>I had really expected Asus to release its own 7 inch tablet.
Unlikely, since it would have to beat the Nexus 7 which is said as being sold at cost.
A great deal of fuss was made over Microsoft Surface "killing" Windows HW vendors, and curiously, almost nothing about the Nexus 7 doing the same. The irony is that Surface will have minimal impact, while N7 will almost certainly kill off any 7" Android tab this year.
Not only does N7 hit the magic $200 point, it has good hardware, official support, and 4.1. There is no way any 7" tab can match that. The only possible competitor would be if Apple does the rumored 7" mini iPad at $250-300.
I'm wondering what Amazon's move will be, as per the above I don't see how a 7" KF2 can compete. My projection is that it will cede the 7" space, and upping the KF2 to the 8" or 9" size, say, for $250. The orig KF stays on, but lowered to $150.
7" is good for reading, but poor for video playback. Since video consumption is vastly more popular than e-reading, an 8" or 9" would be a step forward. It would be better for video, and still be suitable for one-hand use.
Ditto for Nook, although if MS' investment in B&N is any indication, we'll probably see a Nook powered by WinRT this year.