NVIDIA has taken the wraps off what we once knew as the Tegra Tab this morning and has rechristened it the Tegra Note. Tegra Note is not a device, however; it is a platform.
NVIDIA has chosen not to go with the SHIELD model for the Tegra Note and instead has partnered with companies around the world to sell branded versions of the Tegra Note.
In North America the platform will be brought to you by EVGA and PNY. Europe will have EVGA, Oysters and ZOTAC. The Asia-Pacific region is covered by Colorful, Shenzhen Homecare Technology and ZOTAC. Finally India will see Tegra Note hardware from XOLO.
While a variety of manufacturers will be producing Tegra Notes, the software and the OTA updates will come directly from NVIDIA. Like SHIELD the Tegra Note will feature a basically stock install of Android. NVIDIA claims it will be running the latest version of Android at launch.
As the Note name suggests, the stylus input is an important part of the platform. But unlike Samsung’s Note tablets and smartphones, the Tegra Note doesn’t rely on an active stylus. Typically, using a passive stylus has made for a fairly questionable handwriting experience, but one of the features of Tegra 4 is their DirectStylus technology. DirectStylus is designed to bring pressure sensitivity to a passive stylus along with the ability to detect a writing tip versus an eraser.
The specs for the Tegra Note platform are as follows:
- Tegra 4
- 7-inch IPS LCD display at 1280 x 800
- 5 MP rear facing camera and VGA front-facing camera
- 16GB storage with microSD slot for expansion
- Front facing “HD audio” speakers
- Micro HDMI out
NVIDIA is claiming that Tegra Note devices should be capable of at least 10 hours of HD video playback, but no specifics on the battery size yet.
NVIDIA has touted the photo processing of the Tegra 4 since it was first announced, and the company is hoping to show that off on the Tegra Note with SmugMug’s Camera Awesome app. The app will have some Tegra 4 exclusive features, such as “tap-to-track and 100 frames per second video with slow motion playback.”
Gaming, as always, is a big selling point for NVIDIA. These tablets will, of course, have access to Tegra Zone and all of the enhanced features that Tegra 4 brings to those games.
NVIDIA will also be bringing multiple accessories to market for the Tegra Notes. These include a smart case with magnets that will allow for multiple stand configurations for the tablet and a DirectStylus Pro Pack, which will offer interchangeable stylus tips.
The pricing should be a big selling feature for the Tegra Note; NVIDIA says the suggested retail price will be $199. For those who find a stylus to be an interesting addition for a tablet, this is a huge savings versus the Samsung Note 8.0, which can be found for $359.
We should start seeing the Tegra Note based tablets as early as next month.
The idea of a less expensive tablet that puts a priority on the stylus input is interesting to me as the owner of a Galaxy Note II and a fan of pen input. Are any of you interested in picking up a Tegra Note tablet when they hit the market?