Rumors of Google launching a flagship "Nexus" tablet have swirled around since late 2011. It's highly likely that the search giant will show off the "Nexus 7" tablet at the company's Google I/O developer conference on Wednesday.
The Nexus 7 Picture (So Far)
We've been following the Nexus tablet rumors since the beginning. If the rumors pan out, Google could announce a 7-inch tablet built by Asus that'll have the new Android 4.1 Jellybean OS (previously thought to be Android 5.0, but since debunked).
The strongest spec evidence comes from an alleged training manual that Gizmodo Australia claims to have gotten its hands on. Rumored hardware specs include a 1280x800 resolution screen with a 178-degree IPS display (1280x800 resolution), 1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, GeForce 12-core GPU, 1GB of RAM, NFC, 1.2-megapixel front-cam and a nine hour battery life.
The Nexus 7 will reportedly come in 8GB an 16GB models for $200 and $250, respectively, which fits perfectly in line with all the "cheap Google tablet" rumors we've been hearing about.
Google's Chance To Shine
Aside from Samsung's plethora of Galaxy Tab tablets, there's been a lackluster lineup of tablets running Android. Even sales of Android-powered Kindle Fire tablet have slowed down significantly, according to IDC.
I don't want to sound like a fanboy, but the iPad is still the undisputed tablet leader with 68 percent of the tablet market (as of Q1 2012).
Google's strategy of licensing Android out to its hardware partners have mostly yielded undesired products such as the Motorola Xoom, Motorola Droid Xyboard, HTC Flyer and LG G-Slate; the latter of which has already decided to bow out of the tablet business (for now).
RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook continues to be a cash-burner with no clear direction or reason to exist (and a lack of killer apps) and Microsoft's doing its own hardware thing with the Surface.
The timing couldn't be more perfect for Google to jump in and show its hardware partners how a proper Android tablet should be done, just as it has with its Nexus smartphones.
Add to all of this that Google's Chairman Eric Schmidt said back in December that the company would "market a tablet of the highest quality" and it looks like, maybe, the iPad will finally get a tablet rival worthy of sparring with.