Cold water thrown on latest Google tablet images?

Cold water thrown on latest Google tablet images?
Earlier today we posted images that purported to be of the upcoming “Nexus” tablet from Google. When we posted them we noted some oddities – there was what appeared to be an earpiece-like slot for a speaker. It also seemed to have a proximity sensor next to the forward facing camera, which isn’t impossible on a tablet, but generally isn’t seen (especially in a phone-like arrangement).

The guys over at TechHog took a look at the images and concluded that they are a bit of Photoshop hackery. That's a reasonable suspicion - any time websites start seeing leaked blurry-cam photos there is a decent chance they could be fakes. Dozens of faked Galax SIII images circulated leading up to the launch, and we've already seen new iPhone images that many have questioned. For fun let's take a close look at today's Nexus tablet images and dissect some of the potential problems.

Here’s a quick rundown of objections made over the legitimacy of the images:

1)    The first problem cited is that "the table shine carries over to the front of the device, with an odd flat line top.” They are referring to the lighting in the lower left hand corner, and we feel that this is simply wrong – look at the broader photo and you’ll see that it isn’t shine reflected from the table, it’s a reflection off the monitor that the image was being shown on when the photo was taken. Of course the fact that it was taken on a computer monitor rather than advertising material may raise a flag, but the reflection in and of itself has no bearing on whether it's a fake.

2)    Far more convincing is the observation that the device's shadow appears to be ringed – that is, the shadow has a light band around it that suggests the shadow was cut from one image and pasted onto a darker surface. We agree that this looks suspicious, although we're also puzzled – why cut and paste a shadow when you can make one quite easily in Photoshop? And if you are going to bother cutting and pasting, why not just change the layer blending options to lose the ringing? Regardless, this visual artifact does indeed raise questions about authenticity.

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3)    The “blurriness” of the Google logo on the back was also questioned – and it’s true that a frequent tell-take sign of digital tampering is when the digital noise of one part of an image looks different from another. The actual noise here seems to cover a much bigger area of the image though, and it’s hard to say whether it’s due to outright faking, or the interaction between image compression and the dot pitch of the screen the image was displayed on. In short, we agree that the logo doesn’t instill confidence in the image, but it’s not a clear smoking gun either.

Questions have also been asked about the styling of the device, which doesn't match past ASUS devices. This may not be a completely fair critique, as Google is presumably playing a roll in directing the styling of their tablet, and it's entirely possible that it will break with past ASUS designs. On the other hand, the device does strongly resemble some Samsung devices, and that does raise some warning bells. In the end we think the most compelling problems are how much portions of the purported tablet look like existing phones. The one "earpiece" speaker, the existence and location of the proximity sensor, etc., all make this feel more like a ‘shopped phone than a tablet.

Of course there is never a way to verify any anonymous images (at least not until the real product ships), which is why we are careful to identify them as such.  In the end of course you should make up your own mind, and we have no doubt that you will. Whatever your opinion is on these images, feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.

source: TechHog

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