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.

NVIDIA Tegra Note

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.

tegra note_02

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10 replies on “NVIDIA unveils the Tegra Note (reference platform for Tegra 4 tablets)”

  1. DirectStylus sounds nice, but we’ve been waiting too long for different aspect ratio options, something that microsoft recently promised for windows 8 https://goo.gl/N29h9

  2. Decisions, decisions. Whether to go for the Nvidia Note, Samsung Galaxy Note, or other Android device, or a Windows 8.1 Bay Trail slate, assuming price is not the issue, and one will only get 1 tablet. Which device is best for college use?

    1. A laptop. See some of Brads other stories about very cheap laptops. One with a Haswell processor.

      1. Bolo… struck a chord which I hadn’t heard in a long time. After using Google Maps on Android to try to locate something (street names were missing on the app) and comparing the same experience on Chrome browser (street names were shown at regular intervals) with a Windows laptop, I have to agree that a Haswell convertible laptop is the way to go. In other words, go the power route. I’m saving my pennies for the yet-to-come Lenovo ThinkPad X240T Windows 8 convertible. Reasons? Mature fully featured software vs. wimpy apps, robust handwriting recognition, active digitizer, excellent keyboard. MS Office, OneNote are bonuses. Android is still available via smartphone, and iOS (especially iTunes U) via iPod touch.

        1. My dilemma too! I don’t know if I should wait for the x240t or wait for the Helix 2. MY wishlist: a Quad HD (3200×1600) screen with a Wacom digitizer, Haswell i7, 8-16gb of low-power RAM, 256gb SSD, a built-in pen holder (what they already have), plus 8-12+ hours of battery life in REAL WORLD medium-heavy use, ~3lbs, about as thin as the new Yoga 2 (but probably not possible), at least 3 USB 3.0 ports, and all for under $2000. The single hinge is still superior, in my opinion, to the Yoga-style tablets since the keyboard is completely hidden.

    2. MS Office is must have for any college use. That rules out all Android and iOS devices and leaves in laptops and convertibles like Surface…

      1. ummmm windows office is on Android and ios if you are an office 365 subscriber. Plus there are like 10 different office replacement apps on Android you can use…No keeping up top date are we?

        1. Guess you don’t use Office that much 🙂 Office’s Android and iOS versions are jokes or just viewers at best, while office replacements are, hmmmm, not Office. They can’t be seriously used for document creation, not even for simple editing of Office documents. On my Android tablet, I have Office Mobile, QuickOffice, Kingsoft Office and Office Suite Pro and yet I can’t leave my old laptop behind. Things may change in future but for now good luck writing papers and crunching numbers in any other suite than MS Office (and without proper keyboard and mouse support)

    3. The Qualcomm version of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 3 improves on LTE efficiency and packs a larger battery than the previous GN2… So, if just note taking and like something that will always be connected then that’ll be a good choice.

      Tegra 4 still has a bit to prove but if really well designed it’ll be good for a WiFi only tablet and you can get it without a carrier contract…

      The newest Bay Trail devices are seemingly going to be price competitive for what they offer and have the benefit of running full Windows 8 and will start coming out just in time for the 8.1 update.

      While, overall a desktop OS will provide you the most flexibility and depending on what you’ll be doing in school it can be preferable…

      W8 Tablets 10.8″ and smaller also get MS Office Home & Student 2013 for free as a added bonus… though most will likely only provide the basic version of Windows instead of the Pro version.

      Bay Trail itself will offer a range, primarily starting with the tablet optimized models… The upcoming Asus Transformer T100 is using the quad core Z3760 Bay Trail, it’s a 10.1″ IPS 1366×768 screen and comes with a Keyboard Dock.

      The dock doesn’t provide an additional battery but it has a USB 3.0 port and the tablet’s 31WHr battery is apparently good enough for up to 11 hours of usage.

      Power consumption is apparently similar to the previous Clover Trail but with twice the performance… So it’ll be a pretty decent solution, though, the Z3740 is only offered with 2GB of RAM… You’d have to look for a model with the slightly higher end Z3770 for 4GB RAM option… While the Celeron/Pentium branded versions of Bay Trail offer support for up to 8GB of RAM and use of faster drives on SATA II connection…

  3. But the Nexus is missing the microSD card slot. That is a big deal to many who might swap the lower resolution screen for the additional storage.

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