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Rumor: $199 Google Play Tablet by Asus Will Have Tegra 3

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 20 comments

Google's tablet will sport a Tegra 3 SoC and a $199 pricetag, claim sources.

Whether it's called Google Play or donning the Google Nexus brand, more rumors about a 7-inch "Google Experience Device" have emerged, this time with Nvidia's Tegra 3 quad-core SoC and maybe even a 10-inch brother. Asus will reportedly be at the helm of this device, packing it with Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" and as expected, a $199 pricetag to combat Amazon's Kindle Fire.

This latest rumor stems from two different "industry sources" talking it up last week during Mobile World Congress. Echoing what we said last week, they confirm that Google sees Amazon as a threat in the Android tablet market. Typically this market is split into two retail models: the certified Android devices and the non-certified devices. The former includes Google's services like Gmail, Android Market and so on, whereas the second group does not, and generally aren't as popular or as lucrative as the Google-sanctioned devices.

But now we have Amazon's Kindle Fire, the best-selling Android tablet on the market. While this should be good news for Google, it really isn't, as the device resides within the non-certified group. That means Amazon has replaced Google's ecosystem with its own, thus Google gets nothing when apps are purchased via Amazon's Appstore or when movies are bought and streamed via Amazon Instant Video.

During Mobile World Congress, Android chief Andy Rubin hinted that Google has set its sights on the Kindle Fire and plans to release an official product to regain control over the Android tablet sector. "2012 is going to be the year that we double down and make sure we’re winning in that space," he said. "We’re going to do a better job at making people understand what ecosystem they’re buying into."

Google's secret weapon, the rumored 7-inch Android tablet, may be something similar to the Asus MeMo 370T revealed back in January at CES 2012. The device reportedly featured Nvidia's Tegra 3 SoC and a $249 price tag. There's speculation that the internal storage in Google's version will be less to knock the price down to $199, but Google may keep the current capacity just in spite and take the financial hit. The rumored 10-inch version will likely cost $299.

As for the name, that's still up in the air. Last week's report suggested Google Play after the company supposedly scooped up a slew of domain names. But there's also a good chance Google Play refers to an entertainment network of sorts that will encompass multiple devices with exclusive access to multimedia much like Amazon locks Instant Video playback to certain devices. The "Nexus" branding seems more likely given that Google has used it for its "Google Experience Device" smartphones.

Google's tablet is expected to go into production in April, followed by a retail release in June. If the tablet isn't actually rolled out to Google IO attendees on June 27th, then we expect to hear official news about the gadget during the convention at the very least.

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Top Comments
  • 16 Hide
    win7guru , March 5, 2012 6:41 PM
    I'll buy 3 and it would still be less than a I-Pad
  • 14 Hide
    masterasia , March 5, 2012 6:25 PM
    Only $199......I'll play.
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    masterasia , March 5, 2012 6:25 PM
    Only $199......I'll play.
  • Display all 20 comments.
  • 16 Hide
    win7guru , March 5, 2012 6:41 PM
    I'll buy 3 and it would still be less than a I-Pad
  • 1 Hide
    spentshells , March 5, 2012 6:48 PM
    Me too.
  • 2 Hide
    kenyee , March 5, 2012 6:53 PM
    If it's $199 w/ a good IPS screen, I'm in.
    The Kindle Fire has a crappier screen than the Nook Color/Tablet but no one seems to care because it's tied into Amazon's ecosystem... :-P
  • 1 Hide
    freggo , March 5, 2012 7:22 PM
    At $199 it sounds like a winner.
    Will have to see what the final specs are going to be of course.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , March 5, 2012 7:41 PM
    Good deal all around. ASUS is an awesome brand. Have a motherboard, monitor, and their TF101 tablet. Rock solid and reliable
  • 9 Hide
    joytech22 , March 5, 2012 7:42 PM
    jaber2$199 for 7 no thanks, gota do better

    Are you kidding me...?
    I'd like to see you do better, or any company for that matter.

    I can't believe you think $199 is asking too much for this kind of tablet especially considering the specifications. I know, KNOW I'm going to buy one right away because it's such a good deal.

    While I have one of these, enjoy your $100 300MHz Pioneer tablet that crashes when you launch the browser.
  • -5 Hide
    halcyon , March 5, 2012 8:03 PM
    After having multiple Transformer Primes plagued with quality and usability issues I hope Asus can do better for Google. I'll stick with what you guys affectionately call "iCrap" until something really competes on ALL fronts. ...user experience and build quality included.
  • 3 Hide
    ap3x , March 5, 2012 8:37 PM
    kenyeeIf it's $199 w/ a good IPS screen, I'm in.The Kindle Fire has a crappier screen than the Nook Color/Tablet but no one seems to care because it's tied into Amazon's ecosystem... :-P


    Ecosystem makes a huge difference for most consumers and it also creates loyalty.
  • 3 Hide
    house70 , March 5, 2012 8:40 PM
    HalcyonAfter having multiple Transformer Primes plagued with quality and usability issues I hope Asus can do better for Google. I'll stick with what you guys affectionately call "iCrap" until something really competes on ALL fronts. ...user experience and build quality included.

    You need a TF101. Now it has ICS, too. Mine is rock-stable and fast as hell. And the KB dock is priceless.
  • 2 Hide
    halcyon , March 5, 2012 8:44 PM
    house70You need a TF101. Now it has ICS, too. Mine is rock-stable and fast as hell. And the KB dock is priceless.


    I really like how svelte the TF201 is. However, I hope Asus can get its quality control issues resolved. In 2012 dead and stuck pixels aren't a good selling point...but apparently Asus didn't get that memo.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 6, 2012 12:25 AM
    cant wait to get my hands on this
  • -5 Hide
    wopr11 , March 6, 2012 2:03 AM
    I wouldn't use a google tablet even if they were giving them away for free - why? The spy on you 24/7, copy all your data to your servers, do with it anything they want, and give you biased advertisements so that they can make more money out of you. I will keep the kindle fire thank you very much.
  • 0 Hide
    mr_wobbles , March 6, 2012 4:29 AM
    @Halcyon Dont be hatin playa, just add bacon strips C= No really, I would rather have a TF than any Ipad.
  • -2 Hide
    halcyon , March 6, 2012 10:52 AM
    mr_wobbles@Halcyon Dont be hatin playa, just add bacon strips C= No really, I would rather have a TF than any Ipad.


    LOL, I really wanted to like the Transformer Prime. I mean spec-wise and form-factor-wise its the F-22. ...but I'd rather have a perfect F-15E than rather flawed F-22A. ...combat aviation analogies aside I not the absence of the customization of the TF-Prime but I love that the iPad just works precisely as intended, is simple to use, and has no hardware defects I can detect.

    I really don't understand why Asus can produce a flawless LCD panel like Apple does (yes folks, I know that neither of them is actually producing the panels themselves, but I sure you understand).
  • 0 Hide
    del35 , March 7, 2012 8:57 AM
    Quote:
    I'll buy 3 and it would still be less than a I-Pad


    And they will also probably be better, provided you don't need iCrap's hyped screen resolution, which 98% of users have no use for.
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , March 8, 2012 9:17 AM
    del35And they will also probably be better, provided you don't need iCrap's hyped screen resolution, which 98% of users have no use for.


    You guys do realize that you're prejudiced right against Apple products right?
  • 0 Hide
    lemon88 , March 12, 2012 8:31 AM
    Wow, seems really amazing! But Im waiting for the iPad 3-rd gen so long time! And have already got many apps papered for it! Such as this iPad spot: http://www.ifunia.com/ipad-column/index.html
    Which one should I decide to buy? If I have enough budget I would like to buy the two!
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , March 12, 2012 8:40 AM
    lemon88Wow, seems really amazing! But Im waiting for the iPad 3-rd gen so long time! And have already got many apps papered for it! Such as this iPad spot: http://www.ifunia.com/ipad-column/index.html Which one should I decide to buy? If I have enough budget I would like to buy the two!


    The 32GB seems to be the sweet-spot but I ordered the 64GB. One thing that I've read is that apps optimized for the new high-res display will be significantly larger than than those optimized for the 1024x768 display. ...you could use that as an excuse to justify staying away from the 16GB model.

    Though I know the new display won't look quite as nice as that on the iPhone 4 I'm anxious to see how it compares to the 1280x800 that is the best on all other tablets.
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