There’s been a lot of talk over the last few months about NVIDIA’s new ION platform that will bundle an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M GPU with an Intel Atom CPU to offer advanced graphics capabilities for netbooks. But ION isn’t the only thing NVIDIA’s got up its sleeve for low poer devices. Today at Mobile World Congress, the company announced that its Tegra could be used to build a $99 Mobile Internet Device (or MID) capable of playing HD video. The price tag? As low as $99.
At this point, the whole thing is still just in the concept phases. NVIDIA is showing a demo unit with the Tegra 600 chipset which is running Windows CE. But there’s no real product using the platform yet. But in theory, we could see mobile devices with fold out keyboards, HD video playback, WiFi and/or 3G access and 12-15 hours of battery life. But it’s still not clear whether NVIDIA’s $99 target price is standalone units or machines that would be subsidized by wireless carriers. Because while HD video is nice, I’m thinking it’s not much use unless you have a high resolution display, and that kind of screen alone could easily drive up the price of a portable computing device like this.
via Engadget and Laptop Magazine
Even though low resolution displays on devices are pointless with HD content, having HD playback is convenient because there would be no conversion needed. It is time consuming to transcode video files. Finding compatible codecs and file formats is also an ordeal for many portable devices.
Another convenience of having HD playback is being able to hook up devices to larger displays without having to sacrifice quality of converted videos.
Nvidia is making a big claim and I won’t believe a $99 MID until I see it.
So is this a MID or a PMP? If it is a MID I would guess the $99 price is only with a wireless contract. Windows CE is a bit too limited. How about a full OS?
“…Because while HD video is nice, I’m thinking it’s not much use unless you have a high resolution display, and that kind of screen alone could easily drive up the price of a portable computing device like this.”
I have a Nokia n810 which is the spitting image of the prototype shown. HD would be completely irrelevant on the 800×480 display that is on the unit. That said it is perfect for playing transcoded video. Even if the system could play HD the storage needs for an HD stream would be ridiculous, as well as the required storage device bandwidth. On the other hand transcoded video is very compact and thus well suited to small (relatively) slow flash.
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