Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

New Google tablet rumoured for launch tomorrow

Google will announce its play into the tablet computer market at a conference in San Francisco tomorrow morning, according to internet speculation.

Allegedly leaked documents obtained by gadget website Gizmodo Australia say the tablet - called Nexus 7 - will have a 7-inch screen and be priced under US$200 ($NZ252).

The tablet will have a battery that lasts approximately 9 hours and run the Jelly Bean version of the Android operating system, Gizmodo reported.

The Nexus 7 will house 1 gigabyte (GB) of RAM and come in two versions - one with 8GB of internal storage and the other with 16GB.

The later will be priced at US$249 while the former will sell for US$199 , Gizmodo said.

It will also come equipped with a near-field communications (NFC) chip, which allows devices to make mobile payments and transfer files to other tablets or phones.

The Nexus 7 will reportedly be manufactured by Taiwan-based hardware company Asus.

If the rumours of the Nexus 7 are true, it is expected Google will announce the tablet at its developers conference tomorrow morning.

According to Gizmodo, the tablet will have a speedy release and go on sale in Australia next month.

Commentators do not believe the Nexus 7, if announced, will be a direct rival Apple's iPad, which has a larger 9.7-inch screen and is around double the price.

According to US website Business Insider the move would be "an attempt to take down the [Amazon's] Kindle Fire" in the hope of it becoming the second most popular tablet in the market.

If the Nexus 7 is the announced tomorrow it would come just over a week after Microsoft unveiled its new tablet.

The Microsoft "Surface" device will come with Windows 8 and a fold down "multi-touch" keyboard which the company said will allow users to type faster than using an on-screen keyboard.

While the Nexus 7 may be taking aim at the Kindle Fire, the Surface is believed to be targeting the iPad.

According to Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer the new tablet is part of a "whole new family of devices" the company is developing.

NEXUS 7 - Rumoured specs:

* 7 inch screen

* 1GB of RAM

*8GB or 16GB of internal storage

*Priced between US$199 and US$249

*9 hours of battery life

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