nexus 7

As expected, Google unveiled a new version of its 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet this morning at a press conference in San Francisco. The tablet is both thinner and lighter than its predecessor, and has a gorgeous new display with an impressive resolution of 1,920 x 1,200.

But the new slate wasn’t the only thing on the docket for this morning’s event. Google also showed off its Android 4.3 update, which features a new Google Play Games app (similar to Apple’s Game Center), as well as a new device for your TV called Chromecast…

nexus 7 2

The new Nexus 7, for the most part, matches up with the rumors. It houses a Qualcomm 1.5GHz quad-core S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0. It’s really taking aim at Apple here, with 9-hour battery life and a 323 PPI display (Retina mini anyone?).

Google’s also added a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera to the tablet, to compliment the 1.2-megapixel front-facing shooter. And it will come in a variety of flavors: you can choose from either 16GB or 32GB of storage and Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi+ unlocked LTE models.

Here’s Google’s new Nexus 7 ad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LysTmwDan8

Google Play Games is also fairly easy to read. It’s Google’s version of Apple’s Game Center app, and it allows developers to add things like cloud syncing and saving, multiplayer gameplay and achievements to their Android games using Google Play games services.

Finally, Google unveiled its latest TV product, the Chromecast dongle. The tiny accessory plugs into your TV’s HDMI port and allows you to both stream and mirror content from a tablet, smartphone or computer. And surprisingly, it’s compatible with iOS devices.

chromecast

While the new Nexus 7 tablet is impressive, it’s really just made me want a Retina iPad mini more. Google can load the tablet up with the latest specs and charge $1 for it, but it still won’t play all of my iTunes content or download the hundreds of games I paid for.

The Chromecast accessory, however, has peaked my interest. I may even buy one when they go on sale later today for $35—yeah, just $35. The Nexus 7 is going to be a tougher sell, though, as it starts at $230 for the entry model and isn’t available until next week.

CNET goes hands-on with Chromecast:

Overall, though, I think Google made some big moves today. It’s really given consumers a solid alternative to the iPad mini, and I’m anxious to see what developers can do with Chromecast. It’s a lot like Apple’s AirPlay, but open more open source, so we’ll see.

Apple definitely has its work cut out for it this fall.

So, what do you think of Google’s new offerings?

[Images via The Verge]