Google Preps Tablet with HD Display

Google is gearing up to launch the next generation of Android-powered Nexus tablets, with a super-sharp 1080p HD screen it claims is more advanced than Apple’s iPad at a lower price point, according to information posted on Best Buy’s website ahead of the Internet company’s announcement Wednesday.

The new Nexus 7 tablet features a 7-inch display with a 1920-by-1200 in-plane switching (IPS) screen, according to a Best Buy pre-order page for the device. The tablet weighs 11.2 ounces and is 0.3 inches thick, and features a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera as well as a 1.2-megapixel front-facing webcam for videochats.

Tablets — which have surged in popularity for watching video and surfing the web — have continued to be among the fastest-growing consumer electronics categories.

About 49.2 million tablets shipped worldwide in the first quarter of 2013, up 142% year over year, according to IDC. Apple iPad’s market share fell from 58% in Q1 2012 to 40% in the first three months of this year, as Android-based devices from Samsung, ASUS (which manufactures the current generation of Nexus 7) and Amazon and others picked up traction to capture 56% share (up from 41% a year ago). Microsoft’s Windows-powered Surface device took just 1.8% of the tablet market in the first quarter of 2013, according to IDC.

Best Buy’s pricing for the Google Nexus 7 tablet is $270 for a 32 gigabytes of storage and $230 for 16 GB model. Availability information was not listed on the Best Buy site.

Google is hosting a press conference at 9 a.m. Pacific to unveil “the latest from the Android and Chrome teams.”

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