Two months ago, rumours emerged from the upstream supply chain in Taiwan and China about the successor to the Google Nexus 7 tablet. The device was not announced at Google's I/O developer forum in San Francisco as many expected and we cannot help but wonder whether that follow-up tablet is not in fact the Asus MemoPad HD7 that was launched at Computex a couple of days ago by the Taiwanese technology giant.
One must remember that the Nexus 7 by itself was not ground-breaking. What made it such a success was that it offered so much for so little compared to the competition. And somehow, Asus managed to best this again by offering two important additions that were missing from the original Nexus 7 while at the same time significantly cutting the price of the device.
The MemoPad HD7 tablet is likely to cost around £100 given that it carries an SRP of $149 (as some rumours predicted). It also comes with a rear 5-megapixel camera and a microSD card slot, both of which were absent from the first Nexus 7. Also hands-on have confirmed that the new device has a thinner bezel and is lighter than the Nexus 7.
The only major let-down appears to be the system-on-chip which is based on a Cortex-A7 architecture rather than the A9. But then, a number of tweaks can be applied (such as a higher clock speed) to reduce the theoretical difference between the two mostly irrelevant. Indeed, early benchmarks show that this tablet is faster than the FonePad or the Nexus 7.
In the grander scheme of things, the Nexus 7 already ruthlessly rules the 7in tablet arena given that Samsung has all but given up. Unless the Korean company significantly cuts the price of its latest Galaxy Tab 3 7in model, the Nexus 7 and its successor will still be better alternatives.