Google’s Nexus 7 Tablet Borrows iPad’s Magnetic Smart Cover Sensor

Priced at just $199 with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, Google’s upcoming Nexus 7 is one slick tablet, and it may have some yet undiscovered tricks hidden away in its hardware.

Over at Android Police, Nexus 7 testers exposed the tablet to magnets and discovered that it possesses a magnetic smart cover sensor, much like the magnets found in Apple’s iPad 2 and third generation iPad.

A magnet that is placed along the front or the back of the Nexus 7 in portrait mode when the tablet is on will turn the tablet on and off, as can be seen in this video from a tipster:

Google is selling covers for the Nexus 7 on the Google Play website, but it’s unclear from the description whether they include smart cover functionality. On the Asus website, the company implies that it is indeed an “optional protective smart cover.”

While Apple does own a patent on its Smart Covers, it is very specific to the iPad, leaving room for other companies to design their own solutions. Microsoft’s Surface tablet will come equipped with a smart cover solution as well, and it doesn’t look like Google’s potential Nexus 7 smart cover will infringe on the patent.

The Nexus 7 tablet and its accompanying smart covers can currently be pre-ordered on the Google Play website, at $199 for the base 8GB model. They’re expected to begin shipping in one or two weeks, according to the website.

About Juli: Contact me via Twitter: @julipuli