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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 1024×600 (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.



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Brad Linder December 19, 2012 um 11:09 am

Asus doesn’t manufacturer the Nexus 10, Samsung does.

Nate Hoffelder December 19, 2012 um 11:14 am

D’oh! I knew that.

Fixed, and thanks.

fjtorres December 19, 2012 um 11:12 am

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?

Nate Hoffelder December 19, 2012 um 11:16 am

As Brad points out above, both the Asus-made Nexus 7 and the Samsung-made Nexus 10 had the same leaks. That means that Google was leaking the info, not the device makers.

fjtorres December 19, 2012 um 11:26 am

Asus might be copying the Google MO. 🙂

Doug December 19, 2012 um 12:23 pm

It might be that the SD card slot enables the rumored $99 price by allowing the user to add storage later. Actually, I like that.

fjtorres December 19, 2012 um 2:42 pm

Could be; at that point the thing will likely top out at 8GB.

ASUS ME172V, altri indizi online (ma ancora ci sfugge qualcosa) – December 19, 2012 um 12:34 pm

[…] fa notare the-ebook-reader, questo è già successo con Nexus 7 e Nexus 10. Continuiamo però ad avere poche informazioni […]

steve December 19, 2012 um 1:15 pm

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.

Astarlia December 19, 2012 um 4:04 pm

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.

Nate Hoffelder December 19, 2012 um 4:43 pm

The current Nexus 7 has a better camera, screen, and a much more powerful Tegra 3 CPU.

Thomas December 19, 2012 um 5:55 pm

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.

cookie December 19, 2012 um 6:44 pm

What is acceptable battery life for this tablet. At least a solid 6 hours with the display on to meet my test.

Thomas December 19, 2012 um 9:54 pm

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.

Joshua D. Boyd December 19, 2012 um 9:39 pm

Why would Google launch a Android 4.1.1 tablet when Android 4.2 has been out for awhile? I don’t think this is going to be a Nexus.

Nate Hoffelder December 19, 2012 um 9:56 pm

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.

fjtorres December 21, 2012 um 6:47 am

Here’s a web site that claims to have full specs and a picture:
Via: Mobileread.

Good news: 16GB storage.
Bad news: low-grade screen, TB instead of IPS
Great news (for me!): it has no Google/Nexus branding. Just ASUS.
Nyah-nyah! 😉

So they *are* cribbing off Google. 🙂

fjtorres December 21, 2012 um 6:52 am

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. "

Nate Hoffelder December 21, 2012 um 7:45 am

Here’s the product page:

I’m not sure how much I believe it. The price tag would be $230.

fjtorres December 21, 2012 um 9:39 am

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…

La Nexus 7 à 99 dollars se rapproche – FrAndroid December 20, 2012 um 1:13 pm

[…] Source […]

¿Un Nexus 7 por menos de 100 euros? | MarionetaDigital December 21, 2012 um 3:29 am

[…] parecer, y según informaciones de The Digital Reader recogidas por Xataka, en la próxima edición del CES (la Feria Internacional de Electrónica de […]

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