Rumor: The next Google Nexus 7 will be an 8 inch Intel powered tablet made by ASUS

Google is likely going to refresh the Nexus 7 this year, just like they did the year prior. According to DigiTimes, ASUS will still be making the product, but get this: The 7.0 inch screen be be bumped up in size to 8.0 inches. And the Qualcomm processor in the current Nexus 7 will be replaced with one from Intel.

How believable is this rumor?

Let’s start with the company being asked to make the device, ASUS. They made both the first and the second generation Nexus 7, so Google knows who they’re dealing with. That being said, isn’t it time to let someone else try and get in on the Nexus action? Maybe Google peddled the next Nexus 7 to several companies already, and they all said no because they don’t want to face the margin hit.

Next up is the size: 8.0 inches. This I have no problem believing. Smartphones are becoming larger and larger with each passing year, which means the difference between something like a 5.7 inch Note 3 and a 7.0 inch Nexus 7 isn’t all that drastic. How do you make tablets more attractive then? Make them ever so slightly bigger. The iPad mini has a 7.9 inch screen after all, though admittedly in a completely different aspect ratio.

And finally, the chip under the hood. My gut tells me that Google will unveil a 64-bit version of Android this year, probably at I/O. And if they plan on launching a Nexus 7 during the summer, the only mobile chipsets that will be available that’ll support 64-bit will be from Intel. Just yesterday I covered a quote from Intel’s own CEO saying that 64-bit Bay Trail chips will be powering Android tablets released during the second quarter.

So thumbs up or thumbs down? I say thumbs up, this is legit.