Google pins hardware hopes on new tablet

June 28, 2012 at 7:46 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, June 28 (UPI) -- Google's new $199 tablet computer puts it among the major players in consumer electronics and into direct competition with market leader Apple, analysts say.

Announced at a developer conference Wednesday, the Nexus 7 tablet is designed to be used with content delivered from the Web, specifically digital books, music and other media available through the Google Play service, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Last week Microsoft unveiled in own tablet, the Surface, adding to the tablet turf war between Apple's iPad, Amazon's Kindle Fire and a raft of third-party Android-based tablets with middling specifications.

Most tablets that have undercut Apple's $499 starting price for the iPad have been generally ignored as less-desirable, low-performance products.

However, Google has graced the Nexus 7 with the latest version of it Android operating system and some advanced hardware features that improve battery life and improve the gaming experience on the unit, industry leaders said.

"Nobody else has been able to deliver a truly amazing device at $199," said Mike Rayfield, general manager of Nvidia's mobile business. "There is significant news in that."

Nivida Corp. is providing the processor powering the Nexus 7.

In presenting the tablet to developers, Google spent considerable time showing off its library of movies, magazines and music.

"We wanted to design a best-of-Google experience that is optimized around all this great content," Hugo Barra, Google's Android product management director, said.

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