Two years ago, the iPad was untouchable at the top of the tablet market. Apple still sells the most tablets, but several rival slates have made serious inroads. One of those is the Google and Asus lovechild that we know as the Nexus 7. Though a sequel to the budget tablet is unconfirmed, it's inevitable. And today we have some new details on the second-generation Nexus 7.

The scoop comes from Reuters, who says that the new seven-inch tablet will ship “around July.” Google is partnering again with Asus, but will switch processors: ditching Nvidia for a Qualcomm chip.

iPad mini-like design?

Our mockup shows what a more iPad mini-like Nexus 7 could look like

It looks like the Google/Asus partnership is taking some cues from the iPad mini. The Nexus 7 follow-up will supposedly feature a larger screen and narrower bezels. As you can see in our comparison, the iPad mini’s screen is 0.9-inch larger – with less bezel – than the first Nexus 7.

The report also mentions a higher-resolution display on the updated Nexus (this isn't the first we've heard on that front). Apple’s first-generation iPad mini – despite being an all-around great device – has lackluster resolution (1024 x 768).

Google and Asus could potentially pounce on this weakness by releasing a high-res Nexus 7 before Apple can ship an iPad mini with Retina Display.

Of processors and pricing

As for the processor switcheroo, Reuters says that Google weighed both Nvidia’s and Qualcomm’s current-gen chips, before ultimately deciding on Qualcomm. The reason? Apparently the search giant preferred Qualcomm “for power reasons.” Yep, battery life is still important.

The report suggests that pricing for the new Nexus isn’t yet set in stone. It bandies two scenarios:

  • the new Nexus 7 retails for the current price of the first model (US$200), while the first-gen model drops to $150
  • the new model retails for $150, and the first-gen Nexus 7 goes to the great tablet graveyard in the sky

Both options sound good, but the second one could be a game-changer. A price of $150 for a faster Nexus 7 with a larger, higher-res display? That's enough to get our attention.

Source: Reuters