Asus, Google’s partner for creating the Nexus 7 tablet, will reportedly release several affordable 7-inch tablets in the coming year. One of the tablets is called the Asus ME172V, whose name was spotted on EXIF data on a photo uploaded on Google Picasa.
Said tablet has been put up for pre-order in a Russian website called Oro 1, where some of its specifications are already available. The Asus ME172V is part of a series called ME, and not Google’s Nexus line.
Among its key features are a 800 MHz VIA WM8950 processor, Android 4.2 OS, a full gigabyte of RAM, and a 16GB SSD for user storage. Powering the device is a 4270mAh battery. It also comes with a TN-type display that has a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. For comparison, the Google Nexus 7 was packed with an IPS screen. Also onboard is a front-facing camera with a 1.3-megapixel image sensor.
As for connectivity, the Asus ME172V supports only 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and not 3G or 4G cellular connectivity. There is, however, a different upcoming tablet called the Asus ME371MG which is said to have support for 3G connectivity. Said device, for its part, is equipped with a 1.2Ghz Intel Atom Z2420 processor and a 7-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. Naturally, for these improved specifications, the Asus ME371MG fetches a higher price. Oro 1 is selling the mobile device for 9,490 rubles or around $284.
Going back to the Asus ME172V, its design comes with a textured back panel, similar to the one found on the Nexus 7. The Asus ME172V will be made of low-cost materials, possibly plastic, according to Phonearena. Its price was initially expected to be $99, but is being sold for 6,990 rubles or about US $225 on Oro 1. The device is available in two colors: gray and white.
The Asus ME172V is also expected to be made available in South Africa early next year for roughly the same price.