Google makes the Nexus 7 tablet official during Google I/O

Google Nexus 7The Nexus 7 tablet has been made official during the opening keynote presentation at Google I/O, confirming months of speculation. But instead of taking on the might of Apple’s iPad, it has been designed to beat the one tablet that has taken the US market by storm — Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

The Fire uses a modified version of Google Android as its operating system, but then leads users into Amazon’s suite of online services, including its application store, streaming movies and music downloads. For this reason, it’s sold cheaply in America, costing just $199.

Google’s Nexus 7 is the result of a joint project with Asus, and it features a 7-inch screen with a 1280 x 800 high definition resolution, plus it’s powered by the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but there’s no 3G.

There’s also no rear camera, but a front camera lens is provided for video chats, and the battery is expected to provide 300 hours of standby or nine hours of video playback. It uses the latest version of Android, 4.1 Jelly Bean, which was also announced during the keynote.

Google will pre-install its Chrome web browser, which is freshly out of beta, Google Currents, Google Maps and an optimised version of its YouTube client too. It’ll also provide total access to Google Play, allowing users to purchase apps, movies, music, magazines and eBooks directly from the tablet.

This is the exact approach Amazon took with the Fire, and it has also allowed Google to offer the Nexus 7 at a reduced rate. Google has also decided to release the Nexus 7 in the UK, something Amazon hasn’t done with the Fire.

The Nexus 7 tablet is just £159 for the 8GB version or £199 for the 16GB tablet, and it’s available for pre-order through Google Play today. If you take the plunge, it’s said to be ready for delivery sometime in July.

About Andrew Boxall

Andy's fascination with mobile tech began in the 90s, at a time when SMS messages were considered cutting edge, but it would be at least a decade before he would put finger-to-keyboard as a freelance tech writer. In the interim he wrote about travel, formulated strong opinions about films and drove a series of audacious cars