Google Nexus 7: Expect July Fireworks

Apr 03, 2013 (06:04 AM EDT)

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Google Nexus 7, Take Two: What To Expect
Google Nexus 7, Take Two: What To Expect
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A new seven-inch tablet is on deck from Google, reports Reuters. The next-generation Nexus 7 will likely be available by July, and will offer various hardware improvements when compared to the original.

As with the 2012 Nexus 7, the 2013 model will be built for Google by Asustek. The device will feature a seven-inch screen, but its resolution will be improved. The current device's screen measures 1280 x 800 pixels. By way of comparison, the slightly larger iPad Mini's display has 1024 x 768 pixels. The 2012 Nexus 7's screen looks better than the iPad Mini's. It's unclear, however, what the new Nexus 7's screen resolution will be. Reuters' sources suggest that the new tablet will have less bezel around the improved display, too. The current generation's bezel is somewhat unattractive.

The 2013 Nexus 7 will receive a new power plant. Google and Asus will drop the Nvidia Tegra chip found in the original and replace it with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The exact processor model from Qualcomm was not disclosed by Reuters' sources, but they said the change is being made for "power reasons." The Tegra 3 processor was not known for its thrifty use of the battery. Qualcomm's Snapdragon line often combines the processor and wireless radio module in one chip.

[ Is Samsung fighting a losing battle, asking you to swap your phone/tablet combo for one device? See Samsung's Galaxy Mega Phablets May Go Too Far. ]

Other details from Reuters' sources are thin. The only other real detail provided is pricing, which is said to be in the $149 - $199 range. The current Nexus 7 sells for $199 - $249, depending on the variant. If Google drops the price to $149, it will undercut the Apple iPad Mini's $329 lowest price by the huge margin of $180.

The thinking behind the low price is to steal market share from Apple, and get eyeballs looking at Google's services. Google makes the bulk of its revenue from advertising. It may sell the 2013 Nexus 7 at or slightly below cost just to move more units. In fact, the company hopes to sell 8 million Nexus 7 tablets during the second half of the year. That's close to double the number of Nexus 7 tablets Google sold during the same period last year.

To say the new Nexus 7 will have a better screen and faster processor doesn't take much brainpower to figure out. It's the smaller details that make the story more interesting, and Reuters' piece is bereft of those specs. Will the new Nexus 7 be thinner/lighter? Will it have a back-facing camera? What about RAM, wireless network support and internal storage? And of course, will it run Android 5.0?

These are the details expected to show up during Google I/O, which takes place May 15 - 17 in San Francisco.

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