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Google Nexus 7 image appears ahead of launch

A snap of the Google Nexus 7 tablet has surfaced just hours ahead of its expected launch at the company's I/O conference.

A snap of the Google Nexus 7 tablet has surfaced, just ahead of the device's expected debut this evening.

Android Police spotted the picture, which shows a small tablet device bearing a simple grey casing, as well as an Asus logo on the back. The Google own-brand gadget is likely to be revealed in mere hours, when Google kicks off its I/O developer conference.

Previous leaks tip the Nexus 7 to have a 7-inch screen (which would make sense, given the name) packing 1,280x800 pixels, as well as a quad-core processor and no camera on the back.

It's likely to be running a new version of Android called Android Jelly Bean, with the search giant erecting a statue-shaped hint on its front lawn this morning.

Rather than gunning straight for the iPad, Google is likely going after the cheaper Amazon Kindle Fire, which isn't on sale here in the UK. If it corners the affordable tablet market, it could woo buyers with a more wallet-friendly alternative to Apple's slate.

No Android tablet has really blown us away so far, so we're excited to see what Google has up its sleeves. Stay tuned over the next few hours for all the news as it emerges, and vent your excitement in the comments or on our Facebook wall.