The $99 Asus Nexus Tablet Will be Unveiled at CES 2013

asus me172v 2There are companies that like to be coy when they leak news, and then there are companies like Google Asus which like to use the exact same leaks with each of their new tablets, just to make sure the leaks are noticed by tech blogs.

Take the promotional campaign for the Nexus tablets, for example.

The first step is to leak the specs and possible release date to Digitimes. Step 2 involves posting the benchmarks online, and step 3 involves using the new device to take photos which are posted to Picasa - from an official account, no less.

That's the pattern Google Asus laid down when the Nexus 7 launched in June and Nexus 10 launched this fall. And today it seems pretty clear that they are once again repeating these steps in preparation for the launch of the new $99 Nexus tablet.

I've just found a set of photos on Picasa which look to have been taken by a not-yet-released Asus gadget, the ME172V. While we only have unsubstantiated rumors concerning this device, the pattern of rumors and leaks suggest that this is the new Nexus tablet.

asus me172v 1

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the ME172V is going to be the highpoint of CES next month. The photos leaked today don't have any other purpose other than to prep the blogosphere for a launch event.

And while Asus may not have a booth at CES, Google has a meeting room in the back of South Hall. I expect that we'll find the new tablet there.

According to the benchmarks and the leaked specs, this tablet will be running Android 4.1.1 on a 1GHz CPU provided by WonderMedia. It also has a 400MHz Mali GPU, screen resolution of 1024x600 (the size is assumed to be 7").  One of the leaks included other details about the specs, including a mention of 1GB of RAM, a 1MP front-facing camera (this was confirmed  by today's Picasa leak), and a microSD card slot.

The current rumors say that this tablet will cost $99, and given the pattern I think the price is correct.



22 thoughts on “The $99 Asus Nexus Tablet Will be Unveiled at CES 2013

  1. The SD card slot doesn’t mach up with Google design policies.
    Could it be that it will be an Asus-branded tablet without the Nexus badge?

  2. I heard this tablet was going to be mainly for the Asian market. That could be right or it could be wrong, but it was something going around.

  3. Apart from storage, is there a great deal of difference between the leaked stats for this and the current nexus 7? It looks to me like no, just want to check if there is something I’m missing.

      1. The specs on this one are the same as lot of the $70-$100 budget tablets, except for a little bit higher-res screen and more RAM. A decent media tablet, but not made for playing newer games.

          1. Who knows? I’ve seen $99 tablets that get 10 hours battery life playing videos, and I’ve seen $99 tablets with the same official specs that only get 2.5 hours. Without testing one, you can’t tell.

            Sometimes, even software plays a huge difference. A lot of low-end tablets are shipped with stock Android software with the phone apps enabled. That drains power fast looking for a phone connection that doesn’t exist. Removing the phone apps can double the battery life.

    1. Good point. Considering that even Google rolled out 4.2 updates weeks ago it makes little sense to launch a tablet on an older version of the OS.

      But everyone seems to be taking the benchmark seriously, and that’s where the 4.1.1 detail came from. And after spending a few minutes skimming reviews of 4.2, I get the impression that it’s just a slight update to 4.1.

      Perhaps Google figures that the differences are small enough that no one will care? After all, some bloggers are going to rag on it anyway.

        1. Oh, here’s the googly-translation:

          No mention of SDCard slot, btw.

          “We start from the data sheet: ASUS ME172V will be the younger brother – cheaper – the Nexus 7. The tablet has the same design and dimensions of the fact popular Nexus 7 but unlike the latter is not marked by the brand Nexus in the rear. So we can say with certainty that ASUS ME172V will not be a Google tablet ASUS but signed. It will be built with simple materials but will have an excellent quality / price ratio. “

          1. If that’s what the market will bear…
            The italian site is projecting 125euros or so so a US price of $129 is more likely than $99.
            And at $129 its not all that different from the first edition Kindle FIRE, no?
            Still dual core and 16GB isn’t bad. Just not earth-shattering…

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