With the announcement of the Nexus 7 I think everybody knew that Google were going after Amazon but, I don't think we fully realised how hard Google and ASUS were to hit the Kindle Fire. If you went on specs alone, the Nexus 7 does more than beat the Kindle Fire – as well as the Nook Tablet – it destroys it. With Tegra 3 and a hi-res IPS display the Nexus 7 is an amazing feat of engineering.
Earlier on in the year Nvidia announced plans to help manufacturers produce tablets with their latest and greatest chip for ridiculously cheap prices – without skimping on quality. Nvidia unveiled plans for the "Kai" platform, which enables device manufacturers to build tablets with a lot of what's in Tegra 3 for the price of of only $199. Nvidia have done this by, primarily supporting cheaper DDR3L memory, of which Nvidia is the only OEM to support. This enables Nvidia to provide the Tegra 3 at a lower cost. Nvidia's focus isn't to make cheap hardware but rather, to produce affordable hardware and that's an important distinction to make as many manufacturers such as Archos have enjoyed the budget tablet market for a couple years now but, with Tegra 3 products hitting this price point with such high quality hardware I fail to see how these companies will even begin to keep up.
It's been revealed that the Nexus 7 is in fact, one of these "Kai" devices and this is what helped push the price-point down. Nvidia have said that they worked closely with their own manufacturers to deliver these low prices and, for a manufacturer to be able to secure high powered CPUs enables them to spend more money on screens and build quality then before, thus creating better devices all round.
If you're curious as to when we should see more of these "Kai" devices, Nvidia can't tell us but assure us that they're "running hard" to get the "Kai" program of the ground and push the price down further. How many of these should we expect? Well, in the words of Nvidia "A lot".