The Nexus 7 features a 1,280-by-800-pixel display powered by the Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset, featuring a quad-core CPU and 12-core graphics processor. The device, built by Asus, also has a front-facing camera, and built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and near-field communications.
The 8-gigabyte model will cost $199, while a higher-capacity 16-gigabyte model will cost $249. Each will come with a $25 credit to Google Play and comes bundled with free content, including a "Transformers" film.
Google unveiled the device at its annual I/O developer conference on Wednesday, and boasted about the lightweight design of the device at 340 grams, or about the same weight as a paperback book. It also was said to get up to 9 hours of battery life when watching HD video, and 300 hours of standby time.
Reading was a major focus for Google at Wednesday's unveiling, as they showed magazines that can be viewed on the 7-inch device. In one example, interactive elements were shown in the latest issue of Shape magazine.
The Nexus 7 also offers other content from the Google Play storefront, like movies and TV shows. Google also showed off a new recommendation engine that uses widgets on the home screen to show off applications, movies, books and other content that users may be interested in purchasing.
Google also highlighted game playing on the device, which features built-in gyroscopes and accelerometers for motion control.
While the Google Nexus 7 will compete with Apple's existing 9.7-inch iPad, reports have also indicated that Apple has experimented with a smaller iPad model with a 7.85-inch display. Reports have claimed that such a device could be launched later this year with a screen resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels.