Google and Asus take aim at Amazon’s Kindle Fire with the Nexus 7 Android tablet

As anticipated, Google has partnered with Asus to build a tablet specifically designed for Android. It’s called the Nexus 7 and it runs the latest version of the Android operating system, Jelly Bean 4.1.  Hugo Barra, Google’s director of product management announced the new tablet today at Google’s I/O keynote in San Francisco.

The tablet has 1280 x 800 resolution, a quad-core processor, and it supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC. The 7-inch tablet weighs in at 340 grams. During the presentation, Google engineering director Chris Yerga took great care to point out how well the Nexus 7 functions as an e-reader, highlighting how the device’s shape, size and weight is similar to a book. Yerga also demonstrated the Nexus 7’s book and magazine reading experience, and the TV and movie watching experience. The presentation was a clear swing against Amazon’s upstart Kindle Fire tablet, which has quickly become the best-selling Android tablet on the market.

The table will retail for $199 and will come with a $25 Google Play gift certificate. Orders for the tablet will ship in mid July to the U.S., Canada and the U.K.