back to article Google unveils Nexus 7 tablet, Android 4.1 and Nexus Q

Google has used its annual developer conference, Google I/0 2012 in San Francisco, to announce its long-expected tablet, the Nexus 7, along with a new 4.1 build of Android (codenamed Jelly Bean) and a hackable home streaming Android computer called the Nexus Q that is shaped like a ball. Built by Asus, the Nexus 7 packs a quad- …

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Anonymous Coward

oh finally el reg remembers google i/o is on today!

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Holmes

Compare and contrast

One company gives a live demo involving a complex chain of events and teams of people, starting with skydivers above the conf hall, streaming the audio/video live from their view to everyone, actually risking life and death, or at the least major embarrassment if any one of those links in the chain breaks whilst delivering the kit to the presenter on stage, the other company has their top man standing alone showing off kit which freezes the instant their own software they have been writing for 15 years hits it, and has to awkwardly shuffle backstage for a replacement.

Your starter for ten is to work out which of those extorts $5 per handset from the other for absolutely no other reason then them playing a corrupt patent system.

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Silver badge

Re: Compare and contrast

Oh please. Have you even given up the pretense of looking for excuses to shoe-horn some MS-bashing into the comments section. This is about the Google tablet. The Surface isn't remotely the same sort of thing. The Surface is a higher-end hybrid device. The Google tablet is a about half the price of the lower-end Surface and clearly set up as an attack on the iPad. Which it looks like it might do well at. Surface and Nexus 7 is not a like for like comparison. Nexus 7 and iPad... well they're both designed for sofa-consumption, really. Exactly how high-end do you need for that? I don't have much experience on Android. I get the general impression that it's not nearly as slick an experience as iOS. But will people really want to pay a premium of over a hundred dollars or substantially more for an iPad when this will do the job just as well?

Oh and as to the Surface, the Netfilx app froze on pre-release hardware on pre-release software the presenter tried for a moment to work it and just picked up a back up from a lecturn on stage. But yes, let's make a great big deal about "awkward shuffling backstage". If you are making your purchasing decision by weighing that against the pure theatrics of skydivers, etc. which you seem to consider so great, then I wouldn't want you in charge of company purchases. Since when did IT professionals start considering the slickness of a company's marketing as something to brag about? Marketing is about manipulation and image, not performance. Your own Nexus 7 will not, I am sad to inform you, be delivered by skydivers.

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Law

Re: Compare and contrast

"and clearly set up as an attack on the iPad"

I think it's aimed more at the Kindle Fire than the iPad - otherwise it'd be more expensive with higher storage capacity, larger screen and a 3G option, hopefully that'll be a Nexus 10 model! :)

ICS is every bit as slick as iOS 5, if not slicker - I've used both, iOS feels very 2009 now. The ICS UI team recently won design awards for their hard work.

I wouldn't mind a Surface to be honest - looks like a nice bit of kit, but at the price they're asking I'll probably just buy an AIO desktop from Dell and a Nexus 7.

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Happy

Re: Compare and contrast

I've just ordered a Nexus 7.

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Anonymous Coward

Quad core

Processor? Twelve core graphics?

A battery that lasts ten hours?

Will it come with a back pack for the battery and fire resistant gloves for the heat it will produce from 16 cores!

Wow, if it's that good I'd buy one.

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Anonymous Coward

Until

Apple bring out the iPad mini it will sell.

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A Properly Priced Tablet

I expect they will sell a few.

Little point in Amazon releasing the Kindle Fire over here now and I'll expect to get a free Playbook with a packet of corn flakes next week.

:)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A Properly Priced Tablet

It's a small one, there's loads of them around.

I doubt they're making much profit on it either.

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Re: A Properly Priced Tablet

"Little point in Amazon releasing the Kindle Fire over here now"

Spot on. I might have bought a Fire if they had got their asses in gear and released it over here, but now I'm more likely to buy this instead as it seems Amazon aren't interested in pounds sterling.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A Properly Priced Tablet

Plenty of other reasons not to get a fire.

1/ It doesn't run proper Android

2/ It doesn't have Google Market

3/ It's locked down to a single content stream

4/ It's forever stuck on old Android 2.3 with no update path

5/ It's Amazon, and they want you to only ever buy from Amazon and nobody else.

Any of these is a great reason NOT to buy a Fire. The reason it's not been released outside the US, is only Americans are stupid enough to see past those rather important points, and all they see is "shiny cheap tablet".

The Nexus7 is also a Shiny cheap tablet, but without any of those problems.

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WTF?

Re: A Properly Priced Tablet

"The reason it's not been released outside the US, is only Americans are stupid enough to see past those rather important points, and all they see is "shiny cheap tablet"."

Well American's managed to produce this Nexus 7 which looks alright to me. So they can't all be as stupid as you think unless you hate this device as well. Troll.

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Anonymous Coward

In the interest of balance...

I trust the big G will now be known as the Asus-rebrander?

;-)

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Re: In the interest of balance...

'Big G' has always rebranded phones.. The G1 was T-Mobile (not sure which manufacture), the Nexus 1 HTC, The Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus Samsung. It's Asus' turn.

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Re: In the interest of balance...

Why would they design their own when lots of companies will be falling over themselves to supply one to them?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In the interest of balance...

"Asus-rebrander"

errr.... if you have bothered to look for the device's pictures on the web, you would have seen that Asus's name is clearly present on the back of the device.

This is not an Asus-rebrand, it is an Asus device!

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Boffin

Re: In the interest of balance...

G1 was also HTC. fyi.

So.. First two nexus phones were from HTC (for Android 1.5 and 2.1)

the second pair were from Samsung (for Android 2.3 and 4.0)

On tablets the first was from Motorola (Android 3.0), the second will be from Asus (Android 4.1).

Essentially Nexus devices are reference devices for major OS releases, unburdened with extra manufacturer skinning/extras.

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£159 for a nexus tablet? At that price it's well within impulse buy range. As I just did, in fact.

Probably doesn't tick everyone's boxes, but Nexus are reference devices (basically there's a nexus per android version).. they're google saying 'this is the minimum spec we expect.. do better'.

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Really I'd have expected the price to be 'converted' to £200. Still, even that would be cheap as chips considering the spec.

Commoditization, you've got to love it :)

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You would be wrong

You can pre order from Google Play now, its £159 for 8gb and £199 for 16gb

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Re: You would be wrong

Ahhh fuq! Google, why?? Now I'm lighter in the .... wait no, now I'm deeper in debt. Need it? Nope, got an iPhad 3. Want it? Yes.

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Facepalm

Re: You would be wrong

Why would you "Pre" order? If it's available, you buy. If it is not available yet, you order.

Pre means "before" so Pre-order is what you do before you order. What is that? Thinking about ordering?

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Re: You would be wrong

You have far too much time on your hands

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Re: You would be wrong

Pre means "before" so Pre-order is what you do before you order

Agreed, and certainly "pre-order" in the sense commonly used today - ordering a product that is not yet available - does little or nothing that "order" would not do.

That said, there are cases where consumers do take pre-ordering actions. Some years ago, when it was common to watch audio-visual entertainments stored on an archaic medium known as "videotape", a US distributor of anime wanted to purchase the rights to the Japanese series Kimagure Orange Road. Given the capital costs of acquiring those rights, translating the dialog, subtitling, and other production requirements, they solicited early partial pre-payments from likely buyers. Once enough customers contributed the requested amount, they went ahead with the project. That could certainly be considered a "pre-order", since when the product was ready, the pre-ordering customers still had to order it and pay the balance if they wanted a copy.

For their investment, pre-ordering customers got their names in the credits - and, of course, got the opportunity to get a legal, well-made translation of the show.

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Why would you "Pre" order?

Well, quite.

In the real world we Buy, or we 'reserve'.

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MnM
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Re: You would be wrong

Impeccable.

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As good as this sounds and as cheap as it appears to be, and I'm trying not to upset the Google applecart, but is it right there is no SD slot or Bluetooth?

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It has bluetooth.

No SD card - Nexus devices haven't had SD cards for years (TBH never missed them.. I've filled <1Gb of my Transformer, but they're important for some).

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Anonymous Coward

it seems it has got bluetooth, but no sd slot.

It also has got GPS apparently even though many rumours until today said it hadnt.

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Sorry, that's what I get for reading the specs on a crappy website, it has Bluetooth, but I guess they'd like us to use the cloud for our storage.

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Why use "The Cloud"

Can't you use your own hardware for storage? Wi-Fi streaming when at home and over the Internet while out and about.

Admitidly we are not all on fast connections yet but the way things are 'slowly' going there is no need for a little card that can get lost.

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FAIL

Re: Why use "The Cloud"

Strangely enough the vast majority of this country is outside the range of a wireless network. Sure if you spend your entire life inside your home, office or café then the lack of an sd card slot isn't a problem.

For everyone else it cripples the device - e.g. there's no point taking it on holiday to that cottage in the Lake District because there's not enough storage for even two broadcast quality HD films (on the 8GB).

For a few pence extra they could have added micro SD and I'd have almost certainly purchased it, but without one there's just no chance.

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Boffin

Re: Why use "The Cloud"

Android 4.0 onwards (Ice Cream Sandwich) has USB host mode - Buy a USB host cable for £2 off ebay, plug it in, then plug a USB pen-drive/hard drive into that. A much more flexible option, and saves buying SD cards if you have no other use for them.

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Re: Why use "The Cloud"

Hmmmm. So you're suggesting that my nice new Googley tablet, light enough to hold in one hand, would be improved by dangling a small, portable hard disk off it? Interesting...

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FAIL

Re: Why use "The Cloud"

There is if you want to be able to download from cameras/audio recorders etc. onto an external HDD, as I do with my netbook and laptop. I was very tempted by the Transformer, until I realised that they'd done something stupid like putting a SD slot on the base but a MicroSD on the tablet. Duh! And not to manufacturers: FFS stop using MicroSD on these types of devices - keep them for phones and other small devices. It's difficult enough not to lose SD cards let alone MicroSD cards when you have a collection of them for use on stills cameras, video cameras and audio recording devices!!!

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Re: Why use "The Cloud"

MicroSD cards are too small... it wouldn't be so bad if they were made from a bright day-glo plastic so they were easier to spot on the ground.

However, I tend to use them in SD card adaptors, just to give me flexibility. Camera, Laptop and Car Stereo: SD. Phone, MP3 player and Keyring Card Reader: MicroSD.

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Facepalm

Re: Why use "The Cloud"

Come on, It's not going to be a permanent attachment is it? It's there if you need it, should you need more than 16GB of storage for some bizarre reason. How much portable porn would one man possibly require?

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It has bluetooth, sausage. Are you reading anything

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Happy

Re: Why use "The Cloud"

"How much portable porn would one man possibly require?"

Are you seriously asking that question on an IT website? About a device designed to be held in one hand...

Seriously though, I've got 20GB of music. I would like to have that all with me at all times. Depending on the mood I'm in, I might want to listen to different stuff. Yes, I could cut that down easily to a more manageable amount, or change what's on my device according to mood. I just don't want to.

Also, my iPad currently has about 10GB worth of Apps (and their data). That's just going to carry on growing

Even assuming I could always find a signal to stream my music from the cloud (something that wouldn't work for the above apps), I may not want to pay the enormous data charges in order to do so. Given how cheap 32GB Micro SD cards are, there's no excuse not to have one.

We've not even mentioned TV and films. If I wanted to take a decent collection of stuff on a trip, 16GB is going to run out pretty damned quickly.

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Re: Why use "The Cloud"

This size of tablet is perfect for catchup TV and movies on the train every morning, so much so that I bought a Galaxy Tab to do just that. Biggest problem? Constantly deleting videos off the SD card and hard disk to accommodate new stuff. You're right, 16GB isn't enough, and the Cloud isn't ready to take up the slack (not over a 3G connection anyway)

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Anonymous Coward

Poor apple lawyers!

No doubt the apple lawyers are in for a sleepless night tonight trying to find something to get it banned for!!!!

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Re: Poor apple lawyers!

That 'Q' is bizarre. It does less than an Apple TV*, yet it costs three times the price? Also, the "hackability" thing is just manufacturer shorthand for "We can't be bothered to do all the work, so we'll let our customers do it for us! For free! And we'll make money off their development efforts!" Nicely done, but then, we're talking about a company that makes its living selling you to advertisers, so hardly a surprise.

The tablet's pricing is the only genuinely interesting bit of news. As another poster said: this is going to hurt Amazon's Kindle Fire sales badly. Especially as Amazon still haven't managed to ship any outside the US.

The "Made in the USA" thing doesn't mean much outside of the USA, and, of course, increasing automation means factories aren't going to be employing all that many people, regardless of the country they're in, so I don't see the point of the jingoism.

* (Yes, they can be trivially jailbroken too, so they're no less "hackable". The only difference is that here, Google is making a virtue of releasing unfinished software and expecting others to finish the job for them. Without pay.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Poor apple lawyers! @ Sean

Mmm... Grapes...

What's up? Are yours not sweet?

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Gold badge

Re: Poor apple lawyers!

Batteries and screens must cost a lot.

If you take apart any tablet you'll find a dinky little PCB with a few chips on it (smartphone sized) and a huge battery.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Poor apple lawyers! @ Sean

Maybe Sean's grapes are playing up? Try some Preparation G.

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Anonymous Coward

Google Now

"Google Now learns the user's interests from their search terms as well as their location, and suggests real-time data on things like the daily sports scores and commuting times."

Sounds like an ad-man's dream data miner. Wonder just how much is being tagged and stored?

Anonymous, because that's how I'd prefer my searches and interests to stay for no other reason than basic privacy.

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Re: Google Now

"Google Now learns the user's interests from their search terms as well as their location, and suggests real-time data on things like the daily sports scores and commuting times."

That's a total deal-killer for me. I, too, have a basic privacy instinct.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Google Now

Same here. Would not touch it with barge pole. Plus, it is not exactly revolutionary in terms of design/capability.

No one has mentioned whether you can hook it up to a mobile network? If you cannot, then that would be another reason to drop it in the 'useless' bucket.

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Black Helicopters

Swap the N for an n and that sentence becomes far more worrying.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Google Now

Yes, you can hook it up to a mobile network. Just use your portable WiFi. You do have one of those, don't you? You don't? I guess then you like paying extra for the ability to connect to a mobile network every time you upgrade your tablet/laptop, instead of just once. Your choice, I guess.

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