Google gets in under Apple: new tablets that compete with the iPad on price

Manufacturers don’t always price their goods competitively, but Google is looking to make its tablets more appealing to customers, and the announcement today of new Nexus 7 and 10 inch tablets looks to take the iPad on, not just with price, but also quality.

Announced overnight, Google’s Nexus range of devices has expanded by two, while its popular small Nexus 7 tablet has an update.

First up, Google is updating Android yet again. Yes, every device is now out of date, and if the operator and manufacturer of your phone is still saying that an update to Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” is coming, it’s now really out of date.

Available on the new devices Google is launching today, and hopefully coming to all other Android tablets and phones, Android 4.2 is here, still called “Jelly Bean,” but just consider it “a new flavour of Jelly Bean.”

Jelly beans generally have lots of flavours, so perhaps this will be a constant thing throughout version 4.

Regardless, the next version of Android includes an advanced panorama mode native ot the camera called Photo Sphere, built-in support for Google’s own version of Swype gesture typing, and the ability to switch between different users of the tablet – say you or your kids – quickly and easily.

Next up is the Nexus 4, Google’s new smartphone, rumoured to be made by LG and now confirmed of that fact.

From what we can tell, the Nexus 4 is more or less LG’s Optimus G, a handset that LG is suggesting should be here in March next year, compared to the Nexus 4’s release date of, oh two weeks from now on November 13.

The Nexus will come with a 4.7 inch HD screen protected by Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, quad-core processor, 8 or 16GB storage inside, 2GB RAM, NFC, Bluetooth, WiFi, 8 megapixel rear camera, 1.9 megapixel front, that brand new android 4.2 operating system, and something called wireless charging, which works with a charging mat and will make it possible for you to never have to plug in your phone to charge again.

Pricing looks very interesting too, with Google handling this directly and making it available for $349 for the 8GB or $399 for th 16GB models locally. That’s some interesting outright pricing, and is sure to throw a cat amongst the pigeons for the other manufacturers.

Next up is the Nexus 7, the previously released handheld tablet by Google that practically prompted Apple to rethink its small tablet strategy and make a miniature version of everybody’s favourite iPad.

Like the phone, the Nexus 7 has been updated to the latest version of Android – 4.2 – and also sports a much lower price tag, which should appeal to anyone unsure if they need a tablet.

In Australia, Google will be dropping the price of the Nexus from $299 down to $249, giving Aussies a much cheaper entry point for a 7 inch HD screen for 16GB of storage and a quad-core processor. Want more storage? There’ll be a 32GB model for $50 more ($299).

Then there’s the other brand new device.

Manufactured by Samsung, the Nexus 10 brings a 10 inch screen (10.055 inches to be exact) to the masses for $469 with 16GB storage, 2GB RAM, dual-band WiFi, dual-core processor, 5 megapixel rear camera, and Android 4.2.

Most interestingly, this tablet manages to out Retina Apple’s own technology with an industry-beating 300ppi.

The Google Nexus 10 is the first tablet to feature a 2560×1600 screen, a higher resolution than the 27 inch Apple iMac, which itself manages only 2560×1440. With this many pixels packed in, Samsung and Google have reached a pixel density of 300ppi, compared to the 264ppi of the Apple iPad with Retina screen.

That alone is impressive, and to undercut Apple’s iPad with Retina by almost a hundred dollars could help turn the tide when customers are considering purchasing.

Right now, the tablets aren’t set to hit Australia until mid-to-late November, with ordering online at Google Play the only way to buy. Hopefully, we’ll hear of retailers and department stores receiving these new devices in the upcoming months.