There have been many Android tablets released over the years, but there has not been a reference tablet from Google. That all changes today as the Nexus 7 tablet was unveiled at the Google I/O event. There had been some leaks before hand, but Google officially introduced this 7" slate today. The Nexus 7 is built by ASUS and features a 1280x800 touchscreen that uses an IPS panel and scratch-resistant Corning glass, a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, and either 8 or 16GB of internal storage. There is also NFC, WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, an accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, GPS, and a microphone. A 1.2 megapixel camera is on the front of the Nexus 7 for video calls, but no rear camera on the tablet or an SD slot. Battery life is expected to last eight hours during active use (longer on standby) and the whole thing weighs 340 grams.
The Nexus 7 will be the first (and so far only) device to ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The new Android version makes better use of smaller tablet screens, and provides an easier time reading books and magazines or watching movies. Android 4.1 is also the first version to ship with a finished Chrome browser, which should be welcome news to many people.
The best part about the Nexus 7 tablet is that it will not break the bank. The 8GB model is $199 while the 16GB model is $249, which competes very well with Amazon's and Barnes & Noble's tablets. Either Nexus 7 will include some free content and $25 of Google Play credit, and will ship in the middle of July.