On the heels of the Shield entertainment platform, NVIDIA announces a new Android tablet starting at $199 through selected partners.
The new tablet referred to as the Tegra Note is a 7-inch tablet featuring the NVIDIA's Tegra 4 processor and several NVIDIA technologies designed to provide a richer user experience, including PureAudio technology paired with front-facing speakers and a bass-reflex port, Chimera computational photography, TegraZone for Tegra optimized games and support for a variety of game controllers, and DirectStylus. The DirectStylus technology is built around the touch-display technology to provide a good user experience from a passive stylus, eliminating the need for expensive active stylus solutions that have embedded electronics.
NVIDIA's Tegra Note tablet will be powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 4 processor and cost $200.
The new tablet also features an HD display, 5-MP front- and rear-facing cameras, 16 GB of storage plus a micro SD expansion slot, and a Micro HDMI connector for external display support. The Tegra Note will also come with a flip cover than bend into multiple positions and a stylus pack with interchangeable tips. Additional accessories have been promised for the near future. According to NVIDIA, the Tegra Note will also boast a 10+ hour battery life doing HD video playback, putting it on par with other premium tablets currently in the market.
Unlike Shield, NVIDIA will be offering the Tegra Note through select partners in North America, Europe, Asia, and India beginning later this year with a starting price of $199. However, NVIDIA will continue to support the platform with over the air Android and other software updates despite being marketing and sold by channel partners. The company may also offer the platform as a customizable reference design to select OEMs.
This marks another step for NVIDIA in offering complete platforms and platform designs even though the company is looking to leverage other sales and distribution channels. This is similar to efforts by other semiconductor and software vendors to introduce mobile devices that highlight their technologies and offer alternatives to the vertically integrated powerhouses. This also marks another shot in a likely tablet price war this holiday season in sub-$200 tablets with high-end performance and features.
ó Jim McGregor is founder and principal analyst at TIRIAS Research.