Google and LG have been getting awfully cozy lately — the web giant tasked the Korean company with delivering its two most recent Nexus smartphones, and if you’re the type to put stock in rumors, it seemed like a new Nexus tablet (bearing the model number “LG-V510”) would be the next fruit of their union.
Well, according some files posted to LG’s own site, it isn’t. Not exactly, anyway. Some industrious redditors (via Droid-Life) discovered that LG posted a source code update for that very device on its Open Source Code Distribution page, and a little bit of unzipping revealed the truth of the matter. The tablet in question isn’t a shiny new Nexus model, it’s a version of the company’s 8.3-inch G-Pad that’s getting the Google Play Edition treatment.
Google launched the Google Play Edition initiative earlier this year with special versions of the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S 4 that featured nearly-stock versions of Android instead of the highly-customized builds that their cousins ship with. I’d argue the benefits only really appeal to the real nerds and tinkerers among you — being SIM unlocked is nice, but more importantly those GPE phones generally get updates awfully quickly to boot. Granted, the update process isn’t quite as fast it is for members the Nexus line since their software build contains small additions to power non-standard features like the One’s BoomSound speakers.
Still, this is a pretty big deal for a company that doesn’t have much experience in crafting tablets and seems to speak to how closely the Google-LG relationship has grown in recent years. Like the One and the Galaxy S 4 before it, the G-Pad is no slouch: it sports an 8.3-inch IPS display running at 1920 x 1200, along with a Snapdragon 600 chipset, and 2GB of RAM. If LG’s source code files are legit and not some intricate prank, the tablet won’t be the speediest thing to grace the Google Play store, though early reviews of the thing are generally positive.
There are still plenty of questions surrounding this thing, not least of which is when it’ll officially see the light of day for the first time. CES 2014 is right around the corner and LG has snapped up the very first press conference slot on the pre-show press day so it would have a captive audience of reporters to show the thing off too. Then again, Google was in charge of unveiling both previous Google Play Edition devices, so the tablet may wind up headlining its own event. I’ve reached out to Google for comment, and will update this story if/when they respond.