Thursday, December 20, 2012

Google may unveil $99 Nexus 7 at CES

The $99 Nexus 7 tablet rumour refuses to die down, and this time you can blame an image spotted on Picasa.

Folks over at The Digital Reader have dug out an image on Picasa whose EXIF data shows an unreleased device, that the blog claims could be the $99 Nexus 7. They further claim that the "leak pattern" of this tablet is consistent with the original Nexus 7, where we saw the specs and possible release date leaked via Digitimes first, followed by the device popping up in benchmarks and then photos taken by the device being spotted online.

The blog then goes on to claim we should be prepared to see the tablet being unveiled at CES.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the ME172V is going to be the highpoint of CES next month. The photos leaked today don't have any other purpose other than to prep the blogosphere for a launch event.

And while Asus may not have a booth at CES, Google has a meeting room in the back of South Hall. I expect that we'll find the new tablet there.

According to the benchmarks and specs leaked earlier, this tablet will be powered by a 1GHz processor provided by WonderMedia along side 1GB RAM. It'll also feature a 400MHz Mali GPU, 7-inch 1024×600 display, 1-megapixel front camera and a microSD card slot. It is rumoured to run Android 4.1 instead of recently released Android 4.2, which would be strange given Nexus 7 is a Google tablet being manufactured by Asus.

Google unveiled the $199 Nexus 7 tablet back in June. The tablet comes with 7-inch IPS display screen with a 1280x800 resolution and is powered by 1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. Other features of the tablet include 1GB RAM, 1.2-megapixel front camera and 4325mAh battery.

Initially, a variant of the tablet with 8GB storage was being sold for $199, but the model was recently discontinued in favour of the 16GB variant at the same price. Google also added a 32GB variant of the Wi-Fi only tablet for $249, while a 3G variant with 32GB storage was also introduced for $299.

The Nexus 7 has seen strong sales since launch, with recent reports indicating a million Nexus 7 units are being shipped every month. Nexus 7 is expected to clock over 5 million units shipped this year.