One of the industry’s worst kept secrets, the ASUS made Google Nexus 7 tablet has finally been announced. Not only that, but it is already available for preorder for Australians via Google Play.
The local cost for the tablet is $249 for the 8GB and $299 for the 16GB model, a modest but sadly unexpected price hike over the US $199 price in the states. But in many ways the Nexus 7 is even more compelling for Australians than it is for those in the US, as we are unable to purchase the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble Nook devices that the Nexus 7 is clearly designed to compete with.
For us, low priced tablets are usually from no-name manufacturers, or online outfits like Kogan (which recently launched its own $179 10in Android 4.0 tablet). There isn’t really any serious competition to the Nexus 7, which will effectively be competing with brand name products that cost hundreds of dollars more.
The specs themselves paint a very pretty picture. Under the hood of the Nexus 7 lies an NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, with its nifty 4+1 core configuration. Paired with 1GB of RAM, this drives a 7in 1280 x 800 IPS screen and runs the latest version of Android, Jelly Bean (also known by the more boring Android 4.1 moniker). It has a 1.2MP front camera (though none on the rear) and a 4325mAh battery to power it all.
Looking through the specs, one can see where corners have been cut to get the price down, but that doesn’t detract from the product, which is clearly designed to be used around the home rather than on the go. It only comes with WiFi and Bluetooth for example, and lacks expandable memory. It does come with Micro-USB, though this appears to be for charging and sync rather than for connecting USB devices to the tablet.
You can preorder the tablet via Google Play now, and shipping is currently estimated at 2-3 weeks. For now orders also come with a $25 Google Play voucher, which will get you on the way to building your App collection. We haven’t gotten our hands on a unit yet, but it really does look like one of the most compelling tablet releases to date.