According to “industry sources” speaking to DigiTimes, Asustek (traded under the brand name Asus) and Google will be working together on a Google-branded 7″ tablet that’ll compete with low-cost options like the Kindle Fire. Google supposedly attempted to court other companies like HTC and Acer, but ultimately chose Asus due to their willingness to create a white-label tablet and their general product quality. Additionally, Asus has publicly shown a desire to work closely with Google in a rapid update schedule for their Honeycomb tablets and release of the marquee Ice Cream Sandwich tablet the Transformer Prime.
This report is generally consistent with other rumors that suggest Google is working toward a “Nexus”-like tablet to better establish brand image at lower price points, as the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are quickly snapping up mindshare in that market. Also, Asus’s announcement of the MeMO ME370T at CES gives an indication of what they’re able to do at a $249 price point; namely, they can create a 7″ tablet with great specs like a Tegra 3 quad-core processor and a nice 1280×800 IPS display.
DigiTimes reports that this rumored tablet could hit as soon as May this year at $199-250, so keep an eye out for more details as that month approaches.