By Claire Reilly
Google announced the launch of its latest piece of hardware overnight, unveiling an entry level price-point tablet known as the Nexus 7. While the 7-inch tablet has a range of features that will appeal to many consumers, it is unlikely to make a splash for Australian retailers – the tablet will only be sold online, directly through Google, meaning retailers will miss out on getting a piece of the action.
The tablet features a scratch-resistant Corning glass screen with a 1280x800 high-resolution display, making it more of a wide screen experience than the Apple iPad. The tablet is built by Asus and powered by a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, and runs the latest iteration of Google’s Android operating system, known as Jelly Bean.
It features a 1.2-megapixel front facing camera, 1GB of RAM and either 8GB or 16GB of internal storage. While the tablet is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled, it is not 3G compatible, meaning that telco vendors will miss out on selling the new device, as well as traditional consumer electronics retailers.
The Nexus 7 is available for pre-order from today through Google’s dedicated online store, Google Play. The 8GB model is available for $249 and the 16GB for $299, and the product is set to ship in 2-3 weeks according to the website.
At the sub-$300 price point, the Nexus 7 has not been directly pitched as a competitor to the iPad, which ranges in price from $539 for the entry level Wi-Fi-only model, up to $899 flagship model – triple the price of the Google tablet.
With its $199 US price tag, it is more likely to be in direct competition with Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which is sold online in the US for the same price.
While Google bills Android 4.1 Jelly Bean as “the latest version of the world’s most popular mobile platform,” many Android tablets have failed to dent the iPad’s popularity. The operating system is used across a wide array of devices, all with different specs, screen sizes, levels of performance and price tags. Compared with this, Apple’s offering is much more cohesive.
However, the comparatively low price of the Nexus 7 is certainly a strong selling point. Those looking for the benefits of a tablet without the expense of an iPad may well be won over.
It is a pity, then, that retailer’s may miss out on this sales opportunity altogether.
The new Google Nexus 7 tablet.