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Nvidia's Project Kai will bring more Nexus 7-like devices to market

June 29, 2012

The Nexus 7 is an amazing device for $200.

It has the best specs you could get for this price, such as a high-end chip like the quad-core Tegra 3, a high-quality IPS display with wide viewing angles, and an HD resolution screen that offers about 216 PPI. The Retina Macbook Pro is just 4 PPI higher, so you could argue it has a retina display, too. Anyway, the important thing to note is that the display is very crisp, so text will be sharp on the tablet.

Then you get 1 GB of RAM, which is what you see in all high-end mobile devices right now, a 1.2 MP front-camera, and a decent amount of storage: 8 GB for the $200 version or 16 GB for the $250 version. It should be more than enough for apps, games, and books. As for music and movies, you won’t have to worry too much about it, since you can play them from the cloud. Plus, you won’t have to worry about transferring files all the time. Just put your music in Google Music, or buy some tracks from the Play Store, and you’re ready to go. The same goes for movies and TV shows, which you can play straight from the Play Store.

With such an incredible value at a low price, you’d think that we won’t see many other devices like the Nexus 7 anytime soon. But that’s where you’d be wrong, at least according to Nvidia. They say that they are pushing hard to bring a lot more devices like the Nexus 7 into the market, through their Kai program: “We went to all of our component manufacturers and said, ‘we want to build this reference platform, we want to give people a good deal,'” said Mike Rayfield, a Tegra executive.

This sounds like great news for Google and the Android ecosystem as well, because with a lot of $200 high-quality devices flooding the market, we may see Android quickly surpassing the iPad in market share. We may be at a point where a $500 tablet doesn’t offer much more value than a $200-$250 one, and the extras are just frills that the regular consumer doesn’t need, at least as far as hardware goes.

Software isn’t accounted into the tablet’s pricing anyway, but if the market is indeed flooded with such inexpensive tablets, we may see a lot more tablet apps for Android as well. The thing about the Nexus 7, though, is that it’s more like a bigger phone than a smaller tablet. So, even those apps that haven’t been updated with a tablet UI, should still look pretty good and functional on this 7-inch tablet. As a result, the lack of tablet apps argument shouldn’t stop you from buying a Nexus 7.

I wonder if Google has any plans to sell the Nexus 7 in China, because it could really make a splash there. If they don’t, I’m sure others participants to Nvidia’s Kai program (like Acer, with the Iconia A110, or Asus, with their upcoming 7-incher) will be quick to do that. Now, check out how Bladeslinger, one of the most visually impressing games on Android, is running on this cheap tablet: