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Content-driven Nexus 7 tablet took four torturous months to develop, according to Asus boss

The build may have been torturous but the Nexus 7 is finally out, check out our full review of the Google Nexus 7.

Asus’ charismatic chairman, Jonny Shih, has said in an interview that his engineers described building the new Nexus 7 tablet as “like torture,” and in what sounds like a considerable understatement, Google “asked a lot” while they worked on the joint venture.

Unveiled during the Google I/O keynote yesterday, the Nexus 7 tablet is all set to do battle with the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet, but crucially for sales, it will be made available in the UK — where the other two are not — as well as the USA and Canada.

Speaking to AllThingsD, Shih said the tablet was the result of just a few short months of hard work, claiming they went from having nothing to the finished product in four months.

The pressure to deliver saw the project, under the internal codename of Project A-Team, take on more engineers on a regular basis, and move to a 24-hour development cycle, ensuring Google’s expectations were met.

If anyone is still unsure whether the Nexus 7 is a bargain or not, Google’s Andy Rubin says the $199/£159 device is being sold through the Google Play store almost at cost. Like Amazon’s plan with the Kindle Fire, its hoped enough content will be purchased through the included app, movie and music stores to pick up the shortfall.

It’s also hinted at in the article that Google could be planning to sell the Nexus 7 in shops too. Whether the same tempting price tag would carry over into a retail environment remains to be seen.

On the Nexus 7, content is king

Google is not taking the chance that new users won’t realize they can buy all kinds of content right on the device. In the US, $25 of Google Play store credit will be included, while the UK gets £15, and both will receive a free copy of Transformers: Dark of the Moon to be disappointed by. Other content was promised during the launch event, such as an eBook of The Bourne Dominion and a selection of magazines, but as yet these have not been confirmed for all regions.

The company is up front about its reliance on content to make the Nexus 7 a success, and Hugo Barra, Product Manager for Android at Google, said they wanted to make a device to “delight,” and allow people to “immerse themselves” in the available media.

You can pre-order a Nexus 7 tablet right now through Google Play, with shipping expected to take place in the next two or three weeks.