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Alleged Google Nexus Tablet Press Shots Surface

Phone Arena has acquired supposed press image drafts of the upcoming sub-$250 Google Nexus tablet manufactured by Asus. If credible, the gadget will sport a white front and a two-tone gray/black rear panel playing host to the Google and Asus logos.

According to recent reports, the tablet will sport a 7-inch screen powered by Nvidia's Tegra 3 SoC. However, the images reveal an earpeace speaker along the top, joined by a front-facing camera and other sensors. On the back is a larger hole in the black portion presumably meant for a rear-facing camera -- two volume buttons also appear towards the back, but mounted on the right side.

The tipster providing the images said that the tablet will likely not only feature the quad-core Tegra 3 SoC, but 1 GB of RAM. Google will also reportedly not be using Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean" with this release, but Android 4.1 "Ice Cream Sandwich" instead. This makes sense given ICS is still trying to infiltrate the Android market -- releasing Jelly Bean this summer just seemed a bit too soon.

The source also said that the new update to Android 4.1 will be similar to the update from Eclair 2.0 to Eclair 2.1, meaning that it will bring a whole slew of new features without requiring a complete visual overhaul. There's a good chance the update will sport Google's new 3D Maps and offline navigation as two of the new integrated features.

The Asus tablet is expected to be officially revealed at the I/O conference later this month along with the company's new storefront. Other Google Nexus tablets are reportedly in the works that will ship with Android 5.0. -- which may still be the case despite the latest rumor, depending on when Google can lock down the code. A handful of Google partners will supposedly get the new OS first as a gesture of good faith while Google acquires Motorola Mobility.

Reports concerning the release of the tablet vary, pointing to a summer to late fall launch. The tablet is Google's response to Amazon's Kindle Fire which currently dominates the Android tablet market. Amazon is slated to release a Kindle Fire sequel later this year along with Apple and its rumored 7-inch iPad Mini.