Google Unveils Nexus Tablet, Android Jelly Bean and a Social-Focused Media Streamer

Brad Chacos

Google was widely expected to bring some new toys to the table today, the opening day of the company's annual I/O developer's conference, and boy, Sergey and co. sure didn't disappoint. The long-rumored Google Nexus tablet is no longer just a rumor, Jelly Bean -- a.k.a. Android 4.1 -- is official, and the company's even moving into the multimedia space with the launch of the Nexus Q multimedia streamer.

The 7-inch Google Nexus tablet is already available in the Play Store for the Kindle Fire-competing prices of $199 for an 8GB version and $250 for a 16GB model. For a limited time, you'll get $25 in Play Store credit, a digital copy of the latest Transformers movie and other bundled content if you pick one up. Under the hood, the Nexus tablet outshines the Kindle Fire with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, a 1280x800 IPS display, NFC capabilities and a 1.2MP front camera.

It's also packing in Jelly Bean, the latest version of the Android operating system. Jelly Bean's biggest claim to fame is Project Butter, which allows the OS to speed along at a brisk 60fps frame rate. There's also been some nifty-sounding changes to the way Android handles widgets on home screens, a big improvement to the already stellar notification system and more, all of which you can read about in depth at Engadget . Jelly Bean will be rolling out to Nexus and Xoom devices next month.

The Google Nexus Q looks like a big ol' ball and chain, but it's a cloud-based device that lets you stream music, Google Play apps and YouTube videos to your TV. Google Play's music app lets you share playlists with pals, and anybody with an Android device can leap in and share or control content of their own. Connectivity-wise, the Nexus Q is loaded, with HDMI, S/PDIF, micro-USB. Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, banana jack speakers connections and NFC all on board. Google's Play Store will also begin selling movies, magazines and TV shows today. The Nexus Q cost $299 and is expected to start shipping in 2 to 3 weeks.

Update: Check out this awesome demonstration of Project Glass.

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