With the upcoming release of the Samsung Galaxy S3, we have seen how rampant rumors and endless speculation can help whip everyone into an absolute frenetic frenzy – including us. While this is yet to die down, it seems we have already been caught in another rumor whirlwind, and this time, it’s all about Google’s upcoming Nexus Tablet. Google announced last December that they would be working towards releasing a Nexus Tablet to be released in less than six months. With this six month self-imposed deadline quickly approaching, rumors and speculation about this device has also been growing exponentially.
Here is a quick rundown of what we, think, we know.
It seems that Google has been having trouble finding a perfect hardware partner to mate with its fantastic software releases. It first started with HTC producing the first ever Android phone, the G1. There was also the limited, and largely ignored release of the Google G2, which ended up gaining more popularity worldwide as the HTC Desire Z featuring HTC’s newly developed Sense UI. We then witnessed the public’s lukewarm reception to the Nexus One, which, at the very least, led Google to pursue other manufacturers for their later devices. Google has publicly stated that they work on a rotation type system, but really friends, let’s be frank. They want their Nexus line of devices to achieve great success, and for them to stand tall as a reference beacon of what Android devices can and should be.
Now, Google is enjoying a fruitful partnership with Samsung to produce its largely successful Galaxy Nexus, with the device being the first to feature the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS. With Samsung already boasting a vast portfolio of tablets, it seems that Google has now gone in another direction with its first ever tablet. Is it for the best? It certainly keeps everyone on their toes.
It is believed that Google has now partnered with ASUS to manufacture the first Nexus Tablet. This slate will be – or is at least suggested to be – very similar to the ASUS Memo 370T 7″ tablet, first seen at CES 2012. Confirming this is the fact that ASUS has gone as far as to scrap the release of the Memo Tablet in favor of the Nexus Tablet, according to some industry sources.
The Nexus tablet was initially thought to house the NVIDIA quad-core Tegra 3 processor. But sources now suggest that Google has dropped the quad-core processor to keep the price at the lower end of the spectrum. While there has been no official confirmation, I would say that the processor will most likely be the dual-core Snapdragon S4, taking into account ASUS’ close relationship with Qualcomm. Aside from how low the price might get, any processor lower or slower than this would be a huge mistake, with the slew of mid- to high-end ICS tablets set to arrive in the market. Other specifications of this 7″ device should be standard, such as 1GB Ram, a 1280×800 resolution 7 inch display, front and rear camera, etc. but I am of course drawing my conclusions from the “scrapped” Memo 370T.
The ASUS Memo 370T had a $250 price tag, which was incredibly cheap for the high-end specs it featured. Keeping this in mind, it was suggested that the Nexus Tablet would fall in $199 – $249 price bracket. As far as rumors have gone, all signs are pointing to Google dropping the quad-core processor to reduce the price even further. So, we can now expect the Nexus Tablet to be in the $149-$199 range, and might cost even lower than the Kindle Fire or the Nook Tablet. Either way – we know it will be competitively priced, and, as a result of the tight software/hardware integration that the Nexus program provides, it will be super snappy and responsive – quad core or dual core.
Some reports suggest that the Nexus Tablet might be launched during the CTIA Wireless Trade Show 2012 in New Orleans, held from May 8 – May 10. I think, however, it is far more likely that the Nexus Tablet will be announced at this year’s Google IO 2012 event held between June 27 and June 29 in San Francisco. This will follow suit with a huge announcement and massive publicity, much like the event commands every year. Plus, each and every attendant, which are increasingly becoming part of the Android Elite, will receive a Nexus tablet, further spiking interest in a way that only Amazon and Apple can.
Here is how the tablet market stands at the moment. The iPad 3 has already been released to the zombies, with its amazing, battery gulping Retina display. ASUS is expected to lead the high-end Android device market with the release of the Transformer Infinity Pad Samsung is continuously adding to its ever-increasing Galaxy Tab selection. And there’s offerings around the corner from Lenovo, Toshiba, and many more. Not to mention the slew of low- to mid-range ICS tablet being announced and released almost everyday.
Still, while the Android Army is continuously producing new units like a war factory from Red Alert, it is difficult to wonder whether the Nexus Tablet will arrive with a case of “too little too late.” The price point is definitely attractive, and a lot of users will be craving the stock Android experience. But whether these factors will be enough to overcome an already saturated tablet market is yet to be seen.
If you want to be a part of Google’s (probable) announcement for the Nexus Tablet, or just want to enjoy the Google experience, registration for the Google IO 2012 event will be open from tomorrow. For more information, you can visit this link here. Be forewarned though, it’s going to set you back 900 big ones. Unless you are an academician, or something.
What are your thoughts? Is the Nexus Tab going to be your next tablet? Is the $50-$100 lower price tag worth the dropping of a quad-core processor in today’s market? Let us know in the comments section below.