It looks that Russian tech blogger Eldar Murtazin was spot on when he reported back in January that Nvidia would offer white label services to small partners in the tablet market.
The first result of the program is the Nvidia Tegra Note: a 7-inch reference tablet powered by Tegra 4, that Nvidia will sell through its partners at prices starting from $199. But before we discuss the relatively peculiar way Nvidia is going to market the Tegra Note, let’s cover the basics.
Tegra Note specs and features
- Dimensions: 199 x 119 x 9.6 mm, 320g
- SoC: Tegra 4, quad-core Cortex-A15 @1.8GHz, GeForce 72-core GPU
- Display: 7-inch IPS LCD, HD (1280 x 800), 215 ppi
- RAM: 1GB
- Storage: 16GB, microSD card slot, up to 32GB
- Battery: 4100 mAh, 10 hours of HD video playback promised
- Cameras: 5MP rear, VGA front
- Micro HDMI
- Operating system: “latest Android OS”, OTAs to be provided by Nvidia directly
The spec sheet above paints the picture of a reasonably capable device, especially for the $199 price tag touted by Nvidia. In addition, Nvidia baked a few interesting features inside the Tegra Note:
- Nvidia DirectStylus – DirectStylus is a passive stylus technology, that detects various types of stylus tips based on their shape and allows user to change the width of the stroke by varying the pressure. Nvidia claims DirectStylus should deliver the same results as a $20 active input stylus. Some partner versions of Nvidia may offer the Tegra Note bundled with brush and chisel stylus tips.
- Chimera camera technology – Nvidia bills Chimera as the “world’s first mobile computational photography architecture”, which simply means that the Tegra 4 processor is able to process the image from the camera in real time, to achieve effects such as always on HDR photography, 100fps slow-motion, and HD panoramas. The Note exclusively packs the Camera Awesome app, which was iOS-only until now.
- PureAudio – Nvidia claims that the Tegra Note delivers the “widest frequency range in a tablet” through the front-facing stereo speakers with bass-reflex.
- TegraZone gaming and Bluetooth-enabled game controller mode – unsurprisingly, the Tegra Note is Tegra Zone ready; the device can be used as a game controller via Bluetooth, similarly to the Shield.
Tegra Note price, availability, and partners
Nvidia will have a contract manufacturer build the Tegra Note and offer smaller partners around the world the possibility to simply put their name on the Note and sell it as their own device. This model, commonly known as white label service, means that Nvidia will not sell the Tegra Note itself.
To avoid having multiple partners compete against each other with the same device, Nvidia selected a limited number of companies that will sell their Note variant. These are:
- EVGA and PNY Technologies in North America
- EVGA, Oysters, and ZOTAC in Europe
- Colorful, GIGABYTE, Shenzhen Homecare Technology and ZOTAC in Asia-Pacific
- XOLO in India
The Tegra Note-based devices will sell starting from $199 and partners will get to make small changes to its hardware, meaning that the final price may differ from Nvidia’s recommendation.
The first tablets based on the Tegra Note reference device should start hitting the market this October.