Makers of 7-Inch Tablets Must Watch Prices Carefully

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2012-06-27 Print this article Print


It anticipates what you might want from your search history and the information Google knows about you (which might be more than you know about yourself). It will also tie into Google€™s other cloud-based packages, from Google + to Google Apps. 

While the Nexus 7 isn€™t really aimed at enterprise users€“Google plainly referred to it as a consumer electronics device in its announcement€“it will ultimately affect the enterprise. Some of the features, such as the close integration of search with the calendar, will ultimately prove to be very useful to business users as well as consumers, for example. 

Unfortunately, it may not do a lot to beef up the hardware offerings from the likes of the iPad or the Surface. The Nexus 7 only has a front facing camera and there€™s no support for external memory. While it will feature an HDMI port, this isn€™t going to be the enterprise grade tablet that Microsoft is building. It€™s also not an iPad wanna-be, lacking the ability to support LTE and it lacks anything like a Retina display, for example. 

But what it will do is keep the price pressure on the midmarket. If Apple decides to launch an iPad Mini, as has been rumored, the Nexus 7, along with the Kindle Fire, set the expected price point. What will more likely happen is that other 7-inch tablets are going to have to up their game and watch their prices carefully. Competing against the Nexus 7 in its own area of the business is going to be tough. 

The Nexus 7 will also raise expectations for larger tablets. Some of the features of Android 4.1, such as the vastly improved animation, will make other tablets of all types look clunky. The heavy dependence on the cloud will provide nearly instant access to information, while extracting a heavy price from non-WiFi tablet users. But that doesn€™t mean that users won€™t want smooth animation. It just means that it will provide another way for carrier data plans to annoy users. 

It€™s worth noting that Google also introduced the Nexus Q, a spherical media center Android computer that€™s designed to be controlled by an Android device and make it easier to share media and display it on large screens. The Nexus Q is intended to cement Google into the whole entertainment ecosystem. Of course it will have to fight Apple and Microsoft for this as well. The good news is that eventually most of these capabilities will filter into the enterprise and make things work better there as well. 

Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazine's Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

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