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Asus explains what it took to make the Nexus 7 in just four months

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Asus explains what it took to make the Nexus 7 in just four months
If you asked us a year ago what company would make the next Google Nexus device, we might have bet on Samsung, HTC or Motorola. We wouldn’t have thought about Asus, yet here they are making the Google Nexus 7, the first tablet wearing the Nexus branding and an extremely affordable price of $199 for the basic 8GB version. We’d also say deservedly so as the Asus Transformer series have proven to be one of the most successful Android tablets.

But how did Asus manage to meet all of Google’s requirements? Moreover, how did it do everything in just the four months it had since Google contacted it? Now, we’re learning more details about the making of the Nexus 7 straight from Asus executives.

Benjamin Yeh, the head of Asus UK, spoke with Forbes about the Nexus 7, sharing details about the enthusiasm at Asus and how the company teamed up with Google and sent its engineers to California to speed up the process.
“Our top executives met Google’s top executives at CES to talk about opportunities and how they saw the future market. That’s when we came up with the idea of the Google Nexus 7 by Asus. That was in January, and mass production started in May.

So, that was four months. For a mass-market device, from concept to mass production, we’re talking about six to twelve months. Six months is very tight.

Immediately, we sent a complete design team to Mountain View, to work with Google. Google also sent seven engineers to Asus to work on the project as well. So, that’s what we had in the design team – and then there were our partners in the supply chain – key components and so on. Everyone was excited about the concept, but we needed to work together to get it through the supply chain. And it wasn’t just Asus and Google who were excited – our suppliers were too. Everyone wanted to be part of the game!

Once the hardware and software was starting to come together, both Asus and Google looked for ways to improve it even more. How good would a 7″ device be if it weighed as much as a brick and was as thick as textbook? In order to keep both of those specs down, they created a new LCD design called Asus TruVivid, that involves less glass, to not only make for a thinner device, but to improve the user experience as well.”

Most interestingly, Yeh explains that Asus wanted to meet three criteria set by Google - the device had to be fast, cheap and good. That sounds impossible unless you’re doing charity, so Asus had to resort to some innovative creative thinking. Here’s what it did:
“The device had to be thin and light, with a weight under 340 grams. So to get that lightness, normally the CPU would be small [low-powered]. But to get media playback, and particularly high definition media, the processor has to be powerful. The strong CPU in a very small space is difficult. And also the screen: you want it to be very responsive and also to have multitouch . So normally the LCD should be thick.

So, for the LCD module, we used a special design, which we called Asus TruVivid. That is actually two technologies together – the first is a one-glass solution, and the second is lamination.

The traditional way to make a tablet touchscreen actually uses four pieces of glass. You have the LCD back panel, then the back glass and front glass, with the liquid crystal in the middle. On top of the front glass you have the touch sensor glass. And then on top of the sensor glass you have the protective glass. So with the one glass solution, we put together the protective glass and the sensor glass. So the sensor is just a film attached to the glass, to make it thinner. And that also makes it lighter.”

Now, finally, the product is out there for everyone to buy and we love it - it’s really one of the best products for such a low price. Check out the full story of Asus making the Nexus 7 below.

source: Forbes

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posted on 07 Aug 2012, 08:48 9

1. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)

Can't wait for them to release a 10" Nexus tablet... :)

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 09:18 2

7. andro. (Posts: 1999; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)

I second that! Currently model not available outside the US yet though :-(

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 08:58 11

2. PhoneCritic (Posts: 943; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)

Have to Admire Asus. they do a good Job in manufacturing Android tablets.

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 08:59 5

3. AppleWho (banned) (Posts: 57; Member since: 06 Aug 2012)

I got min at Walmart 249 16GB model - very impressive - smooth UI - the best tablet on the market - even got 25.00 credit for play and Transformer movie.

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 09:05

4. Fallout09 (Posts: 421; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

Isnt that the same thin glass concept that Apple is using on their next iPhone?

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 09:06 1

5. kramersmash (Posts: 12; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)

I keep wondering why no one ever mentions the ASUS MeMO 370T in this conversation.

Not that they are the same but Asus was already working on a $200 tablet, so it's not like they started from scratch.

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 09:31

8. TortillaSlap (Posts: 43; Member since: 05 Aug 2012)

that's true.

I expected them to say.. "how did we do it? well, we pretty much already had it done.. we made some slight revisions to it, slapped on JB and called it a day!" lol.
The truth is a lot less exciting. :)

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 22:33

17. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

if you check there are quite some similarities

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 09:09 2

6. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)

it felt so fun just reading it! I want to work with Google soon.

sounds so much better than the repetitive productions of the iPad through abusing workers and boring money-focused business.

sorry ^ had to say it :)

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 11:25 2

9. gallitoking (Posts: 4721; Member since: 17 May 2011)

"the device had to be fast, cheap and good" they could have said inexpensive instead of cheap.. but that would be false advertising. right?

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 13:54 5

10. AppleWho (banned) (Posts: 57; Member since: 06 Aug 2012)

dude, get over it - google made something better than apple. Go cry to your mommy and buy one and experience it for yourself. Go back to high school.

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 17:06

13. android_sucks (Posts: 111; Member since: 28 Jul 2011)

Better than apple?!!! Really in what regard? The lack of a rearfacing camera? Surely it's the fact that the iPad looks cheaply made?

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 22:29 3

16. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

more portable, more affordable, better speech recognition, better maps, better email, better social network integration, and a built in chat service that works with more people at the same time and works on every major OS there is

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 17:57 1

14. gallitoking (Posts: 4721; Member since: 17 May 2011)

it doesn't affect me one bit.. what happens to the Nexus 7 or any other Android tablet.. other than the Transformer.. just making an observation that they could have use the word inexpensive instead of cheap as using cheap sounds cheap.. but.. maybe it is cheap.. by price and material... fandroids chill. not everyone will speak wonders about Android.. about didn't even mention it. so any comment regarding better than Apple .. is all you guys.. not me

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 15:07 1

12. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1743; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

At least be creative, you just look stupid

ps. did your break give you a chance to work on your English skills? They seem to have improved.

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 14:23 2

11. technut (Posts: 74; Member since: 03 Aug 2012)

I just can't wait to see the sales figures roll in. I expect a few people will be blown away by the numbers. Google and Asus really nailed it on this one.

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 21:42

15. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)

It's hard to imagine the Nexus 7 as a rushed device. Imagine what they could do if they had a leisurely pace. Answer: Transformer series :)

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 22:53 1

18. OSFantasma (Posts: 119; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)

I,m still going to get mine. Also i can wait to see if the rumor about five nexus devices is true i will surely look at the motorola, htc and samsung if they make one. Wow what a day i fixed to many apple products today i cant believe how crack the 4/4s Digitizers get. Anyway sorry for side track i hope that thinner glass does not mean extra fragile.

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 02:08 1

19. IamYourFather6657 (Posts: 321; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)

Asus is more innovative than Samsung

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