Google Introduces New Nexus 7 Tablet, Priced at $199.99

Google on Wednesday introduced the Nexus 7 tablet, which has a 7-inch screen and is priced at $199.99

The tablet weighs only 340 grams and has the latest Android 4.1 operating system, code-named Jelly Bean. The device offers battery life of up to nine hours on video playback and 300 hours of standby time. The device is superthin, light and portable, said Hugo Barra, director of product management for Android during a speech at the Google I/O conference being held in San Francisco.

There had been speculation for months that Google planned to introduce a low-priced tablet at the conference.

"It's always been a goal of the Nexus program to provide the best Google experience," Barra said, adding that Google worked with Asustek Computer (Asus) to build the tablet.

The Nexus 7 display can show images at a resolution of 1280-by-800 pixels, so images can be seen in high resolution. The tablet has a front-facing camera and all the important connectivity options including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC (near-field communication).

The device has a Tegra 3 chipset with four ARM CPUs and 12 graphics cores. With the processing power and high-resolution screen, the tablet is designed to watch videos, read magazines and play games, Barra said.

Nexus 7 will be available for order starting Wednesday, and as part of the price tag there will be a $25 credit for content in the Google Play store. Orders will start shipping in mid-July and the tablet will be initially available in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia.

The low-price of the Nexus 7 heats up the competition for Android tablets in the market. Amazon sells its Kindle Fire for $199 and Samsung's comparable Galaxy Tab 2 is priced starting at $249.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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