intro: Not to be outdone by Microsoft's Surface tablet announcement last week, Google has announced that it is also throwing its hat into the tablet arena. The all-new Nexus 7 will probably be more competition for Amazon than Apple or Microsoft, but we were already quite impressed with the $200 tablet. And there was even more Google hardware this week as the company introduced the Nexus Q, a streaming media device with social capabilities. Rounding out the list, we have a couple new ultrabooks from Dell, a camcorder for you extreme sports enthusiasts, and a MacBook turned tablet. Click through for a recap of this week's coolest gadgets.
quicklist: 1 title: Google Nexus 7 Tablet text: Google's new $200 tablet is more of a Kindle Fire killer than an iPad killer. Built by Asus, the tablet has a 7-inch, HD display, an 1.3GHZ Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera. Unfortunately there is no back camera on the unit, but there is a slim chance of anyone buying this for its photography potential. However, the big focus of the tablet is on the new software -- Android 4.1 or Jelly Bean. The new version of Android features Google Now (a Siri-like personal assistant) and even more Google Play content, including magazines and TV shows. It starts shipping in mid-July for $199; you can pre-order now through Google's Play Store. (Google)
quicklist: 2 title: Dell XPS 14 and 15 Ultrabooks text: This week, Dell announced the expansion of its XPS laptop family with the XPS 14 and XPS 15 ultrabooks. Continuing with the nice design aesthetic of the XPS 13, both laptops boast thin, aluminum chassis and comfortable chiclet keyboards. And according to the early reviews, the trackpads have even been improved. Both laptops are available with the latest Intel Core processors and Nvidia's latest graphics, so you get more than the average ultrabook performance. Both systems can also be configured with a range of hard drive sizes. Pricing starts at $1,099 for the XPS 14 and $1,200 for the XPS 15. They are available today from Dell.com.(Dell)
quicklist: 3 title: Google Nexus Q text: And you thought we were done with Google products! Google's Nexus Q isn't only one of the coolest looking gadgets out there, but it was made entirely in the United States (not something the others on this list can claim!). The ball shaped device hooks up to your TV and runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). However, this isn't your average Google TV box; you'll need a phone or tablet running Android 2.3 or higher in order to access your content. All one has to do is connect to the same WiFi signal as the Q to start sending movies, music, photos, and other media straight to the TV. Google likes to call this a "social" device, since multiple users can connect at any given time and can even add to a single playlist. Starting at $299, the Nexus Q is on the overpriced side, but the social aspect of its functionality might lure some in. (Google)
quicklist: 4 title: JVC Adixxion Camcorder text: For those who are looking to get off the couch though, JVC has jumped into the action camera business with the Adixxion camcorder. This rugged little guy is everything proof (water, shock, dust, etc.) and shoots 1080p video. With built-in WiFi, the Adixxion can connect to your smartphone, so you can use it as a viewfinder. Sporting a smaller 1.5-inch screen, the Adixxion seems to be another in a long line of rugged adventure tech, but at $349.95, it might just be a perfect choice for the summer. (JVC)
quicklist: 5 title: Modbook Pro Tablet text: Before there was the iPad, there was the Modbook: A MacBook transformed into a tablet by a small hardware start-up called Axiotron. That start-up fizzled out, but it's now making a comeback with the Modbook Pro. The Pro is a revamped 13-inch MacBook Pro that has been modded with a touchscreen; the company removes the keyboard, puts a touchscreen over the 13-inch screen, and then removes the screen and puts it over where the keyboard should be. It also adds in a stylus. It's one insane gadget, but, hey, where else are you going to get a tablet that runs Apple's OS X Lion? Modbook hasn't announced the pricing yet, but we can tell you this: it will cost way more than an iPad. (Modbook)