Despite being squashed directly by ASUS, rumors of a cheaper, lower spec’d $99 Nexus 7 continue to swirl. In the past, we’ve heard that a 1GHz processor and slightly lesser screen may be what helps bring the tablet down in price. If that’s true, we may now know just the device ASUS and Google plan on using for a cheaper Nexus 7.
GLBenchmarks for the ASUS ME172V have found their way into the hands of bloggers with some key specs attached, leading to speculation that it could very well be the cheaper Nexus 7 that’s been rumored for quite some time now. According to the benchmarks, the ASUS ME172V (the Nexus 7 was known as the ME370T; there was also a ME171) sports a 1GHz processor, a Mali-400 GPU, a 1,024×600 display and Android 4.1.1.
If Google and ASUS were teaming up to release a cheaper Nexus tablet, the ME172V would fit the bill. There are rumors that the ME172V will support microSD, which would mean it’s not going to be a Nexus device, but I wouldn’t count it out yet.
The most important thing to take away from the ME172V’s benchmarks is that, Nexus or not, there is a very affordable ASUS tablet in the works. ASUS is well known for timely updates and adding very little in the way of software customizations to their tablets. Even without the Nexus name, the ME172V may turn out to be a great buy.