Google reveals Nexus 7 tablet, Nexus Q media player
By Nicole Kobie
Posted on 27 Jun 2012 at 18:20
Google has unveiled its heavily-rumoured tablet, the Nexus 7, as well as a media-streaming device called Nexus Q.
Built with Asus, the Google-branded tablet will cost £159 for the 8GB version and £199 for the 16GB version, compared to $199 in the US, and comes with a £15 app credit. Pre-orders start today, and the Nexus 7 will ship from mid-July in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK.
The 7in tablet was made with Asus, runs Android 4.1 - aka Jelly Bean - and features a 1.3Ghz Tegra 3 chipset with quadcore CPU and 12-core GPU. Google promised eight hours of battery life for video playback, and ten hours for web browsing or ebook reading. The HD display has a resolution of 1280x800, and it features a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera.
Find out moreGoogle's Nexus 7 and Nexus Q: specs and photos
It weights in at 340 grams and is 10.45mm thick. There will be an 8GB and 16GB versions, featuring Wi-Fi but no mobile broadband connectivity.
Google stressed that the device integrates with its Google Play store, suggesting the tech giant is targeting Amazon's Kindle Fire as a content consumption device rather than the Apple iPad.
The Nexus Q was designed from the ground up, with Google describing it as "not just another black box" - indeed, the mini PC is an interesting-looking sphere shape, ringed with 32 LEDs.
The device is controlled via an Android handset, but music and movies are pulled down from the cloud, rather than streamed from a smartphone or tablet. It features a built-in amplifier as well as a microUSB port to "encourage hackibility".
The Nexus Q runs Android 4.0 - Ice Cream Sandwich - on dual ARM Cortex A9 CPUs and GPU, and includes 16GB of flash memory.
It will cost $299, with preorders starting today and shipments starting in July. UK pricing wasn't immediately available.
As I understand it, the $199 is excluding tax, the £159 includes VAT so it's actually almost exactly the same price.
I think this is a possible Amazon-beater as the hardware and software look streets ahead of the Kindle Fire.
If Google can get it into stores, it will also be an extremely tempting alternative to an iPad for people who want a smaller device and/or don't want to spend £400 (or, realistically, £500 because the entry level iPad 3 isn't really viable). And from a brand they're completely familiar with.
Let's hope that, when it's actually out there, it'll prove to be everything it appears.
By KevPartner on 27 Jun 2012
I'm astonished with the price of this device. I can't help but think that the profit margins on the device are either very thin or non-existent. Could this be a plan for the future, getting media consumers on a budget into the Google Play ecosystem?
I think so.
By Passo on 27 Jun 2012
Buying market share by low entry level price is de-facto in the console market, so Google's approach is not entirely surprising. However a £400-£600 Microsoft (surface) tablet is not looking entirely competitive!
By milliganp on 28 Jun 2012
Looks to me as though Jelly Bean opens the door to extremely sophisticated content consumption - and given that it learns from your activities, the content it's consuming is largely generated by using the tablet itself.
In my view, all tablets are content consumption devices. Whilst it is technically possible to create music using the iPad, firstly I defy anyone who's used the desktop version of Garageband to say they prefer the tablet edition with a straight face. And secondly, talking for myself and the people I know who use iPads (although, frankly, most of the iPad use I see is by kids), they use their devices for browsing the internet, watching videos and playing games. Which is fair enough - that's what Steve did at the launch.
Whilst there's the usual level of cynicism around this launch (just as there was, from a different audience including myself, at the launch of the original ipad) it looks as though Google has bided its time and got it right. The specs alone, for a device this price, are spectacular.
This device is not going to yank people out of the Apple ecosystem but, contrary to popular belief, not everyone owns multiple Apple devices. For me, this is the most significant launch since the original iPad - even more significant than Kindle Fire due to the capability of the hardware. And the price is amazing - like Amazon, Google is probably making a loss on the hardware and looking to profit from media downloads. Frankly, they couldn't leave it any longer to get into the game.
Let's hope it lives up to the promise.
By KevPartner on 28 Jun 2012
A bold challenge to Amazon
As a Kindle user in the UK, I would have been tempted by Amazon's Fire if they'd made it available here, although I was put off by the device's non-standard version of Android. The Nexus 7 is a no-brainer for me (I've pre-ordered).
Clearly the Nexus 7 pricing is tied to Google Play and the assured income that will generate for Google. I've been an enthusiastic buyer of Kindle ebooks but dislike the lock-in to Amazon DRM.
With the Nexus 7 and Google Play, at least I have a choice and perhaps this will bring the realisation to Amazon that they should rethink their DRM strategy.
By blueleaf on 28 Jun 2012
Nice gadget, where's the ecosystem?
It's clearly targeting Kindle Fire \ Amazon, and part of the strategy that also includes GoogleTv.
Gotta luurve the way they're starting to charge us to collect our data, and sell them to their 'partners'.
That aside, the real issue for me is that Google isn't Amazon. The Kindle Fire is a gateway into the Amazon emporium: Department stores aren't dead, they've simply been transformed into Amazon!
What can Google offer to compete with this? I look forward to seeing how it all goes for them, for without the 'gateway' function, this seems like just another cheap generic Android Tablet.....
By wittgenfrog on 28 Jun 2012
Nexus 7 Tablet: the game changer
This has become the hottest item for months on HotUKDeals and, like many others, I placed my order within minutes of it going on sale. The iPad is terrific, of course, but twice the cost (and twice the weight!), not all that comfortable to use one handed and somewhat pretentiously large when used on a commute. As others have said, though, Apple aficionados will remain loyal to the company's iPad offerings for the foreseeable future and the Nexus 7 appears to be pitched against the Kindle Fire. As the Kindle Fire hasn't been released in the UK yet, this newer, better specified, probably cheaper alternative will absorb all pent-up demand that Amazon built up for their product here (without exploiting it).
I agree with KevPartner that this is a significant launch, and it will probably make all the existing 7" tablets (including the very attractively priced Samsung 2 7.0) a very difficult sell indeed.
By lfstone on 28 Jun 2012
Has Google hit the sweet spot (might we say the G-Spot) for pricing?
Looks like an excellent device backed by good app store and Google services while also offering great value for money. Pricing seems really crucial in this segment of the market and it looks like Google may have gotten it just right. I think Google might just have found a way to get people excited.
The big losers here could well be Amazon and Samsung.
I for one had been eying up the Samsung Tab 2 7” following its review in this very magazine (http://goo.gl/cKrS6) but was waiting to see what the Google tablet would be like. People who own Amazon devices seem to love them but I really want something that can cope with a bit of everything. For me this would be web browsing, reading documents and audio/video playback. Crucially a bright responsive screen is also a must for the various hyper coloured highly interactive apps that my kids love. If they like them on my phone they’re going to love them on a 7” tablet. Pocket friendly size for me and not so expensive that I’d never let them play with it. Also I’m a lecturer so any device I own inevitably gets used as much for work as it does for pleasure but since I’m the one footing the bill then pricing/quality (value for money) is always going to be a key factor.
I’m officially excited but am waiting for a full review from a trusted source.
Now where could that be?
By philwane on 28 Jun 2012
All dressed-up... Nowhere to go?
This is obviously intended to compete with Kindle Fire. It can't.
Google doesn't even have a credoble online digital store, let alone a sophisticated online Department Store a la Amazon (or even EBay).
Clearly they'll be able more effeiciently to harvest & re-sell users' data in a 'business as usual' Google mode, but not as a direct Amazon competitor.
Predicting the future is always a dangerous game, so we'll have to wait & see.....
By wittgenfrog on 28 Jun 2012
Kindle Fire is an irellevance
The Nexus 7 is mainly going to hurt Microsoft. In fact it'll kick them right in the price points.
By PaulOckenden on 28 Jun 2012
Google versus Amazon !
With Google and Amazon now going head to head in what will be a crucial battle for market share, I can't see how other budget tablets will sell.
The mass market for tablets and distribution of content is being defined here.
Apple stand apart from this to a degree with their own premium devices and established content channels, but as expected will lose some potential sales to these budget alternatives.
However, I suspect Google and Amazon will be fighting it out for the new customers as the market for digital content grows.
So how do Microsoft fit in ?
By GoneWithTheWind on 28 Jun 2012
So does nexus 7 have GPS, USB, HDMI.....
Looks good as a basic spec, but we need more info on all the other ports and sensors etc that it contains (if it has them?).
I'm still waiting for something (cheap) that can show media on the TV, read books etc but still be a satnav in the car etc. Ideally I would also have liked it to have an optional sim capability so that for eg it can download while on the move..... Ie similar functionality to my Orange San Fran with larger screen and more media connectivity.
Oh and does it allow extra memory via (micro)SD cards?
By lrkija on 28 Jun 2012
"The Nexus 7 is mainly going to hurt Microsoft. In fact it'll kick them right in the price points..."
So you mean that a Tablet with a different form factor to any known 'Surface' or WinRT \ Windows 8 gadgets is targeted at them and will 'hurt' them.
I'm just guessing the that the GodPad will be unaffected? :-)
Of course it will soak up demand at the lower price-points, but whether it will affect larger\costlier devices is surely a bit of an unknown?
The Kindle Fire (v1.0) hasn't,as far as we know, taken too many sales from Samsung's more premium efforts nor iPad, though I guess that rather depends on who you ask.....
Personally I won't consider the Nexus, as I prefer a larger screen, and something with a bit more flexibility, but I'm probably not 'typical' in that respect.
As with many of this Summer's announcements, and forthcoming ones, I guess its yet more 'wait & see'.....
By wittgenfrog on 29 Jun 2012
If you listen very carefully...
...you can just hear the last gasping breath of the Blackberry Playbook.
Odd there's no 32Gb Nexus 7 considering there's no mSD or3G. Nexus Q would be a tough sell at any price, total non-starter at ~$300.
By petermillard1 on 30 Jun 2012
Perhaps they're after Apple....
On refelection, this 7" seems a pretty neat spoiler for the rumoured 7" iPad, which (if it happens) will be entering a market where expectations about price are already set.
For once, not be set by Apple, but by Google & Amazon.
Amazon are about to release Kindle Fire v2 and possibly a 10" too, as are Google.
The 7" versions are clearly 'entry-level', aimed pretty squarely at building volumes and attracting and locking-in users to their ecosystems.
10" offerings will clearly be competing head-on with Apple, and with MS & patners' offers.
It wil be interesting to see if these bigger Tablets are also better featured, with higher res screens, more ports, 34G etc, or if they maintain the current 'cheap & cheerful' approach....
By wittgenfrog on 30 Jun 2012
"The Nexus 7 is mainly going to hurt Microsoft. In fact it'll kick them right in the price points..."
True, but there again, the Kia Picanto kicks the Ford Mondeo in the price points as well... But somebody looking for a Mondeo class vehicle isn't going to be persuaded by a Picanto.
If you are after a tablet with the full Windows experience, the Nexus isn't going to come into the running.
Likewise, if you want a bigger tablet, it won't come into the equation.
For work, we need tablets that run the full Java stack, which knocks iPads and Android tablets out of the running, the Surface Pro looks like it might be a suitable tablet.
On the other hand, I'm looking for a small, compact tablet with 3G, the Nexus 7 would be ideal, but it doesn't have 3G, so no phone calls or SMS.
By big_D on 1 Jul 2012
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