Google launches 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet

This July, Google will ship the 7-inch Nexus 7 Tablet. It weighs less than a pound. It’s got a 7-inch display and a quad core processor, which means it should be screaming fast for most mobile applications. Google designers claim “a war on laggyness” with this device.

They wanted it to be ultra responsive. You touch something and the screen responds.

Customers can order the tablet now from the Google Play store for $199 (8 gigabyte) or $249 (16 GB). Purchasing from Google Play comes with a bonus: a $25 credit to spend on Google Play media. The price point puts Nexus 7 right in line with the popular Kindle Fire — though it is lighter at about 12 ounces — and about half the cost of the cheapest third gen iPad, though customers can get the 2011 iPad model for $399.

Other specs of interest? There’s a micro-USB port, 1 gig of RAM memory and a 1.2 megapeixel front camera. Google include GPS, a gyroscrope, state-of-the-art WiFI and a microphone. It did not include a rear facing camera (you use your phone for photos, right?). The camera part probably saved some cash.

“We wanted to design a best-of-Google experience that is optimized around all this great content,” director of Android Project Management Hugo Barra said. “We want to let you immerse yourself in all that media.”

The new Nexus tablet will run the latest Android operating system, 4.1 or “Jelly Bean,” which will be available to other manufacturers next month. Among new features? A Siri-style voice assistant, the ability to share videos and photos via Android Beam with another similarly equipped nearby devices. In the past, Android Beam could allow share maps, webpages and contacts. You can now also go speech-to-text without an online connection and something called “Gesture Control,” which allows you to swipe your hand to navigate the user interface.

Google says to expect about nine hours of battery life.

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