Google’s Nexus 7 tablet is all about the experience

Google’s $199 Nexus 7 Android Jelly Bean tablet may boast some pretty sweet specs indeed. At this juncture, however, Mountain View is probably more focused on user experience – rather than expensive hardware.

As NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim notes, Mountain View spent little time touting the hardware aspects of the device during I/O 2012, instead choosing to highlight tight integration of the hardware and the services, namely Google Play.

”Google didn’t even highlight the 7″ 1280 x 800 resolution panel used in the Nexus 7, which at 216 ppi puts it within shouting distance of the 264 ppi panel used in the new iPad in terms of pixel density, as well as providing some differentiation with the 1024 x 600 Kindle Fire,” explained Shim.

“Google executives spent a significant amount of time showing off how Google Play looked and worked on the Nexus 7 tablet. The same can be said for the Nexus Q, which was described as a media sharing and streaming device for home use.”

According to Shim, Google’s tablet debut is “somewhat out of character for the search giant,” though the company did release an indigenously design Nexus handset.

“Google can also be viewed as competing with its partners in the hardware space, not only with the Nexus 7 but also with its recent acquisition of tablet maker Motorola Mobility. However, the limited availability of the Nexus 7 on the Google Play store suggests modest ambitions in the short term,” said the analyst.

“[However], with the exception of Apple, few devices had been able to fulfill the idea of devices being defined by the experience, at least not a positive experience. Amazon was able to deliver on that promise and despite press reports of its dwindling success, sell through is solid early on. Google now seems to be heading in that direction with its Nexus 7, as well as the Nexus Q [media streaming] device.”

The Nexus 7 – which runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean – is manufactured by industry heavyweight Asus. In addition to a quad-core Nvidia Tegra processor, the device features a 1.2-megapixel front camera, NFC capabilities and a 1280 x 800, back-lit IPS LCD display.

The Nexus 7 tablet is currently available for pre-order here, with shipping expected to kick off in approximately 2-3 weeks.