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Google is serious about its Nexus 7. So serious that it is advertising the product on its front page—something that it rarely does for anything. The short animation appears below the search bar and tells searchers that” The Playground is open – The new $199 tablet from Google”.

The $199 7-inch tablet was announced at Google I/O in June, and it went on sale last month. While Google has not published sales numbers, many reports claim it is a rare hit for the problematic Android tablet platform. Yesterday, Google expanded Nexus 7 sales footprint to France, Germany and Spain.

It will be interesting to see how hard Google pushes the Nexus 7 in the face of an almost-certain iPad Mini that Apple is expected to launch in time for the holidays. So far, consumers like the ads anyway.

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