NVIDIA has long been known for their hardware inside devices, however, they are trying to take their offerings beyond their GPUs, as the chipmaker finally unveils its much rumored 7-inch tablet dubbed the Tegra Note. The tablet comes with NVIDIA's Tegra 4 processor and carries a price tag of $199.
When seven-inch tablets first made their appearance and when BlackBerry (then RIM) decided to go with the 7-inch PlayBook, Steve Jobs said there was no need or market for a tablet that small – yet today, that 7-inch tablet market, which includes the iPad Mini, are among the most popular size tablets. Easy to carry, you can even put them in your pocket, yet large enough to read or web browse, or even watch an occasional movie. Therefore, it is only natural for NVIDIA's first tablet offering to be a seven-incher.
Let's get directly to the specifications right from NVIDA's own site:
- Processor – Tegra 4 mobile processor with quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU and 72-core GeForce GPU
- Display – 7-inch HD IPS LCD display (1280 x 800)
- Camera – Rear 5 MP and front VGA webcam
- Storage – 16 GB storage with micro SD expandable up to an additional 32 GB
- Audio – Front facing "HD Audio" stereo speakers with a unique bass-reflex port
- Stylus – Chisel and Brush tips for natural writing and broad strokes
- Peripherals – Micro HDMI connector to drive big screen TV videos and gaming
- OS – 100% Android with latest version of the OS
- Software Updates – Over The Air software updates directly from NVIDIA
- Battery Life – 10 hours HD video playback
On their site NVIDIA also claim that the Tegra Note has several key features that separate their 7-inch tablet from the rest of the pack, as well as claiming it is the world's fastest 7-inch tablet:
- Superb stylus – NVIDIA DirectStylus technology transforms a normal stylus into an incredibly responsive experience with finer point and broader stroke control. It also comes bundled with apps for convenient, stroke-based note taking.
- Exceptional sound – NVIDIA PureAudio technology offers rich, deep audio – including the widest frequency range in a tablet – through front-facing stereo speakers with a bass-reflex port.
- Groundbreaking camera – The camera uses Tegra 4's processing power and Chimera computational photography architecture to deliver stunning new features. Tegra Note also brings SmugMug's Camera Awesome app – one of the top camera apps on iOS – to Android. Camera Awesome delivers exclusive Tegra 4 features like tap-to-track and 100 fps video with slow-motion playback.
- TegraZone gaming – Delivering unmatched gaming, NVIDIA TegraZone provides easy access to Tegra-optimized games with visual effects that aren't available on other tablets. Tegra Note also supports a variety of game controllers for console-class gaming.
- Great battery life – 10-plus hours of HD video playback.
- Accessories galore – An intelligent slide cover flips and bends to support and cover the tablet. It also lets the tablet be set up in three distinct positions using built-in magnets for added flexibility. The DirectStylus Pro Pack enables a variety of writing styles with interchangeable tips. And Bluetooth capabilities turn the tablet into a game controller.
The device is manufactured by NVIDIA, but will be sold through many of their partnering distribution vendors, and should be available "in the next few months" as it is released worldwide. Partners such as EVGA, Zotac, PNY and co will be offering the tablet soon. They are definitely going for the gaming market and at $199, it looks like a good bargain, although, once again, the display specs are a little soft. Possibly NVIDIA believes that gaming does not require a "retina display", or maybe it is simply a way to keep the costs down.
Let us know if you will be heading out for a Tegra Note – would you buy a tablet from NVIDIA.