Google announces the first Nexus Tablet, an Amazon Kindle Fire Challenger

Google Nexus 7 tablet

The simple design of the Google Nexus 7 tablet ensures all your attention will be on the 7-inch 720p HD IPS display the tablet features. Image: Google, Inc.

Earlier today Google unveiled the world’s first Nexus tablet with the Google Nexus 7. The new Google Nexus 7 tablet will be launched in July for the affordable starting price of $199. Buyers will have the option of picking up a 8GB Wi-Fi model for $199 or a 16GB Wi-Fi model for $249 through Google’s online store or through third-party retailers. At this time Google is looking to offer the Nexus 7 tablet as a Wi-Fi only device, but that could change at any time, the company didn’t rule out 3G and/or 4G equipped models altogether today with their announcement.

Just as previous rumors had claimed the Nexus 7 tablet is a result of a partnership between Google and OEM Asustek Computer, Inc. (company behind ASUS branded products). The general design of the Nexus 7 tablet is also similar to the Asus Eee Pad MeMO 370T 7-inch tablet, just like rumor reports had stated.

The Nexus 7 tablet features a Nvidia Tegra 3 T30L quad-core processor, a 7-inch 1280×800 resolution IPS capacitive multi-touch display, the upcoming Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS, 1GB of RAM, 8 or 16GB of built-in flash memory storage, a 1.2MP front camera for video chat, GPS, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Micro-USB for charging and syncing the tablet.

Google reports their Nexus 7 tablet will be lightweight at 340g and thin too at 10.45mm. Portability is what Google was shooting for with the Nexus 7, so they’ve also equipped it with a sizable battery (4,325mAh) that can last up to 8 hours.

Right now eager buyers can pre-order the 8GB and 16GB Nexus 7 tablets on Google’s Play store.

Google side-steps Apple and targets Amazon

Amazon Kindle Fire unveiledWith a $199 price tag and 7-inch screen Google has made it abundantly clear that they don’t want any part of the high-end/high-priced tablet market which Apple currently leads. Instead Google has set their sights on the low-cost, but do everything market that Amazon has really got going with their 7-inch Kindle Fire (pictured just above) that retails coincidentally for just $199 at this time.

It’s been said multiple times, but it’s really worth reiterating in light of today’s announcement. Apple can’t be beat in the high-end tablet market. The iPad brand is so strongly positioned that it’s been almost impossible for any other companies to get their devices into even half as many hands as Apple has with the 9.7-inch iPad family. For Google their is simply to much money and risk involved with going directly at Apple with the tablet market going the way it is.

Google Nexus 7 vs. Amazon Kindle Fire

ModelGoogle Nexus 7Amazon Kindle Fire
ProcessorQuad-Core Nvidia Tegra 3 T30L1GHz Texas Instruments dual-core OMAP 4
Display Type7-inch HD7-inch display IPS technology
Display Specs1280 x 800 (216 ppi)1024 X 600 at 169 pixels per inch (ppi)
Operating SystemAndroid 4.1 (Jelly Bean)Android 2.3 (customized)
Built-In Storage8GB and 16GB8GB
Rear CameraNoNo
Front Camera1.2-megapixelNo
Battery4325 mAh (Up to 8 hours of active use)Up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off.
Wi-FiWiFi 802.11 b/g/n802.11 b/g/n
PortsMicro USB, 3.5mm headphone jackMicro USB 2.0 (type B), 3.5mm headphone jack
Height7.81 inches (198.5 mm)7.5 inches (192 mm)
Width4.72 inches (120 mm)4.7 inches (122 mm)
Depth0.41 inch (10.45 mm)0.45 inch (12.4 mm)
Weight0.74 pounds (340 grams)0.91 lbs (413 grams)

It’s unfair to seriously compare the new Nexus 7 tablet to the now 6+ month old Kindle Fire, but the comparison has to be made given the Kindle Fire is the most popular $199 tablet on the market. Although even with it’s age the Kindle Fire isn’t that far behind the Nexus 7.

If you look at the chart above the Kindle Fire only lags behind the Nexus 7 in a few areas like processing power, available cameras, and connectivity support. The Tegra 3 inside the Nexus 7 is just more capable than the dual-core TI chip inside the Kindle Fire. The Kindle Fire has no cameras at all while Google’s tablet has one front-facing camera that enables video chatting. No Bluetooth support is provided with the Kindle Fire either, so you can’t use your Bluetooth wireless keyboard with the tablet or sync the tablet with other Bluetooth devices.

There is no SD card slot on the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire. Both Google and Amazon are looking for their tablet buyers to utilize their online storage services for apps, media and games.

I think Amazon will have a more competitive offering in the coming months with their next tablet. At the time of the Kindle Fire’s release there really was no $199 tablet for the designers at Amazon to look at and try outdoing.

Leave a Comment