The cat is officially out of the bag — we've got another tablet to obsess over, again. At Google's I/O developer conference, the company announced its Nexus 7 tablet built by Asus. Is it everything you were expecting it to be? Let's find out.
Why Google Needed A Tablet
It all goes back to the launch of Google Play. With the re-badge of the Android Market back in March, Google positioned itself to become a company with an ecosystem of music, videos, apps, ebooks, and now digital magazines.
And now that it has lots of content — 600,000 apps and counting — the next step was to build a stylish device that would store all of it.
The rumors nailed this one, too. The Nexus 7 sports a 7-inch IPS display (1280x800 resolution), 1GB of RAM, quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 8GB or 16GB of internal storage, a 1.2-megapixel front camera (seriously, no back camera?), NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a huge 4,325 mAh battery that should net you nine hours of HD video.
It's also very light — only 340 grams — or 73 grams lighter than Amazon's Kindle Fire.
Content Is Front And Center
Following in the Amazon's shoes, Google is putting all of the content in its Google Play up front. As soon as you turn on the Nexus 7, you see your content such as all of the digital magazines in your library. The Verge says it's very Kindle Fire-ish.
There's also an intelligent recommendation widget that "gets smarter and more accurate" the more you use it.
Chrome for Android will come as the standard browser and the YouTube app has been completely redesigned for the tablet. A revamped Maps app now works offline, too, so you can carry an entire city's worth of data with you without a connection.
Google also showed off the power of the Nexus 7 by demoing a few 3D games and using the tablet's built-in gyroscope and accelerometer.
For those of you who absolutely need a case and cover to go with their tablets, Google is also playing that game. It's selling a Nexus 7 Cover for $20 that'll give you some piece of mind at night knowing it's completely shielded.
The Nexus 7 will ship in mid-July for $200 with Android 4.1 Jellybean. Pre-order today and Google will also toss in a $25 credit to spend in the Google Play store as well as give you a copy of Transformers: Dark of the Moon and The Bourne Dominion (e-book).