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The rumors were true: Google launched the Nexus 7 tablet on Wednesday at its annual Google I/O developer event in San Francisco. Nexus 7 is available directly from Google(s goog) in the Google Play store alongside the $399 GSM Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The new thin slate is mostly as expected although the company opted for six icons in the launch bar instead of the four often seen on Android phones.
Asus built the Google-designed hardware, which will be available in two capacities, 16 GB and 32 GB, priced at $199 and $249. Included with the Nexus 7 is a $25 credit for the Google Play store. The 7-inch screen with wide angle viewing uses a 1280 x 800 resolution and scratch-resistance glass from Corning (s glw). There is no memory expansion slot.
A 1.2 megapixel camera sits on the front of the device and there is no rear camera. Google says the 4325 mAh battery should last for around 8 hours; not bad for a small tablet. Nexus 7 weighs 340 grams (12 ounces) and measures 198.5 x 120 x 10.45 millimeters (7.8″ x 4.7″ x 0.41′”) or about the same as competing 7-inch slates.
Of course, Google is shipping the Nexus 7 with its latest software, Android 4.1 or Jelly Bean, also introduced at the event. Nvidia’s(s nvda) Tegra 3 quad-core processor powers the device, which also includes 1 GB of memory. Support for NFC, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth and a GPS are part of the Nexus as well. Essentially, everything but a cellular radio for traditional voice and mobile broadband is included, although the integrated microphone can be used for VoIP calls.