Can Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Nexus Dethrone the Apple iPad?

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When Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) launched its new line of Nexus tablets a couple weeks ago, it was a shot across the bow of Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) dominant iPad.

Even though Hurricane Sandy forced Google to cancelan event planned to show off the new gadgets, it went ahead and launched its new products anyway.

The timing was no coincidence.

Google's latest salvo came less than a week after Apple introduced a smaller, less expensive iPad Mini with a 7.9-inch display to compete against the Nexus 7 tablet.

It's no wonder these guys are at war. Tablet sales are expected to hit $29.1 billion this year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.

That number is $10 billion higher than projected in January, escalating the battle to a whole new level.

Clearly both companies are feeling the heat.

And even though Apple is the clear leader in market share, Google has rolled out cheaper devices that are attracting many users-especially price-conscious ones.

The question is: Do Google's Android-powered devices have enough firepower to crack Apple's grip on the tablet market?

It's still too early to tell, but there's good reason to believe the Internet search giant may just pull it off.

Here's a look at what the new tablets have under the hood.

Nexus Cheaper & Better?

Apple's 9.7-inch iPad has been the unquestioned king of tablets since it was launched two years ago.

But Apple, Google, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and now even Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) are brawling over buyers in the fast-growing tablet market.

With the introduction of Google's larger tablet, Apple's smaller, cheaper tablet and Microsoft's Surface, the competition is likely to get even more heated.

Google's entries include the latest in its line of successful Nexus 7 tablets and a larger 10 inch version to compete with the full sized iPad.

The larger Nexus 10 is being made by Samsung Electronics Ltd. (PINK: SSNLF) and features a display screen that measures 10 inches diagonally, a little larger than Apple's 9.7 inch iPad.

What's more, the Nexus 10's display may be superior to the iPad's.

"The new Google device may have the best screen we have ever seen on a tablet. To put in context just how good...it has the same resolution as Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina technology," The Los Angeles Times reported.

What's more, the new device is lighter and thinner than the iPad and has a higher resolution camera.

But here's the kicker.

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