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Google Nexus 7-inch Tablet is Official – Specifications and First Impressions

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As we predicted Google has announced their new Nexus 7 tablet at today’s Google I/O event in San Francisco, California.

Clearly designed to take on Amazon’s Kindle Fire, the 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet has been built in conjunction with Asus and will be priced at just £159 for the base model.

But what do you actually get for you hard earned? Well, quite a bit as it happens. The tablet comes with an impressive IPS screen, boasting a resolution of 1280 x 800 – punching well above its weight for its price range.

The screen boasts 178-degree viewing angles and comes will Gorilla Glass to keep it scratch free. While some might bemoan the size of the screen, it does achieve a ppi (pixels per inch) ratio of 216, which is impressive considering the cheap price.

Where the Nexus 7 does hit the headlines is Google & Asus’ decision to incorporate Nvidia’s quad-core processor, the Tegra 3, which is currently found in both the HTC One X and Asus Transformer Prime.

The Nexus 7 has an impressive battery life thanks to a huge battery and the use of Nvidia’s clever core switching, and then uses the fifth “companion core” for less processor intensive tasks.  There’s also a welcomed 1GB of RAM to keep things nice and snappy. You can expect to get 8 hours of active use with the tablet, and Asus reckon you’ll get up to 300 hours on standby. It’s impressive to see a quality battery like this on such budget tablet, especially as it’s running Android 4.1 straight out the box.

The Asus Nexus 7 tablet is very compact for its size, measuring just 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm. On top of that it weighs in at just 340g, around half that of the new iPad.

There’s a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front, but no camera on the back – although this isn’t that surprising considering the low price point.

Where things begin to fall apart is expansion and connections; there’s no HDMI or SD card slot – but you’re afforded the luxury of a micro USB – unfortunately there’s no 3G but there is of course Wi-Fi b/g/n.

Google is already taking orders on their Google Play Store, and it will begin shipping to the US, UK, Canada and Australia in July, priced £159 for the 8GB and £199 for the 16GB version. The wait on pre-orders is currently 2-3 weeks, but those who pre-order now will get £15 to spend on apps, movies and books in the Play Store, and a digital download of Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.