Rumors of a possible Google Nexus tablet have been circling the blogosphere for the past five months or so. The original rumor (surfaced back in November 2011) claimed that Motorola (the first manufacturer to release an Android Honeycomb tablet, recently acquired by Google) was working with Google to provide an Ice Cream Sandwich tablet that would represent Google’s take on Android tablets. The Nexus tablet is supposed to be for tabs what the Nexus smartphones are for… oh well… smartphones: premium hardware and vanilla Android software optimized to work well together and provide the ultimate Android experience on a tab.
Since then, more and more rumors surfaced (a lot of them debunked) regarding the elusive Nexus tablet. One of the most recent claims, originating at AndroidAndMe, says that Google will supposedly be partnering with ASUS to provide a 7-inch, quad-core Nexus tablet at a price-point similar that is similar to the Amazon Kindle Fire: roughly between $200 – $250. The AndroidAndMe rumor also indicated that, based on recent domain registrations from Google, the Nexus tablet might be called the Google Play, something we now know to be false.
Now, less than a week after AaM’s speculations, Taiwanese publication Digitimes came out with a report that fits precisely in the framework built by earlier rumors — ASUS is yet again purported to be Google’s partner for a quad-core Nexus Tablet, priced to compete with the Kindle Fire and set to be released in early May. The only novel snippet in Digitimes’ report is the claim that HTC and Acer were also considered by Google as possible manufacturers for the Nexus Tablet, but an agreement failed to materialize.
We now have two distinct reports suggesting the exactly same thing. I think we are on to something…
Why an ASUS-made Google Tablet Makes Sense
Back in December 2011, ASUS was the first manufacturer to release a quad-core tablet (based on the Nividia Tegra 3 SoC), the ASUS Transformer Prime. The Prime was also the first tablet to be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, so it’s safe to say that, by now, ASUS has some experience with Android on tablets.
In addition, according to an official statement from ASUS officials, they have a close relationship with Google, and hope to be included in the first wave of manufacturers to provide an Android 5.0 Jelly Bean update.
So, building up on the latest rumors, we can infer that the relationship between Google and ASUS is, in fact, very close. It’s so close that the fruit of their love might soon materialize as a 7-inch, quad-core, affordable Google Nexus tablet. But is the price just too low to be true ?
Many of you might remember that, back at CES 2012, ASUS revealed the MeMO ME370T, a 7-inch tablet with a Tegra 3 SoC and 1280 x 800 display. What’s even more interesting (given the context of this article) is the price ASUS has announced for the MeMO ME370T: an affordable $250. And this, my friends, is where our deductions cross paths!
Which Way Is Up ?
It is well known that Nexus smartphones are not developed from the ground up. The original Nexus One was based on the HTC Desire, the Nexus S was based on the Galaxy S, while the Galaxy Nexus is based on the Galaxy S2. So, it could make perfect sense for the Nexus Tablet to be based on the MeMO ME370T, especially given the rumored specs.
One the other hand, these rumors might be based on exactly the same logic as above, so at this point, there is absolutely no way of knowing which way is up. Time, as always, is a great orientation tool and I guess we’ll end up finding our way back to the surface by the end of this month!
What Do You Guys Think?
Does it make sense for Google to aim for the budget tablet category with their first ever Nexus tablet? Or will Google aim for the high tier as they did with their Nexus smartphones? Let us know in the comment section below!