Watch your back, Galaxy Note. Nvidia has launched a pen-enabled Android tablet of its own. The 7-inch Tegra Note, which is expected to be available in October for $199, will serve as a reference design for Nvidia’s hardware partners. The first companies to offer the Tegra Note in the U.S. will be EVGA and PNY Technologies.
In addition to the aforementioned quad-core Tegra 4 processor, the Tegra Note will also include 1GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage and a 32GB microSD card slot. Up front, the slate is expected to sport a 7-inch 1280 x 800 IPS LCD display.
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True to the slate’s name, the Tegra Note will also feature a passive stylus for writing and drawing on the tablet. Nvidia’s Director of Product Marketing for Mobile, Matt Weubbling, said users can expect the stylus to offer the same functionality and responsiveness as an active stylus, thanks to Nvidia’s Direct Stylus Technology. The tech transfers stylus processing to the Tegra 4′s fifth power-saving core.
The goal, Weubbling explained, is to make the tablet feel, “as much like paper as possible, so you don’t have to worry about the technology behind it. That’s largely what we are able to deliver with Tegra Note and this DirectStylus technology.”
The Tegra Note will also include front-facing HD Audio speakers with a bass-flex port and Nvidia’s PureAudio technology, as well as a 5-megapixel rear camera and VGA front camera. Nvidia says the cameras will feature the company’s Chimera computational photography architecture. We previewed the technology back at Mobile World Congress 2013 and were impressed with its real-time HDR and object tracking capabilities. Battery life is estimated at 10 hours of HD video playback.
Most mainstream consumers probably won’t recognize either EVGA or PNY, but Weubbling told us that Nvidia chose those two brands because they could help Nvidia with distribution. Both companies have a history of working with Nvidia through its desktop graphics card arm.
The idea that Nvidia is developing its own tablet, even if it’s being sold via partner companies, would seem to put the chip maker in direct competition with its other OEM partners that are using the Tegra 4 chip. But according to Weubbling, the company isn’t concerned. In fact, he said, Nvidia has a history of providing reference designs to the companies that it works with.
Stay tuned for our full review of the Tegra Note.