Weirdly, Asus Has A 7-Inch Tablet To Compete With The Nexus 7

Mobile World Congress always gives us a slew of awesome announcements and a handful of slightly weird ones. This one is in the latter category: Asus has just debuted and priced the MeMo Pad 7 -- a tablet it presumably hopes to use to compete with Google's Nexus 7, despite the fact that Asus builds both devices. Um...

The MeMo Pad (pronounced 'meemo pad') is a 7-inch tablet running Android 4.1 that Asus will bring to Australia in March.

It packs a 7-inch, 1024x600 screen with 170PPI and 350 nits of brightness, an ARM Cortex-A9 chip clocking in at 1GHz, 1GB of RAM, up to 16GB of on-board storage and 32GB of expandable storage and a 4270mAh battery with a stated life of 7 hours.

For those playing at home, the Nexus 7 beats the MeMo Pad on pretty much every single spec listed, but where Asus is trying to compete is on price.

You'll be able to pick up a MeMo Pad starting from $199. That's $50 cheaper than the already bargain-price of the Nexus 7, and for that amount of money, the MeMo Pad makes a lot of sense.

So why does Asus want to compete with itself? It makes both the wildly popular Nexus 7 for Google and now the MeMo Pad. What gives?

If you remember correctly when the Nexus 7 was minted at last year's Google I/O conference, we found out that it was based on a MeMo Pad product Asus had showed off at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. That product never went on sale, but instead came to life as the Nexus 7.

Now we're seeing the return of the MeMo Pad, albiet with lower specs than the MeMo Pad we saw at CES last year. What we're seeing here is most likely a bid to get as much cash in the bank for good 7-inch tablets as Asus can muster.

You can grab the new MeMo Pad from early-March in JB HiFi, Dick Smith Electronics, Bing Lee and Leading Edge stores.

We'll let you know what it's like when we get our hands on it.