NVIDIA has officially unveiled its next-generation reference platform for Android tablets. It’s called the Tegra Note, and you may have seen it before… it’s been making the rounds in leaks and rumors for weeks.
The Tegra Note isn’t a consumer device like the NVIDIA Shield. NVIDIA won’t be building and selling this tablet. But it’s a reference platform for device makers that could allow device makers to offer Tegra 4-powered tablets for as little as $199.
NVIDIA’s done this before. The company’s Kai reference platform, for instance, was the basis of the original $199 Google Nexus 7 tablet in 2012. The new Tegra Note platform could bring tablets with better processors, stylus support, and more for about the same price.
The Tegra Note reference platform includes a 7 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel IPS display, an NVIDIA Tegra 4 ARM Cortex-A15 quad-core processor, a 5MP rear camera, a VGA front camera, a microSD card slot, and a micro HDMI port.
NVIDIA says the Tegra Note should be able to get 10 hours of battery life while playing HD video.
There’s also a stylus that you can tuck away into the case — and hardware support for that stylus, with something NVIDIA calls “DirectStylus.” It allows you to get pressure-sensitive input from a low-cost, passive stylus with a thin tip.
NVIDIA is also taking more control of the platform, offering over-the-air software updates for tablets based on the reference platform.
Hardware partners including PNY, EVGA, ZOTAC, and others are expected to bring Tegra Note-based devices to market in the coming months, with suggested pricing starting at $199.
Accessories will include a slide cover which you can fold and use as a stand and a DirectStylus Pro Pack with interchangeable tips.
Overall it sound like the Tegra Note could help budget tablet makers continue to give Amazon a run for its money in the low-cost tablet space. But a higher-resolution display would have been nice. After all, the 2013 Google Nexus 7 has a 1920 x 1200 pixel screen, and it sells for just $30 more than a Tegra Note.