It looks like Google(s goog) will beat Apple(s aapl) to using a 1080p or better display on a small tablet if a leaked Best Buy(s bby) ad is the real deal. A tip to Phone Arena shows next week’s alleged advertisement with a $229 16 GB Nexus 7 slate using a 1920 x 1200 touchscreen. Availability for the device is said to be Tuesday, which would be July 30.
Until there’s an official Google announcement, we obviously don’t know for sure if a refreshed Nexus 7 even exists. However, there’s too much evidence of late to discount it. An actual device, possibly a prototype, appeared last week on video, for example. And this Wednesday, Google is holding a press event with Sundar Pichai who heads up Google’s Android efforts. The event could include non-Android news as Pichai is also in charge of Chrome and Google Apps.
It’s a safe bet then that we’ll hear about a new Nexus 7 in just two days. Does the high-definition screen sound likely? To me: yes. I speculated in April that a refreshed device would use an HD touchscreen, mainly because it would be the biggest improvement Google could make to its 7-inch tablet. The $229 price tag appearing in the Best Buy ad, as well as in some retail inventory systems, wouldn’t really be justified without an HD display, in my opinion, because the price is higher than the currently available 16 GB model.
As far as other components, I’m looking for a quad-core processor — possibly a still-capable one from last year — 2 GB of memory, Android 4.3 pre-installed, a rear camera and an optional 4G model with more storage capacity priced at $329.
If I’m correct, the improvements and relatively low price increase signal that Google wants its tablet to be chosen over Apple’s iPad mini, which still doesn’t have a high-definition screen. And I don’t seem to recall Best Buy ever selling the original Nexus in the U.S. so this development could mean Google is trying to expand retail availability for its small slate.