Rumor: Co-branded Google/ASUS 7-Inch Tablet Coming in May?

According to a report from Digitimes, industry sources have indicated that a co-branded Google and ASUS tablet may be coming to the U.S. as early as May.

The tablet reportedly would be a 7-inch model and cost between $199-$249, and would also feature the Google Play Store. This is in line with earlier rumors that have the tablet pegged as sporting a quad-core Tegra 3 chip and shipping with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, like the one NVIDIA and ASUS teased at CES.

A low-cost 7-inch tablet with media (i.e., Google Play’s apps, music, books, and movies) as a central focus would compete well with the Amazon Kindle Fire. Depending on the rumored tablet’s hardware specs, OS, and other features, it will also help to pull in more consumers eager for a tablet without the high price tag.

The rumored tablet might look a little something like this one (Image credit: TechCrunch)

According to the report, Google considered partnering with HTC and Acer, but the former wasn’t interested in a low-end device and the latter would simply be unable to pull it off. Thus, ASUS won the Google tablet sweepstakes.

This tablet could turn out to be inexpensive because it’s just not very good, or, like Kindle Fire, it could be a great deal because although it may not be as full-featured as a pricier tablet, it does what it does well. Or perhaps ASUS figured out how to make a solid tablet that it can sell for half what the competition charges.