Google's mysterious future tablet may be a low-cost 7-inch affair intended to take on the Amazon Kindle Fire, rather than a high-end device in the iPad's ilk.

That's if you believe the often-inaccurate but occasionally spot-on Digitimes and its supply chain sources which claim that Google's own-brand tablet will launch in March or April rocking a 7-inch display, Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) and a very attractive price tag somewhere under the $199 mark.

That would put the slate at around £128 if Google manages to bring it to the UK, which Amazon has thus far failed to do. So add on some tax and a few extra quid just because we're British and we're probably looking at somewhere between £150 and £199.

Tablet times

No one, but no one, was surprised when Eric Schmidt revealed that Google will release a tablet in the next six months, but like fools we all assumed the internet giant would be chasing Apple's iPad-shaped tail.

After all, the Google Nexus brand has always targeted the top end of the smartphone world; but it looks as though the company's tablet strategy might be quite different.

Google may partner with a third party to manufacture the tablets and we'd say Samsung's a front-runner given its successful Galaxy Tab range and the fact that Google favours the Korean company for its Nexus smartphones.

OLED-display also reckons Samsung's a shoo-in, positing that the company will provide Google with a 7-inch panel at WSVGA resolution (1024 x 600 pixels).

A tablet is definitely on the way from Google, and given its focus on Google Music, Google Books and film streaming on YouTube, a Kindle Fire style strategy isn't out of the realms of possibility.

Rumourmeter

From Digitimes

If you're after a tablet in the meantime, you could do worse than check out our buyer's guide below: