The new tablet, Nexus 7, will be priced between £159 and £199, which will also pitch it in direct competition with Amazon’s Kindle Fire – although that device is not currently available in the UK.
The Nexus 7 was billed as a “serious gaming [and entertainment] device”, thanks to its small 7-inch size, quad-core processor and 12-core graphics processing unit.
Android team head Hugo Bara said at Google’s developers’ event in San Francisco last night (27 June): “We wanted to design a best-of Google experience optimised around the content available at Google Play. It has always been a goal of the Nexus programme to provide you with the best-of Google experience the way Google envisions it.”
It will be the first tablet to run Google’s latest version of Android, Jelly Bean, that is designed to be “smoother, faster and more fluid”.
The tablet can also be used alongside an Android-powered Nexus Q device, also announced last night. It can wirelessly stream films and music from Google Play to TV sets or speakers.
Google Play is also set to add films to purchase from studios such as Sony, Paramount and Disney as well as digital magazines from publishers including Hearst and Conde Nast.
Google also used its developers’ conference to showcase its augmented reality glasses project, which are designed to make it easier to capture photos and videos from the users’ point of view and to overlay information over what they are seeing in the real world, such as maps or deals from retailers.
Elsewhere in the tablet space, Apple has been granted an injunction from a US judge to ban the sale of Samsung Galaxy Tabs 10.1 in the region.
Apple claimed Samsung had copied the look of the market-leader iPad device, infringing its design patent.
The US company will have to post a $2.6m (£1.67m) bond to enforce the injunction to compensate Samsung if a trial – scheduled to begin on 30 July – finds the ban to have been unnecessary.
Samsung has a 7.5% share of the tablet market, while Apple dominates the sector with a 63% share, according to research firm Display Search.