Hands-on with Nvidia Tegra Netbook Prototype
Nvidia’s Tegra has been in the news for months as being a viable platform for Mobile Internet Devices, but this computer on a chip technology has potential beyond that realm. Yesterday at CTIA Nvidia showed us a prototype device based on an HP Mini 1000 with Tegra (instead of Atom) inside, and in general it ran the embedded Windows CE operating system pretty smoothly. So what the benefit of Tegra on a 10-inch device? For one, you should expect anywhere from 10 to 15 hours of battery life, which is appoximately double what a typical netbook offers. In addition, Nvidia is promising full Flash support, which is critical for any netbook. The device we saw wasn’t yet capable of streaming Hulu videos, but the company promises that it will have all the kinks ironed out for Flash 9 by the time Computex rolls around in June. In terms of price, you’re looking at a netbook that could cost anywhere from $99 to $199, and that’s without a carrier subsidy. Windows CE itself isn’t the most robust operating system, but as you can tell in the screen shot Nvidia is working on a custom interface overlay with a slick-looking dock. Nevertheless, some may prefer the more robust Windows XP or Windows 7, in which case a netbook with an Intel Atom CPU and Nvidia Ion combo would be a better fit. So far we like what we see from Tegra in terms of its 1080p video support and Flash chops, and we can’t wait to see which netbook vendors adopt the platform for running Windows CE and Android (further down the line). Check out the hands-on video and gallery after the break.