On the Nexus 7

Today at its I/O conference, Google unveiled the Nexus 7.

While we won’t know for sure until mid-July when it ships, this devices seems physically very much like the Fire, but maybe faster. It’s 7-inches,, black with a front-facing camera. That said, I do think the device is nicer looking than The Fire, which is based on the Blackberry Playbook’s hardware.

Google has clearly aimed at the Kindle Fire with this device. The Fire, of course, runs a forked version of Android controlled by Amazon.

At $199 for the 8GB version (with a 16GB option for $249), it’s priced the same as the Kindle Fire. At the event, Google pressed the content deals its put in place to get users access to books, magazines, movies and music.

(Of note, the 8 GB iPod touch is also $199.)

Both Amazon and Google are pitching these devices not as computer-replacements, but content hubs. Apple, on the other hand, wants users to think of the iPad in both ways.

In short, the Nexus 7 isn’t competing with the iPad directly. While the low price point may lure some customers, I think Amazon has more to be nervous about than Apple.