After supplying PC, smartphone and tablet manufacturers for close to two decades with SoCs (system-on-a-chip units) and GPUs (graphics processing units), Nvidia has earlier this year decided to take its business one step further and build end products entirely from scratch.
The company’s first effort of this kind, the Nvidia Shield handheld game console, hasn’t exactly proven a blockbuster hit –yet — as it’s been crippled by hardware limitations and several commercial delays, only seeing daylight a month and a half back.
As for their second gadget, dubbed Tegra Note, the marketing strategy will be a tad different, in the sense that Nvidia won’t sell the tablet directly, but instead allow “partners” to brand it themselves. In other words, you won’t be seeing any Tegra Notes up on store shelves, but starting next month companies like EVGA, Zotac and Xolo will offer Tegra Notes disguised as their own products.
Sounds like an odd and risky business model, I know, but who are we to judge? Besides, it’s far more important to know Nvidia will enforce a strict pricing policy, which will see these 7-inchers cost as little as $200.
What do you get for the 200 bucks? Quite a lot, actually. A fast and furious quad-core Tegra 4 CPU, a 1,280 x 800 pix res IPS LCD panel, dual 5 MP/VGA cameras, 16 GB of on-board storage (expandable via microSD), stylus support (huzzah!), a battery supposedly capable of up to 10 hours of autonomy, Android Jelly Bean (4.2 or 4.3) and even micro HDMI connectivity.
Now if only Nvidia would convince companies like Asus or Toshiba to join them in this Tegra Note
experiment project. Not to be mean or anything, but who in their right minds would ever buy a Zotac? Crickets, eh?