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Google May Release Nexus 8 Tablet

By - Source: Ars Technica | B 12 comments
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Google may be working on an 8 inch tablet.

To date, Google offers three Nexus tablets: the first-generation 7 inch Nexus 7 (Asus, 2012) and 10.1 inch Nexus 10 (Samsung, 2012) tablets, and the second-generation Nexus 7 (Asus, 2013). Up until last week, there was speculation that Google would launch the second generation Nexus 10 along with the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4, just as the company did with the original Nexus 10, Nexus 4 phone and Android 4.2 on October 29, 2012. Obviously, that didn't happen.

Now Google's own website has thrown a wrench into the rumor mill. Head over to the Apps and Entertainment section of the official Android website, scroll halfway down to the second image, and you'll see a woman smiling down at a tablet in her hands. This doesn't appear to be either the new Nexus 7 or current Nexus 10, but what appears to be an 8 inch model, likely an unannounced Nexus 8 model. This device also sports Android 4.4. "KitKat" (ugh Halloween is haunting me), based on the status bar icons.

Could this merely be a prop? Google typically doesn't use fake or generic devices in its promotional material. Even more, Google is quite keen in leaking its own devices in promotional material, such as the new Nexus 5, which appeared in an official video featuring an employee casually filming the KitKat statue with the device. That said, this is undoubtedly an unannounced tablet sporting compact, more rounded bezels and the latest Android build.

Why build an 8 inch tablet? Two reasons: Apple and Amazon. Google likely sees just how much revenue both of these companies are raking in with the Kindle Fire HD(X) 8.9 and iPad Mini (7.9 inch), respectively; they hit a sweet spot that the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 cannot satisfy. The new iPad Mini will have a starting price of $399, whereas as the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 will have a starting price of $379. The current Nexus 10 has a starting price of $399, paving the way for a price point for the 8 inch model that could undercut both Amazon and Apple.

Google launched the original Nexus 10 on November 13, 2013. With a second generation model still unannounced, there's speculation that this 10.1 inch model may be replaced by the Nexus 8. Given that a prototype Nexus 10 Gen 2 was shopped around during CES 2013 back in January, that speculation seems unlikely. Google may have simply decided to announce/launch two tablets side-by-side rather than allow the devices to dominate the Nexus 5 launch. We shall find out soon enough.

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  • 4 Hide
    chomlee , November 4, 2013 10:28 AM
    I think if this was true, it would be a great move. I was recently shopping around for tablets and as much as I liked the Nexus 7, I was more drawn to the Galaxy Tab 3 based on the 8" size. I currently have a 10" tablet, and I think that 8" seems to be just the right size. Anyway, I didn't buy anything and went away wishing they would come out with a Nexus 8. Sounds like my wish may come true.
  • 4 Hide
    ddpruitt , November 4, 2013 10:29 AM
    Quote:
    Google launched the original Nexus 10 on November 13, 2013


    So your saying they launched a year old device in two weeks?

    A little copy-editing please, don't just depend on spell-check.
  • 2 Hide
    tomaz99 , November 4, 2013 10:41 AM
    In addition to Tom's lack of editing the article before posting...users should also learn the proper use of "your" "you're"...
  • Display all 12 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    ninjustin , November 4, 2013 10:52 AM
    No no no no no. This is a Photoshopped marketing picture. They aren't going to release a slightly larger tablet.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , November 4, 2013 11:16 AM
    While a 8" screen on roughly the same footprint as the N7 by thinning out bezels would be nice, the image does appear to be a photoshop job: the real image components have very noisy/grainy look while the screen is perfectly clean with absolutely no gloss from the glass... apart from the bit of fake-looking highlight at the top.
  • 0 Hide
    m32 , November 4, 2013 12:40 PM
    It would be a day one buy for me. My N7 is great, but it is kinda too small for me when viewing website and movies. It gets the job done but I just need something a little bit bigger. 7.9-8.9 inch device is my dream (Android).
  • 0 Hide
    Vigilence , November 4, 2013 2:27 PM
    The Nexus 5, Nexus 8 and Nexus 11 were all early year speculation and rumors.

    The Nexus 5 has now been released, and if the device in this picture is real; soon the Nexus 8 will be released too. Now we just have to wait for either the Nexus 10 refresh or the Nexus 11 to come out.
  • 0 Hide
    Vigilence , November 4, 2013 2:27 PM
    The Nexus 5, Nexus 8 and Nexus 11 were all early year speculation and rumors.

    The Nexus 5 has now been released, and if the device in this picture is real; soon the Nexus 8 will be released too. Now we just have to wait for either the Nexus 10 refresh or the Nexus 11 to come out.
  • 0 Hide
    Vigilence , November 4, 2013 2:31 PM
    http://www.android.com/meet-android/

    the couple holding an android device seems to be holding a Nexus 8.
  • 0 Hide
    Vigilence , November 4, 2013 2:34 PM
    http://www.android.com/meet-android/

    the couple holding an android device seems to be holding a Nexus 8.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , November 4, 2013 3:49 PM
    Quote:
    http://www.android.com/meet-android/

    the couple holding an android device seems to be holding a Nexus 8.

    Looks like a 7v2 to me... there is even a 7v2 just below that image to compare with. Every discernible detail matches.
  • 1 Hide
    M2DVDGuy , November 4, 2013 4:49 PM
    I'm very interested in the rumored 10 inch version.
    I have the N7 (2nd gen) and it's a little small for my eyes.
    Hard to believe they would contradict all the release rumors by somehow retooling an 8 inch version in time for what should surely be a Holiday release target.