Google stares Amazon’s Kindle Fire in the Face, Nexus 7 $199

Today Google debuted its first self-branded entry into the tablet market with the Nexus 7. With said device, Google looks to stake its claim as the premiere Android tablet device.

Nexus is Google’s series of Android devices produced in conjunction with select hardware manufacturers with the purpose of providing a “pure” Android experience. Pure in the sense that it does not come with carrier or manufacturer modification. Prior to today, the Nexus line was unique to phone devices.

The main reason for the Nexus line existing is that Android is a double-edged sword. The fact that it’s free and open-source makes it an easy decision for manufacturers, but also gives manufacturers the ability to do pretty much whatever they want to on their own devices.

Take the Amazon Kindle Fire for example. At a glance it looks nothing like any other Android device, yet it’s Android at the core, albeit a host of modifications. And in a broad stroke of irony, the Fire leveraged Amazon’s good name, along with a competitive price-point, to become the best-selling android tablet.

Last year the Amazon Kindle Fire was released to mostly-positive reactions. Specs were nothing to write home about, but the ecosystem and the price were its defining attributes. At one-hundred and ninety-nine dollars with a seven inch screen, is was in a class of its own for price and form factor. That is until today.

At a glance, a few differences can easily be noted. The Nexus 7 has a camera, while the Fire does not. The Nexus has a higher resolution screen. Other notable differences are processor and ram. The Nexus 7 runs on a 1.2 GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor and has 1 GB of ram, while the Kindle Fire has a 1 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 dual-core processor and has 512 MB of ram. Lastly the Nexus 7 has addition hardware features like a microphone, NFC, and GPS.

With the added caveat that the Kindle Fire is almost a year old now, the Google Nexus 7 has upped the ante in the seven inch table race, hitting the market with better specs than the Kindle Fire, while coming in at the same price point.

I’m sure everyone is expecting the Nexus 7 to sell like hotcakes, as am I, but the last card hasn’t been played as we are sure to hear news of this years version of the Kindle Fire sometime soon. The holiday season will the very interesting, as the Kindle Fire now has a true competitor in the seven inch tablet market.

Sources: Wikipedia, Google Play, Nexus 7 Product Page