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Nexus 7 heats up tablet war

The Nexus 7 Android tablet, announced by Google this week, offers pricing that will see it take market share from the iPad. But that doesn’t make it a better device, writes SEAN BACHER.
At thisnweek’s Google I/O Developer Conference in San Francisco, Google announced itsndirect entry into the tablet war, the Nexus 7.

Thenannouncement came barely a week after Microsoft announced its first everntablet, the Microsoft Surface. Two newcomers in the tablet war from two of thenbiggest giants in technology are sure to heat up the market, regardless of howngood or bad the devices turn out to be.

UnlikenMicrosoft, which revealed very few details about its Surface, Goggle gavendelegates an in-depth overview of what can be expect from the Nexus, includingnrelease dates and prices.

The Nexus 7nis built by Asus and runs the latest version of Android – Android 4.1 or JellynBean.  Android 4.1 offers a morenintuitive keyboard, a gesture mode and a voice search option.

It uses annNVIDIA Tegra quad core processor running at 1.3GHz and is available with eithern8GB or 16GB storage. Both pack 1GB of RAM and include a dedicated GPU, whichncombined with the accelerometer and gyrometer should offer a good gamingnexperience.

The 7”nhigh-definition capacitive touch display offers a maximum resolution of 1280x800npixels and is made from Corning Gorilla glass to protect it from lightnscratching. It is lit up by IPS (in plane switching) technology. This means thenuser doesn’t have to be staring directly at the screen to watch videos and canninstead get a decent view by looking at the screen from an angle.

Google hasnnot included a rear camera, but the front one is at a resolution ofn1.2Megapixels, making it good enough for video-conferencing apps.

The Nexus 7nwill connect via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth – there is no mention of 3G or 4G at thisnstage. It is also equipped with Google Beam – the company’s version of NFC.

The Nexus 7nis the first tablet to ship with Google Chrome as the default Internet browsernand a range of widgets and apps have been included – ready to be removed andncustomised as the users sees fit.

The Nexus 7nis powered by a 4 325mAh Lithium Ion battery which, according to Google, willnallow for nine hours of high-definition video viewing.

The 340ngram 7” tablet will start at $199 for the 8GB version, with the 16GB sellingnfor $249. Goggle has positioned it as a competitor to the iPad, Amazon KindlenFire and NOOK tablets and, at those prices, is likely to shake up the market.nHowever, the lack of a rear camera and 3G or 4G connectivity will work againstnit.

The Nexus 7nwill be released in the US, UK and Canada in mid-July, and subsequently shippednto other countries. South African availability has not been announced.

* Follow Sean on Twitter on @seanbacher

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