google nexus

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) unveiled the company’s first own-brand tablet, ‘Nexus 7’  today at the annual Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, California.

The tablet, built by ASUS (LSE:ASKD) (many had predicted the tablet being built by Samsung (LSE:SMSN)), will run on a newly unveiled Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system, which will add a variety of new functionality to Google’s mobile platform. Other features include a 7 inch screen, Tegra 3 quad-core chip with a 12-core GPU, 1280×800 HD display, WiFi, 1GB of RAM, Bluetooth and NFC.

The tablet weighing around 340 grams has a front facing camera and an expected 9 hour video playback battery life. The processor in the new tablet will be provided by Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA).

On the software side, the Nexus 7 is the first device to include Google Chrome as the default web browser. 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, and a free book along with some magazines.

Last year, Eric Schmidt mentioned that a tablet was in the pipeline. Just days ahead of the release, variety of details and information about Google Nexus tablet was leaked. As per the earlier reports, the ASUS-built device will be available in two different models that vary by storage capacity — an 8GB version will launch for $199 and a 16GB model will cost $249.

Google’s  Nexus 7 will compete with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in the increasingly competitive tablet market.

Unlike the Nexus Smartphone which was aimed at high-end users, Nexus will compete with a significantly lower market segment. Google is trying to create a strong base at the low to mid-level tablet market.

Nexus will be made available first in the US, Canada, and the UK followed by other countries. It will be sold through Play Store.