Google has decided to upsize its compact tablet a bit, resulting to the reported dropping of the Nexus 7 in favour of the Nexus 8 and the good news is - release date of the 8-inch vanilla Android slate could be as soon as late April 2014.
The news from Asia has yet to get confirmation from Google but almost immediately, many Android fans welcomed the development - that the 7-inch Nexus tab will be continued to make way for the slightly wider and taller Nexus 8.
The shift, as mentioned above, is set to materialise at the start of Q2 2014 and doing the honours of putting together the next Nexus small tablet is Asus, which was fairly successful with the first and second Nexus 7 projects.
It looks like that Google is so impressed with Asus's craftsmanship displayed in the Nexus 7 that the tech giant again tapped the device maker to reprise the same role - though with bits of reconfiguration this time around.
Specific details on the Nexus 8 remain scarce at the moment but this early, the device promises a better foe for the iPad Mini and there are four reasons that should convince tablet shopper to take a second and bring home the native Android tab soon after its release date.
Read on for the details:
Nexus 8 nails the sweet spot for small tablet class
It is beyond argument that the bestselling small tablet of any platform is the iPad Mini, making it as the clear target for others to beat, Google including. As the iPad Mini lures millions of buyers, mainly on its 7-inch screen profile, it quickly became the standard, according to analysts, bumping off the 7-inch class first introduced by the Amazon Kindle and Google with the first Nexus 7.
With the Nexus 8 and by subscribing to the 8-inch standard, Google is hoping to capture tablet buyers who look for the mixture of portability, productivity and greater usability before making the buy.
Packs more muscled specs and storage space
From the Nexus 7 2, Google is expected to match the impressive capabilities that Apple has unleashed with the Retina-boasting iPad Mini 2 last year - headlined by the 64-bit A7 processing chip that is paired with 1GB of RAM. The Mini 2's internal memory is up to 128GB that eliminates the need for a card expansion slot, for now.
Google's response will naturally attempt to overwhelm the Mini fans considering a switch and a good start is by packing the Nexus 8 with any of the two - the quad-core Snapdragon CPU from Qualcomm or the latest Exynos powerhouse from Samsung. If the latter is the choice, then Android fans will likely have a taste of 64-bit mobile computing within Google's platform.
The Nexus devices are also known to distance from the memory extension slot so the Nexus 8 will likely offer bigger digital locker for would-be buyers. The minimum should be 32GB though for the maximum, 128GB is a long shot. More realistic is 64GB with over 60GB of usable space as the device will stand on pure Android build - no unnecessary bloats.
Carrier of the latest Android
For Android fans, Nexus means the most recent Android build is on board and certainly, that is the case with the Nexus 8. And when the next update or upgrade is made available, Nexus users will access the software patch directly from Google - ensuring that the jump is swift and smooth.
The rumour is Android 4.5 will debut with the 2014 Nexus line up and in the event the Nexus 8 is the first to touch down, its buyers will get to experience the latest that Google will cook up.
Irresistible price tag
This has been the Nexus hallmark - affordable price that is partnered by Google with high-end components. Such cocktail is definitely hard to repel both for tablet power users and the average consumers.
The basic Nexus 7 model (16GB and Wi-Fi only) went live on Google Play Store at $230 and Android watchers expect the price to remain on the same point for the Nexus 8 release. Should a price increase become inevitable, perhaps due to superb upgrades, experts believe that the premium will be no more than $100.
The highest leap should lead to a retail price of $350 or even less, which is considerably cheaper when compared to the iPad Mini 2's starting price of $400.