Google Nexus 7 tablet now available for $199 and up

Google is now taking orders for the Nexus 7, the first tablet to wear the Nexus name. As expect, it’s built by Asus and has a starting price of $199 for an 8GB model. There’s also a 16GB version available for $249. Google is selling both through the Play Store, alongside the Galaxy Nexus smartphone (which has been marked down from $399 to $349).

The tablet will ship in mid-July. It’s available first in the US, Canada, and the UK. More countries will follow.

Nexus 7

The Nexus 7 is also the the first device to ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system.

The tablet features a 1.3 GHz NVDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1280 x 800 pixel IPS display with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass. It has a 1.2MP front-facing camera, 1GB of RAM, and up to 9 hours of battery life while watching HD videos.

Measuring 7.8″ x 4.7″ x 0.41″, and weighing  12 ounces, the Nexus 7 is about the same size as a Kindle Fire or NOOK Tablet. It’s also about the same price, but it has a faster processor, a built-in camera, and Google Certification.

Google’s new tablet also has a microphone, NFC support, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, a magnetometer, gyroscope, and accelerometer.

While the Nexus 7 is the first tablet available for less than $200 with a high resolution screen, quad-core processor, and Google Certification, it may not be the last. The Asus tablet is based on NVIDIA’s Kai platform which provides a reference design for inexpensive, high quality tablets. We could see more devices in this mold soon.

Optional accessories include a $20 Nexus 7 cover, and an additional charging adapter and cable for $25.

Google is also giving new customers $25 to spend in the Play Store, plus a free copy of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, plus a free book and some free magazine issues.

On the software side, the Nexus 7 is the first device to ship with Google Chrome as the default web browser. Google has also included new home screen widgets including an app that lets you tap to identify a song that’s playing, Shazaam-style, and open a link in the Google Play Store to buy the song.

  • https://nards-barley.myopenid.com/ Nards Barley

    Does does that absolutely crush the Samsung Tab 7.0 2.0. I take it no HDMI connector.

    • http://rationaldreaming.com/ Mike

      Depends on what you value most. In terms of performance, there is little doubt that the Nexus will blow the Tab away. I believe the Tab is thinner (not sure if it’s lighter though) and you’d have to compare screens side-by-side to see which is better.

      • https://nards-barley.myopenid.com/ Nards Barley

        I bet I will take the superior resolution of the Google tab,, and I haven’t heard of an IPS screen that has poor viewing angles.

      • http://rationaldreaming.com/ Mike

        I hadn’t either until I bought an IPS monitor from HP…. :(

  • Renee Auclair

    Based on your info, no HDMI, no SD card slot, no USB host functionality, glossy screen, no pen (active digitizer) input, no removable battery, all make this just a better toy than the Kindle Fire.

    Guess I’ll just have to see if someone else comes out with a better tablet.

    • CyberGusa

      Unfortunately, for the price range this shoots for there’s always some sort of compromise. Either they provide more features and cut down on things like build quality and/or performance or they cut down on features to keep the build quality and/or performance or they just cut down on everything to keep the price low.

      So mind the differences in compromises when comparing the different products that’ll be available in these price ranges. Since only products in the higher price ranges really try to offer everything.

    • paul

      That better tablet will obviously cost more. Personally, because of the missing hardware features, I’m going to pass on the Nexus 7 and look for a more expensive tablet that has the features I want.

      The whole getting Android OS updates first isn’t that great anyway since existing apps seem to often break with each new OS version. By the time the apps get stable, most of the major non-Nexus devices would have been updated.

  • Simon42

    So close but so far at the same time. Adding HDMI and an SD slot costs close to nothing I’m sure but choices were made. By Christmas, similarly powerful tablets with proper expansion should be available for close to the same price.

    I got rid of my 7″ Acer because its USB port lacked Host capabilities so I can’t really go for this one… even though it has the lightness and the probably the performance that were lacking with the Iconia.

    • http://rationaldreaming.com/ Mike

      Close to nothing? Really? There are hardware and software design and development costs, testing and support costs, licensing fees, and manufacturing costs, even additional documentation. Margins on these devices are already razor thin (if they are any at all), so any added features, especially ports that have to be mechanically sound, shaves away at those margins.

      • Simon42

        Close to nothing because half of Android devices already have at least one of these features. It’s the Google tablet and the software already supports it. And Tegra 3 of course has all the outputs present for HDMI, they just chose not to connect it. It the end, they saved a few cents on hardware connectors and a few other cents for the HDMI license. I would pay 205$ for the same tablet with both features.

      • CyberGusa

        Additional ports add more than just few cents to the cost. You’re not factoring the additional trouble of finding space, designing the casing around them, and how the additional R&D and manufacturing complexity effects their bottom line as they do have to pay the factory to build these things.

        Along with increasing the amount of things they’ll have to support for the device and the increased chances of defects showing up have to be factored as well.

        Never mind Google is not as inclined to worry about profit margin as much as other companies that don’t have alternative revenue to compensate them with…

        So you’ll be paying quite a bit more than just $5 for the same tablet with more features from another company. Though hopefully not more than $50 more.

      • http://twitter.com/mumray2k Rob

        KA-BOOM!!!

  • http://rationaldreaming.com/ Mike

    It’s a little disappointing that there is no HDMI or SD card slot, but I doubt most people will care. Remember, most of us who read this site are not the run-of-the-mill tablet users. I would wager that the vast majority of Nook Color/Tablet users have never even inserted an SD card into their device.

    And clearly, Google would prefer users to stream most content from the web anyway (especially their own web services) — some idiot on another forum is whining about storage because his HD movie collection consists of 15GB files — too big for an 8GB device, but how many people prefer ripping Blu-Ray disks over streaming from Netflix these days?

    Even without the HDMI and SD slot, his is still a very nice tablet for $200 (including a $25 Google Play voucher). The IPS screen looks very nice and it comes with a camera, microphone, GPS, and bluetooth which opens it up to a lot more uses than just a media consumption device, which is all the Nook and Kindle Fire are, and remember, it has a quad core processor with a 12-core GPU. Impressive for just $200.

    It’s easy to forget just how far we’ve come in the last few years. Most homes are littered with mp3 players with tiny 2-inch screens (or less) that cost almost as much as this only a handful of years ago.

    The Nexus 7 is a good tablet for a very good price, and will force Amazon and Barnes and Noble to react — probably by dropping their prices to below $199. And if you’re happy with a lower specced 7 inch tablet, the number of $100 tablets available is growing too.

    • Anon

      Or – a Pixel Qi Screen – too bad they didn’t focus on the extras, maybe they are going to let the “others” do that instead.

      • http://rationaldreaming.com/ Mike

        I was a big fan of Pixel Qi, but they appear to have struggled to produce screens that are bright and fast enough under indoor conditions, and their viewing angles aren’t as good.

    • CortexA15

      give a man a $25 Google Play voucher and he can watch 720P video for a day, teach a Google man to put an HDMI connector on his cheap Quad SOC kit and you can watch HDtv video for a products lifetime :) :wink:

      but remember people this at just $200 is as mike points out really a nooky barn killer, where their profits are…

      • http://rationaldreaming.com/ Mike

        Or buy a couple of great novels you can come back to time and again over the rest of your lifetime :) (Assuming Google doesn’t go belly-up before you do, of course!)

  • MountainK1ng

    No HDMI, but it will take a MHL USB to HDMI adapter, which run about $11. Whether it’s mini-HDMI, or USB capable of MHL, you still need an adapter to connect to an HDMI device if that’s important to you, so what’s the difference?

    • CyberGusa

      It’s simple as you can’t use the USB port when using the MHL. So no option for say connecting another peripheral at the same time, at least via USB. While the MHL adapter will likely require its own wall plug, though it can charge the device if that’s the case.

      A dedicated video out port avoids this issue and you don’t need a adapter if you have a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable already for a direct connect.

      • MountainK1ng

        That seems reasonable if that’s something you’ll need to do. I don’t see myself needing to plug in a keyboard or mouse if I’m just going to be watching a movie, or showing pictures to people on the big screen, but I could see it being a concern for people. I also didn’t realize that the MHL adapter required additional power to output the HDMI, but apparently they’re set up to use your phone’s charging cable for power, in which case, as you noted, it will also charge your phone.

        Still, not enough caveats to sway me from getting it. Too often, I’ll nix a purchase because there’s not enough storage or something, then realize a year later, I’ve never even utilized all the additional storage I paid extra to have available…

        We probably agree that it’s good for the price. People who need a device with additional features will just buy one that meets their needs.

      • CyberGusa

        Well, peripherals extend to more than just keyboard and mouse options but you’ve got the gist of it, and unlike the Kindle Fire you’ll have more alternative options with the wireless options.

        While there’s no pleasing everyone, but I agree it’s good for the price and what it does offer.

      • MountainK1ng

        I should take back my initial comment. Early reviews are saying it can’t do MHL. pcmag is one such review. I’m not sure if that’s a concern for me, but it could be for others.

      • CyberGusa

        Well, it’s hard to say for certain right now. It may be that it’s just not a option for Android 4.1 right now.

  • MountainK1ng

    I’m glad I won’t have to pay for an extra camera on the back. I already have a camera on my phone, plus a point and shoot, and a goPro. I sure don’t need another one on my tablet. If one was included it surely would have meant compromises elsewhere if the price was to be kept the same, so kudos to Google on a decision that some (phoneless people?) will probably tout as a dealkiller.

    • 98CLRU

      Got to agree, rear camera is not a BIG deal, but… As video calling increases it will be more common to use it to show something, like my son using his ipad to do a virtual, live tour of his new home 2000 miles away. We were chatting on laptops when he said let’s do the tour and I suggested changing to the pad. It’s a lot easier if you can view the subject on a decent sized screen and really tell what the receiver is seeing. A laptop you have to look over the top of the screen to hope to see what’s being shared and have the keyboard in the way, on a 4 inch phone screen framing will be tougher but I will make that sacrifice. I expect the nexus 7 to be worthwhile for 2 years or so before it’s outdated to the point of being a better kindle. 2 years from now I’ll get my dream tab for less than the nexus today with a rear camera too and not have to use my g2x for video tours any more but I will have the benefit of the nexus 7 for only $175 plus shipping for 2 years and then have it as a backup, toy for my grandkids, etc. My g2x can also keep up to 32gb on a microsd and if there isn’t a convenient dongle avail cheap for the nexus I can always us bluetooth to transfer the files I really need from phone.

      • MountainK1ng

        Yeah, the rear camera could be nice for augmented reality apps too I guess. Not as much of a concern on a wi-fi only device, but a lot of folks have hotspot functionality on their phones now, so wifi only isn’t as much of a limitation anymore.