This isn’t the first time we hear that an even cheaper Asus-made 7-inch Jelly Bean tablet will be unveiled at some point in the future, but while previous rumors suggested this will be a Nexus device, it looks like a new report implies that Asus may have some similar plans of its own.

According to iAfrica, Asus is working on such a device, model number ME-172V, that will sell in the region for around 2000 ZAR, or $226 – obviously we expect the price to be significantly lower in the U.S. Comparatively, the 16GB Nexus 7 can cost well over 3000 ZAR in the region, or more than $340.

The unofficial Asus device will apparently include a 7-inch display with 1024 x 600 resolution, VIA WM8950 processor, Mali 400 GPU, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, microSD support, 1-megapixel front-facing camera, 4270mAh battery and Jelly Bean under the hood.

The device is reportedly going to be unveiled at CES 2013, therefore in January, although we don’t have actual release dates and we don’t know what markets Asus will target with this ME-172V device.

In light of this rumor, we can’t but wonder whether the unconfirmed $99 Nexus 7 is still in the cards.

So far, considering that the 8GB Nexus 7 has been discontinued recently, the cheapest Nexus 7 available for sale costs $199 and features a 7-inch HD IPS display with 1280 x 800 resolution, a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of memory, no microSD support, 1.2-megapixel camera, NFC, a 4325mAh battery and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

We’ll be back with more news regarding this affordable Asus tablet once we have it. Would you buy such a device instead of its Nexus equivalent?

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