Google’s Latest Nexus 7 Raises the Bar on Tablets


Google has introduced its next generation Nexus 7 tablet this week and has incorporated a host of enhanced features as it seeks to maintain the popularity of its top selling 7-inch tablet, which already has a 10% Android market share.

The tablet, built by Google partner Asus, weighs in at slightly more than half a pound (0.64lbs with Wi-Fi, 0.66 lbs with LTE) and runs the Jelly Bean 4.3 operating system. Among the features in the latest Jelly Bean release is parental control features as well as support for the newest energy efficient Bluetooth technology.

The screen is a standout item on the latest Nexus 7 with support for 1080p high definition video that equates to 1920 x 1200 resolution and includes new stereo speakers. The tablet is powered by a Qualcomm snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 2GB of memory and the company said that you get 9 hours with active use from its battery.

The tablet has a pair of cameras with a 1.2 megapixel fixed focus front facing one and a 5MP auto focus rear facing camera. It sports dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 with 4G LTE available as an option.

The Nexus 7 comes with two basic storage capacities, a 16GB model and a 32GB version. The company said that the tablet will be shipping in the US by July 30 with an entry level price of $229 and $269 for the high end model without 4G LTE, and then will start a global rollout.

The company has also delivered a product called Chromecast, a $35 USB dongle that enables you to stream video over Wi-Fi to smartphones, laptops and tablets. It plugs into a television’s HDMI port, you then load an app onto the receiving device and then chose what to watch. Initially Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Music and Google Play Movies are all supported.

It will be interesting to see what Apple and Samsung have in store to combat Google in terms of pricing and features when their next generation 7-inch products hit the market.

Lenovo’s 7-inch A1000 Here-Can it Challenge the Nexus 7?


Being King of the Hill means that everybody is always trying to knock you off and the latest to challenge the Nexus 7, one of the most popular 7-inch tablets is Lenovo with its A1000, a 7-inch tablet that it originally introduced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

In many ways this has been a very slow rollout and in others a very swift one. The company quietly made the tablet available for sale this week, without the fanfare that often accompanies a major release, particularly one that is going up against well established rivals.

On the other hand it was first shown almost a half year ago, many of its details were released as it went through the FCC approval process a few months back and preorders began a month ago, so any observer knew that the day when it would be available was rapidly closing in.

The A1000, which starts at $151 from the Lenovo web site is powered by a MTK 8317 dual core Coretex-A9 processor and runs the 4.2 Android operating system. It has a 7-inch display that has 1024 x 600 resolution and includes 1GB of RAM, a 16GB hard drive and supports an additional 32GB microSD storage card.

The company touts its multimedia features and notes that it is optimized for music with dual stereo speakers, Dolby Digital Plus audio enhancement among its features. The company said that the tablets will be available within the week.

It seems that the Android developers all have Google’s Nexus 7 as the target of choice. HP’s Slate 7 is also touted as a strong rival; with most articles talking about HP’s offering all mention Google. Still it is better to be at the top fighting off competition rather than trying to fight your way there. It will be interesting to see what levels Google tries to being its next generation offering.