Some people look forward to the summer because it means the start of camping season or they look forward to working in their yards. Geeks the world wide look forward to the developer conferences. Apple hosted theirs earlier this month and Google begins their event today. We always expect latest and greatest sorts of announcements from these conferences, but this go around Google announced the latest entrant into the ‘iPad Killer’ contest: a 7″ Nexus tablet.
Made with the help of Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc., the Nexus 7 runs the Google Android operating system and features the 7″ screen (running at a resolution of 1,280 x 800) that so many tablet users love to hate. Rounding out the feature-set on the Nexus 7 is a micro USB port, 1GB of RAM, a 1.2-megapixel front camera (no back camera), a syroscope, GPS, accelerometer, microphone and 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. The Nexus 7 is expected to have 9 hours of 720p HD battery life, which is respectable for the size of the tablet.
The real excitement may be that ths tablet will run the newest version of Android which was also announced today: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Taking a cue from Microsoft (or was it the other way around), we knew that Google was readying to launch a tablet that they planned to sell direct-to-customers through their own channels (an online store in their case). This move backfired on Microsoft when many of the manufacturers of compatible Windows hardware started bailing ship and/or getting scared when they heard Microsoft would be competiting with them –time will tell whether Google can expect the same backlash.
The Nexus 7 will retail for USD $199, a price-point that says the company that should be scared is Amazon (on the basis of the full-version of Android running on the Google device alone). While I suspect that initial interest in the Google tablet will be significant, Apple hasn’t ever chosen to compete in the lower-end of the tablet market and likely won’t be affected much, if at all.