The newest leak surrounding the $99 Nexus tablet comes via a photograph on Picasa where a device from Asus, which goes by the codename ME172V, has made an appearance in the EXIF data. This model number matches with the previous number that had appeared on the GLBenchmark that surfaced earlier this month.
The EXIF data reveals that the resolution of the device is 1280 x 720 pixels. Apart from the features mentioned above, there is nothing else that is revealed.
A report by The Digital Reader states, “I’ve just found a set of photos on Picasa which look to have been taken by a not-yet-released Asus gadget, the ME172V. While we only have unsubstantiated rumors concerning this device, the pattern of rumors and leaks suggest that this is the new Nexus tablet. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the ME172V is going to be the highpoint of CES next month. The photos leaked today don’t have any other purpose other than to prep the blogosphere for a launch event.”
This gives the world a clue as to when the Asus manufactured budget Nexus 7 will be launched.
In the benchmark that had appeared earlier this month, the Asus ME172V featured a 1GHz processor and a display with a resolution of 1025 x 600 pixels. The benchmark also revealed that it featured a Mali 400 GPU and runs on Android 4.1.1. There was no word on the number of cores found on the tablet, but if this device is to be categorised in the sub-$100 price range, we suspect it will be powered by a single-core processor.
In October, prior to the announcement of the new Google Nexus devices, a report claimed that Google would introduce a $99 version of the Nexus tablet. This budget-friendly Nexus was expected to be unveiled in the fourth quarter of the year. However, it now appears that the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 will be a fitting time frame for Asus and Google to unveil the product.
Commenting on the tablet, the report had stated, “The US $99 Nexus tablet is equipped with an ARM-architecture single-core processor 8950 developed by China-based WonderMedia Technologies, and a HUVA TN panel made by Taiwan-based HannStar Display, the sources said. The tablet will be produced by Taiwan-based Quanta Computer. However, Quanta declined to comment and Asustek Computer, a Taiwan-based vendor developing Nexus 7 through cooperation with Google, indicated that it has no plans to launch US$99 Nexus.”
If Google decides to launch such a tablet, it could decimate the competition as India is currently loaded with tablet manufacturers selling their wares at prices that cater to different budgets.
While the benchmark and the EXIF data could be a good indicator of the device being in the works, the possibility of faking a benchmark and EXIF data is quite high as well. As of now, we suggest you take this information with a pinch of salt.