Haven’t we heard enough of these rumors already? Well if not, here’s some more. It appears that a picture was uploaded to Picasa from an ASUS ME172V according to the EXIF data. Now what’s interesting here is that the Nexus 7 was the ME370T, so you can see the similarities in the model numbers here. Now we’ve seen numerous rumors of a cheaper $99 Nexus 7 in the past few months. In fact, ASUS even came out and denied a $99 Nexus 7. When we found out that the 16GB Nexus 7 would be dropping to $199 to make room for the 32GB at $249, we began to wonder if the 8GB Nexus 7 would get dropped down to $99. But instead the 8GB model just disappeared completely.
What’s also interesting about that picture is the resolution is 1280×720. Which a slightly higher resolution than the camera currently on the Nexus 7. So it appears this would be a bit of an upgrade in the camera department. This one was also taken today at about 7:31am local time. At the time of writing this, the images were still on Picasa for your viewing pleasure, but that may change very soon. As usual with images from new devices taken and posted on Picasa, they get taken down rather quickly.
We also saw in the past that this ME172V was running Android 4.1 and not 4.2. It almost makes you think it was either an old benchmark or it’s not going to be a Nexus. Google can’t sell a Nexus device with an older version of Android running on it. Even if it is $99, that’s just not how Google or the Nexus program rolls along.
So we aren’t sure if this will be a Nexus 7 or another ASUS product. But we do know that it is going to be billed as a budget or low-end tablet. And we’ll most likely see it at CES next month in Las Vegas. But would you buy a 1024×600 resolution tablet for $99? Or just stick to the Nexus 7 at $199? Let us know what you think in the comments below.