THE GOOGLE I/O CONFERENCE saw Google launch its long rumoured Nexus 7 tablet today, which will be available in the UK from mid-July.
The Asus-built tablet, which aims to compete head on with the Ipad, features a 7in HD 1280x800 touchscreen, a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor and a 12-core GPU, and will be available in 8GB and 16GB models.
The Google Nexus 7 will also run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which was also announced at the San Francisco conference today, giving the tablet "Project Butter", Google Now, an improved user interface and enhanced voice search. Google's improved Google Play store also brings magazines and HD videos straight to its own-branded tablet, and there's also an new Youtube app optimised for tablets.
In terms of specifications, buyers will also find integrated NFC, WiFi, Bluetooth, battery life promising 9 hours of video playback, Google's Chrome web browser, and a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera. However, Google has decided not to put a rear-facing camera in the Nexus 7, likely to keep the price of the device low.
Despite the tablet's Google Play integration and decent specs, industry analysts think the firm will continue to struggle against Apple and Amazon.
"Google's user base for music, books, and movies is not nearly as strong as Apple or Amazon, so it will take time to build a strong customer base," said Forrester analyst Frank Gillett. "But Google's real tablet problem is the lack of compelling tablet optimized apps and Google has yet to address how to motivate developers to fill the gap."
The Google Nexus 7 will be available in the UK from mid-July, although UK pricing is still to be revealed. In the US, the 8GB and 16GB models will be priced at $199 and $249, respectively. Customers in the US will also get a $20 credit to spend in Google Play, and free content including the Transformers Dark of the Moon movie.
Google was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.
Google has revealed UK pricing for the Nexus 7. The 8GB model will cost £159, and the 16GB model £199. µ