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Google Asus Nexus 7 Tablet confirmed with July release

Google today unveiled the Nexus 7, a 7-inch tablet from Asus that will run the latest version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

The Nexus 7 is available for pre-order now via Google Play and will ship in mid-July to customers in the UK, US, Canada, and Australia.

It will cost $199 in the US, so likely to be around £130 here, while buyers will get a credit of about £12 to spend in Google Play, and the tablet will come pre-loaded with theTransformers Dark of the Moon movie, the Bourne Domination book, and issues of magazines likePopular Science, Food Network, and Conde Nast Traveler, among others.

The device boasts a 1,280-by-800 HD display, and runs a Tegra 3 chipset with a quad-core CPU and 12-core GPU. "It's basically 16 cores," Android product management Hugo Barra said today at the Google I/O developer conference.

The Nexus 7 includes a front-facing camera, and "all the connectivity options you'd expect," like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC. Barra promised up to nine hours of video playback on a single charge, and up to 300 hours of standby time. It weighs in at 340 grams.

Google talked up the Google Play experience on the Nexus 7. The tablet will include a new recommendation engine via widgets on the home screen that will serve up app, book, or movie options. If you're not interested, just dismiss it. Google promised that the recommendations will become smarter over time, the more you watch, listen, or read.

As part of today's Google I/O announcements, Google announced that users will now be able to purchase movies, while TV show episodes and seasons will also be available via Google Play. Magazines from publishers like Hearst, Conde Nast, and Meredith are also coming to the Google store.

The Nexus 7 will also include a Shazam-esque feature that will let you identify a song that's playing and then purchase it via Google Play.

Meanwhile, the Nexus 7 will be the first device that ships with Google's Chrome as the standard browser.

On the mapping front, Google promised access to offline maps, as well as a new "compass mode" that provides 360-degree images of your surroundings via the camera and the gyroscope.

The tablet first made an appearance at CES in January, when Nvidia head Jen-Hsun Huang showed it off and said it would cost $249. In April, there were reports that Google was bumping back its release date to July, two months after the initial expected May date.

In March, meanwhile, it was reported that Google was prepping a store to sell Android tablets online in an effort to jumpstart sales of the struggling gadgets. For more on that, seeWhy Google's Tablet Store Isn't the Nexus One All Over Again.