Hurricane Sandy, which has shut down businesses across the East Coast, has also thrown a wrench in Google's best laid plans. The search king had scheduled a big New York press conference to unveil a series of products designed to challenge Apple in the smartphone and tablet wars. But that parade has been rained on, and with the big event scrapped, Google took to its official blog to announce several major upgrades in its Nexus product line, including a new smartphone and a new tablet. Here, everything you need to know about Google's new line of Nexus products:

What did Google introduce, exactly?
Two new products: The Nexus 4 Android smartphone, and the Nexus 10 tablet. The Nexus 4 boasts a faster quad-core processor, a 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 (320 ppi) display, and a new power system that uses a charging pad instead of a wire. The Nexus 10, which Google says is "the highest-resolution tablet on the planet," is a larger 10-inch model designed for watching movies and reading magazines, with a screen resolution of 2560 x 1600 (300ppi). The products are expected to hit stores on Nov. 13. (Google also introduced an upgraded Nexus 7.)

How much will they cost?
The 16-gigabyte Nexus 4 Android phone will be available for $200 with a two-year T-Mobile contract, $300 for an unlocked 8-gigabyte version, or $350 for an unlocked 16-gigabyte version. The Nexus 10 will cost $400 for a 16-gigabyte model and $500 for a 32-gigabyte model.

How do they compare to the competition?
They're cheaper, for one thing. And the super-fast Nexus 4 could easily turn out to be "the best Android phone yet," says Brent Rose at Gizmodo. And the Nexus 10, which has "much better specs" than the iPad, is $100 cheaper. This is a clear, aggressive attempt to level the playing field with Apple, which dominates the tablet business.

Will it work?
Time will tell, though some critics are skeptical, suggesting that Google's products lack creativity. "For now, Google is acting just like Microsoft and following the lead of Apple," says John C. Dvorak at Marketwatch. "If Apple drives off a cliff, so will Microsoft and Google, thinking it's some sort of strategy to emulate." Plus, Google still needs to give a good answer to a pressing consumer question: "Why should I buy this instead of an iPad?" says analyst Michael Gartenberg at Bloomberg. "And for the most part, Android tablets have not done a good job answering that question."

Sources: GoogleBlog (2), USA Today (2), Gizmodo (2) (3), Market Watch, Bloomberg