Google Nexus 7 rumor roundup

It’s been just one week since Microsoft debuted the Surface, the first tablet that not only runs on Windows software but bears the company’s branding.

Now, reports abound that Google is about to make a similar move on Wednesday at its annual I/O developers’ conference by unveiling a tablet called the Nexus 7. Though a slew of mobile devices from different manufacturers run on Google’s Android operating system, this would be the first tablet to be produced partly by Google.

Gizmodo Australia reports that it has seen a “training document” that outlines the gadgets specs and features. Here’s a roundup of what you might expect from the device:

Price: Gizmodo Australia reports that the 8GB version of the Nexus 7 will cost $199. At that price point, the launch seems to pose a direct challenge to Amazon’s similarly low-priced Kindle Fire, rather than Apple’s more costly iPad. The price of the Microsoft Surface has not yet been announced.

What it looks like: An apparent image of the device is available on Gizmodo’s site. If it looks familiar, PC Magazine says that’s because you’ve already seen it. That report says that the device Google will showcase on Wednesday is the same one revealed by Asus and Nvidia at CES in January.

Operating system: Gizmodo says that the Nexus 7 will run on the whimsically named Jelly Bean, the newest iteration of Android. It is not clear how Jelly Bean would differ from the current Ice Cream Sandwich. An earlier report from The Verge says that Jelly Bean is slated to be version 4.1 of the Android OS, which seems to suggest it might not be an especially big leap forward from today’s 4.0 platform.

Size: Gizmodo’s report says the tablet will be 7 inches, but it’s not clear whether that means the entire device will be that size or just the display screen. Either way, it puts it in the same range as the Kindle Fire, which is 7.5 inches overall and has a screen size of 7 inches. Both devices are markedly smaller than the 10.6-inch Surface or the 9.7-inch iPad.

Features: The Nexus 7 is rumored to come with a 1.3Ghz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera and nine hours of battery life. Its expected screen resolution of 1280 pixels by 800 pixels would trump that of the Kindle Fire.

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Sarah Halzack is The Washington Post's national retail reporter. She has previously covered the local job market and the business of talent and hiring. She has also served as a Web producer for business and economics news.
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