3G-enabled Nexus 7 to hit shelves in six weeks

Following its release this summer, reviewers and consumers alike have been thoroughly impressed with Google’s Asus-manufactured Nexus 7 tablet. We gave the miniature-sized slate a 9/10 on our review and it began flying off the shelves immediately - but it looks like Google is preparing to introduce an upgrade that would take it the next level.

A 3G-capable Nexus 7 could be on the way soon, according to Paul O’Brien of MoDaCo, who attributed the intel to a “very well placed insider.” If the rumour proves true, Google will release a mobile data-ready version of the tablet in six weeks, with Asus already ramping up production of the alleged device. There are no other hardware changes coming and the device’s release date and availability are still to be confirmed, O’Brien said.

While some tablet enthusiasts were hoping for a rear-facing camera, expandable memory via a SD slot, or some form of video output, the device’s budget price-point - £159 for 8GB model and £199 for 16GB - precluded us from complaining too much.

The six week arrival time suggests a mid-October launch date for the 3G-enabled Nexus 7, which, if correct, could coincide with the expected release of Apple’s own 7in tablet, the heavily rumoured iPad mini. The two devices could go head-to-head as Apple is due to offer a streamlined version of its massively popular, market-dominating slate. Meanwhile, Samsung’s brand-new Galaxy Note 2 phone-tablet hybrid could just as easily wrest away market share from both the iPad and the Nexus 7.