Google's Nexus 7 tablet, made in partnership with Asus, is finally here. It has almost the exact hardware of a high-end tablet of last year, with the processing power of the high-end tablets of this year, thanks to the quad core Tegra 3. The display is an HD 1280×800 one, so you can watch movies and videos at HD resolution on that crisp 216 PPI display, or read books with sharp text. It also has a front facing 1.2 MP camera, 8 GB of storage (16 GB for the $250 version), and a 4300 mAh battery, which gives 8-9 hours of battery life.
The tablet comes directly with Android 4.1 JellyBean, Google's latest version of Android which brings some serious performance improvements thanks to better hardware acceleration, and faster touch response. Google had a specific project for this called Project Butter, meant to make Android's UI be as smooth as butter. ICS brought a big improvement in UI smoothness over the previous versions of Android, because of hardware acceleration, but it could've still used some improvement. Hopefully, now, Android's UI is as fast or faster than any other mobile OS.
Google's tablet will give you access to the Play Store, for which they also announced new content such as TV show episodes, movies you can actually buy, rather than rent, and access to 4 million e-books, the biggest e-book library on Earth, as well as 600,000 Android applications. Google is also giving each buyer a $25 credit to the Play Store, so you can get right in and enjoy some content when you get your Nexus 7 tablet. I'm glad Google is giving credit to buyers, and they should do this with all Nexus devices, at least, because it means more people will have to make a Google Wallet account in order to receive that credit.
Now that Google has their own inexpensive $200, it means that Android users finally have a device with stock Android that they can use, instead of trying to find a home on a Kindle Fire or a Nook Color, which they have to root and put a buggy custom ROM on them. Whatever Amazon releases in the future with Kindle Fire, I figure it would only appeal to "regular" people who might not know about the Nexus 7 and they buy into Amazon's commercial for Kindle Fire. But anyone who considers himself an Android user and is looking for a 7" Android tablet, should look no further than the Nexus 7, which is available for pre-order right now, and will be shipping mid-July.
[Via Nexus 7]