Technology • Company launches devices as mobile-computing competition escalates.
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San Francisco • Google is introducing a sleeker version of its Nexus 7 tablet as the Internet company escalates its battle with Apple and Amazon.com in the mobile computing market.
Google also announced a $35 device that will let you watch Netflix, YouTube and other content on a high-definition TV. Simply plug the Chromecast into the TV's HDMI port, and it'll display content from your phone, tablet or laptop.
The Chromecast is available right away, while the new Nexus 7 devices go on sale in the U.S. on Tuesday. It's available in Google's online store and various other retailers. Google made the announcement Wednesday at an event in San Francisco.
The extra firepower added to the second generation of Nexus 7 tablets will come with a higher price. A model with 16 gigabytes of storage will sell for $229, a $30 increase from the original Nexus 7 released a year ago. That's still 30 percent below the $329 that Apple Inc. charges for its iPad Mini. A comparable Kindle Fire HD tablet from Amazon.com Inc. sells for $199.
A 32-gigabyte version of the Nexus 7 sells for $269, a $20 price increase.
Google Inc. says the new line of Nexus tablets boasts a higher-definition 7-inch display screen and a processor that promises to be nearly as twice as fast. Dual stereo speakers have been added for richer sound, and the device's battery duration has been extended by about an hour. The Nexus 7 will also be the first device to get the 4.3 version of its Android software.