A couple of months ago there were reports that a $99 Nexus 7 tablet might be in the works, but after the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 was announced, the news on that all but disappeared. Some sites are now reporting that it’s coming sooner rather than later because an ASUS made 7-inch tablet just showed up in the GLBenchmarks under the model ME-172V. On the surface, it looks plausible as this tablet has lower specs than the Nexus 7. This one sports a 1024 x 600 display, a 1GHz processor (cores unknown), 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and a 4270mAh battery.
Here’s the problem: the ME172-V has already been announced for the South African market and will sell for R2000, which is approximately $224. The rest of the specs include a 1GHz single-c0re ARM cortex-A9 (VIA WM8950) processor, Mali 400 graphics chip, 1MP front-facing camera, and a microSD card slot for expanded storage. Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but on the other hand this doesn’t mean Google isn’t working on one. We already have $99 tablets made from lower end manufacturers and the way pricing is going, I won’t be shocked if Google or one of the main OEM’s releases a decent $99 tablet some time next year. In fact, a variant of the ME-172V could very well be in the works and could be shown at CES this January.