It's been on display in full form since before I/O started, but only now is it official: the Nexus 7 tablet from Asus. Built for Google Play, running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It has a 7-inch, 1280 x 800 HD display, a quad-core Tegra 3 processor with 12-core GPU, and 1GB RAM. There's also a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera and all the sensors you'd expect from a modern slate, including NFC (there is no 3G / 4G option). Google is touting nine hours of HD video playback and up to 300 hours of standby — although the product page quotes eight hours "of active use" on a 4325 mAh device — in a device that's 340 grams.
In case you had any doubt what Google thinks a 7-inch tablet is best for — and who it thinks its direct competitors are — the major push in the unveiling is media consumption. Music, movies, books, magazines, apps, and games. YouTube has been completely redesigned, and Google Maps has been optimized with new information overlays. Google on stage showed off Horn, a pretty stunning-looking 3D game, and Madfinger's zombie shooter Dead Trigger. Google says this is the first device that ships with Chrome as the standard browser.
The Nexus 7 starts at $199 for 8GB with $25 credit for Play Store (limited time only) — a 16GB model is available for $249. You can pre-order starting today from play.google.com with the tablet shipping mid-July. The UK pricing is £159 and £199, respectively, and also shipping around the same time.
And yes, an official Nexus 7 cover is already available for purchase at $19.99.
Update: Asus put out its own press release on the Nexus 7, and there's a few details in there worth noting. Covering the front of the Nexus 7 is a layer of Corning FIT glass, while the display itself features Asus "TruVivid" technology. There's no details on what, if anything, that means in reality — but the Nexus 7 does have an IPS display with a 178-degree viewing angle. Asus also claims up to 9.5 hours of battery life; that's more than Google claims, so we'll have to wait until our review to see how it performs in reality. Lastly, there was a little more detail on the new "smart cover" — it's polymer with a matte texture, and will come in six different colors.