it CNET for all the news and speculation in the run-up to the Nexus 7's public debut, as well as videos, previews and first impressions when it does become official.

Are you looking forward to the Google Nexus 7? Has the Microsoft Surface raised the bar for Android tablets? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.