It’s tablet computer season, apparently. Ever since the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle Fire hit the scene and stirred up America’s love for portable computing devices, the tablet arena has gotten hot and heavy. A few days ago, Microsoft announced their first branded computer, the Microsoft Surface 7-inch tablet computer. Now, Google is getting into the act with the Google Nexus 7, their branded tablet PC. Google has teamed up with Acer again; much like the Google Chrome laptop, Acer will be building Google Nexus 7 tablets for Google.
The crucial battleground isn’t the tablet arena, say most analysts. The battle is for control of media purchase dollars. The Nexus 7 comes with integrated Google Play (Google’s version of iTunes) and leans heavily on the service to fill tablets with fun stuff. How will it stack up with iTunes and Amazon’s similar service for the Kindle Fire? That’s going to be the rub, though I’m sure brand loyalty to Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft will also play into things.
So how does the Nexus 7 stack up? Pretty well, all things considered. The Nexus is thinner and lighter than all the other competition, and it has more memory available. It is powered by the newest version of Android (4.1 Jellybean), and unlike the current Kindle Fire, it has a built-in camera, microphone, and GPS unit. It also features 8 or 16 gigabytes of storage, slotting it on the low end of the iPad or equal with the Kindle. It also features a 7-inch display with better resolution than the Kindle Fire.
The Washington Post has a more easily-readable graphic comparison of the various tablets.
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