It was several months ago we last heard about the Nexus 8, and even then, the rumor was loose to say the least. Well, interest has sparked up again this week, following the publication of a new report indicating the tablet is still being worked on, and that it could be out in mid-2014.
The rumor comes from DigiTimes, which is known for its average hit rate when it comes to this kind of news, so one must take it with the requisite pinch of salt. With this in mind, here’s what it says about the Nexus 8. Quoting sources inside the supply chain, it’s Asus which is apparently building the new 8-inch tablet, and it’s being developed to combat lower demand for the 2013 Nexus 7.
However, the juiciest part of DigiTimes report concerns the Nexus 8’s possible processor, which may not be the super popular Snapdragon 800, but the Intel Bay Trail-T instead. This would be a first for the Nexus line, and could help Intel find more favor in the mobile market. Intel has seen more success in tablets than it has in smartphones though, and Asus already produces several tablets using Intel chips, including the Bay Trail-powered Transformer Book T100.
Intel has said it’ll be releasing 64-bit Bay Trail chips during the first three months of 2014, and in a recent earnings call, CEO Brian Krzanich is quoted as saying, “Most of the Bay Trail Android tablets really start showing up more in the second quarter of 2014.” Bay Trail hardware has been Windows 8-based so far, and with the second quarter coming to an end in June, Krzanich’s dates fit in with the DigiTimes report.
As we said at the start, none of this is certain. We speculated the Nexus 8 could be based on the LG G Pad 8.3, given Google’s close relationship with the Korean firm, but Asus – which builds the Nexus 7 – is an equally likely partner. Rumors of the Nexus 8’s existence first started after a mysterious tablet showed up on a Google promotional webpage in November last year.