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Asus confirms it's making Google tablet to fight Kindle Fire

Asus has confirmed that it's making Google's own-brand tablet, reckoned to arrive running Android Jelly Bean.

Asus is making Google's new tablet, the company has confirmed ahead of tonight's I/O developer conference, where we'll doubtless see the new hardware make its glittering debut.

An unnamed Asus exec let the cat out the bag, telling Reuters, "It's targeting Amazon. The Kindle is based on Google's platform but with its own service, so Google has to launch its own service, too."

The bigwig is referring to Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet, which is built on an Android foundation but runs Amazon's own apps. The anonymous tipster declined to mention specs, prices or release dates, but the fact that this mystery tablet will compete with the Kindle Fire speaks volumes.

Expect Google's offering to be small, as the highly portable Kindle Fire has a 7-inch display. If it wants to compete with Amazon's tablet, it'll need to cost $200 or less.

That would chime with leaked details on the soon-to-be-revealed slate. An uncovered training document spoke of a 7-inch device with a 1,280x800-pixel display, powered by a quad-core processor and lacking a camera.

Google will likely use the tablet, reckoned to be dubbed the Nexus 7, as a launchpad for a new version of Android. This morning we reported that Google had erected a massive Jelly Bean Android statue on its front lawn, so expect to hear a lot more about Android Jelly Bean over the next few days.

All the pieces are coming together -- now we're just waiting on the official nod from Google. Keep your eyes on this site tonight for all the news as it happens, and stick your predictions in the comments, or over on our Facebook wall.

Image credit: Gizmodo Australia