Meet Google’s $199 Tablet – Nexus 7 is HD Ready, Android 4.1, Runs on Tegra 3
There is a lot of talk about Google's upcoming tablet, which allegedly will be manufactured either by ASUS, Pegatron or a third source. However, we now have what are probably the final specs of the product which is to be revealed in just a few weeks.
According to the specification which recently appeared on the Rightware's PowerBoard, Google Nexus 7 is the official name for the widely expected $199 tablet which resembles the NVIDIA Kai platform. As you might have assumed, Nexus 7 will combine a quint-core (4+1) Tegra 3 processor clocked at 1.3GHz.
ASUSTeK Computer is in charge of manufaturing the device, which carries a lot of resemblance to the concept ASUS and NVIDIA jointly showed at CES 2012. The concept went into more detail couple of months later as NVIDIA revealed its $199 Kai development platform. Codename for this tablet is – "Grouper", perfectly fitting in Google's codebook. Google names its hardware upon fishes, while operating systems are named after deserts. New builds of their core business, the search engine – are named after wildlife animals of the continental kind.
Five-point multi-touch is hardware accelerated (utilizing Tegra's fifth core and Synaptics IP) on top of a seven inch screen with 1280×800 pixel resolution i.e. HD Ready. The pixel density is a bit higher than 215 pixels per inch.
When it comes to the software part, Google decided to outfit the Nexus 7 with Android 4.1, the very latest version of its popular mobile operating system. Do note that the codename for Android 4.1 is not Ice Cream Sandwich, but rather Jelly Bean. While numerous Android fan sites wrote lyrics about "Android 5.0 Jelly Bean", the fact of the matter is that Android 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2 all have their respective codenames, with Jelly Bean being the code for 4.1. Truth to be told, the built-in OS corresponds to the code "JRN51B", which could be read as Jelly Bean 5.1. In reality, Android 4.1 is the next step, to be followed with 4.2 in the fall.
This version also brings OpenGL ES to the latest version released by the Khronos Group, but don't expect fantastic performance – while you will get what you paid for, Rightware's Taiji OpenGL ES 2.0 test revealed a framerate of mere 18 frames per second, significantly slower than smartphone and tablets powered by NVIDIA Tegra 3. This has lead us to believe that Google is using LPDDR2 memory at 533MHz or 667, given that the 3D engine seems starved for data.
All in all, it seems that ASUS and NVIDIA could not found better partner for its $249 concept tablet from CES 2012. The mighty Google itself.