Take that, iPad mini: Retina display Nexus 7 at Google I/O says analyst

Nexus 7, tablets

While Apple fans are waiting for an iPad mini with improved screen, Android enthusiasts may see the Nexus 7 get its own Retina display next week. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo penned a research note that AppleInsider read and Kuo expects Google’s small slate to gain a 1920 x 1200 display at Google’s I/O Developer event, which takes place May 15 to May 17.

Kuo’s expectations aren’t that different from earlier Reuters reports, whose sources in April indicated a high-resolution display, faster processor and doubling of device memory to 2 GB coming to the next model Nexus 7. Reuters suggested a 1920 x 1080 panel at 315 pixels per inch, while Kuo figures a 1920 x 1200 display at 323 PPI.

A Qualcomm APQ8064 chip will power the updated tablet, says Kuo, which is the same Snapdragon 600 currently used in the LG Optimus G Pro, Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One smartphones. Wireless charging, an LTE option, 5 megapixel rear camera and Android 4.3 are also expected by the analyst.

These specifications sound right to me and I do expect Google to introduce a refreshed Nexus 7 at its developer event. I don’t think, however, that Google will be able to maintain the $199.99 current starting price for an updated Nexus 7. Even if the device comes in at a $249 to $299 range for a base Wi-Fi model, it’s less than Apple’s non-Retina iPad mini, which is $329. I still give some advantage to the iPad line, however, as I see more applications optimized for higher-resolution screens on iOS than on Android.

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