It seems we’ve had a real surge of new tablet announcements and releases of late, perhaps because of the imminent arrival of the next version of iPhone? But so as not to be left behind Google announced a new 7” tablet of their own at The Google IO 2012: The Nexus 7.

Nexus 7 Google Nexus 7

The Nexus 7 appears to be more of a rival to the Kindle Fire than the iPad. This may be because unlike other Google devices, The Nexus 7 is made by Asus, not Samsung, who have had that recent sales ban. The device consists of a 7”, 216ppi HD Screen. The Quad Core, Tegra 3CPU aims to provide better graphics for gaming and a faster, smoother screen response. It has a ‘grippy’ plastic back, which helps when it’s a smaller tablet.

The new tablet will be one of the first devices to use the new Android 4.1 (Jelly bean) Operating System. Key features of this being the smoother graphics and the inclusion of better voice recognition, Google Now and Google Currents.

GoogleNow Google Nexus 7

The real talking points of this device appear to be the lack of rear facing camera: People expect tablet devices to have both front and rear facing cameras, whether a rear facing is particularly necessary. We don’t think so, it’s great to have that option, but it’s not the most heavily used aspect of our tablets.

Some other issues appear to be: The device has no 3G. Which, when you consider the lack of internal storage means that storing films and books for use when away from Wi-fi will be limited. The lack of additional storage may be to encourage users to take advantage of cloud services – Google Drive specifically. But the lack of SD Slot looks like it could be the biggest problem with this device. When it’s pushed as having better graphics for gaming and a HD screen for movie watching, you’d think ensuring you actually have storage for these on the device would be a priority?! However does this same issue affect iPad sales, certainly not.

Positives are: Battery life on this device appears to be pretty good – Over 8hrs of Video Playback, 10hrs of Browsing/eReading or a huge 300hrs battery life with very minimal usage. The price is another real plus. The 8GB version is £159 and the 16GB £199. Priced around $199 in the USA.

Nokia do appear to have made claims relating to patents on areas of the device. Mostly it would seem in relation to Wi-fi Technology, with no 3G this could be an issue unless Google and Asus pay to use the patents in question.

What do you think? Do we need another 7” tablet? Will you be taking advantage of this low priced tablet and making a purchase?