Upping the ante in the tablet wars, Google on Monday introduced its first 10-inch tablet as well as updated versions of its 7-inch Nexus tablet and Nexus smartphone.
The two tablets and Nexus 4 smartphone will run an updated version of Jelly Bean -- the latest version of Android -- and go on sale Nov. 13. The new, higher-capacity Nexus 7 tablet is available now.
The new releases from Google follows just days after Apple unveiled the iPad mini and iPad 4, and Microsoft made its foray into the tablet market with its Surface tablets. The search giant was set to unveil its new devices today at a media event in New York, but that was canceled because of Hurricane Sandy.
The centerpiece is the Nexus 10, developed in partnership with Samsung and geared to compete more directly with the 9.7-inch iPad. With a starting price of $399 (16GB) -- $100 less than the iPad -- the Google device offers a 10-inch 2,560-by-1,600 display with 330 pixels per inch. The company also promises battery life of up to nine hours of video playback.
It also packs a dual-core A15 chip, 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and front-facing 1.9 megapixel camera. Google calls the Nexus 10 the first “truly shareable tablet” because Android 4.2 Jelly Bean allows for multiple users, switching right from the lock screen.
The Nexus 7 is on sale now in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan.
On the smartphone side, Google debuted the Nexus 4, which was made in partnership with LG Electronics and offers a 4.7-inch display and a quad-core processor. Among the new features in Android 4.2 available on the Nexus 4 and new tablets is Gesture Typing, which lets users swipe over the keyboard when writing messages.
Beyond the gadgets, Google also announced related new content and service offerings. The company has reached a deal with Time to bring more titles, including InStyle, People and Time, to Google Play. It has also partnered with Warner Music Group to add their full music catalog.
Google Play will launch in Europe on Nov. 13. The online storefront will also add a “matching” feature that automatically scans in a user’s music collection and create a cloud-based catalog of the same songs accessible from any device. That service will roll out in Europe first before coming to the U.S.