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Asustek Computer and Nvidia Corp. have already demonstrated a Tegra 3-based media tablet with 7" screen that is projected to cost $249. According to chief executive officer of Nvidia, this summer Tegra 3-based slates from less renowned brands will cost starting from $199.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble already sell own-brand media tablets with 7" screens for $199, but those devices feature proprietary operating systems and require consumers to buy additional content or programs, which allows platform holders to compensate low cost of actual devices. Both Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are based on relatively outdated platforms that are not very cost efficient, but with Tegra 3 everything seems to be different thanks to high level of integration.

"We took out $150 in build materials, things like expensive memory. At $199, you can just about buy a tablet at a 7-Eleven [retail chain],” said Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of Nvidia, in an interview with the New York Times.

Separately, Nvidia's chief exec pins a lot of hopes onto media tablets powered by Windows 8 that are due later this year. Unfortunately, Google Android has not gained traction on the market of slates so far and for many Windows 8 would seem to be a better solution than Android or iOS.

“Android hasn’t developed as I had hoped. For many people, though, work is still the primary reason to have a computer. They want Windows to work well, they want Outlook to work well. A tablet running Windows 8 with Tegra could be very nice,” said Mr. Huang.

Nvidia Tegra 3 "Kal-El" system-on-chip (SoC) is based on four high-performance Cortex-A9 general-purpose cores with Neon accelerators (1.4GHz single-core or 1.30GHz quad-core mode) and one power-optimized Cortex-A9 core (up to 500MHz), features a GeForce graphics processing unit with twelve stream processors and will have a new display and video engines capable of supporting Blu-ray disc video playback and stereo-3D graphics output. The new device integrates single-channel DDR3L-1500/LPDDR2-1066 memory controller, e.MMC 4.41, SD 3.0, SATA II, 7.1-channel audio controller, faster image signal processor and so on. According to Nvidia's own performance benchmarks, Tegra 3 is 50% - 200%+ faster than Tegra 2 in various applications.

Asus ME370T, which will sport Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC as well as 7” screen with 1280*800 resolution, will sell for $249. The device will also feature Google Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” and will therefore be better than comparable low-cost tablets from little-known manufacturers as well as Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet, which cost in the range between $199 and $249, thanks to considerably better hardware and more compatible operating system.

Tags: Nvidia, Tegra, Kal El, ARM, ASUS, Amazon, B&N

Discussion

Comments currently: 5
Discussion started: 03/29/12 11:59:15 AM
Latest comment: 03/31/12 05:44:58 PM

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1. 
Except for Windows 8 being next to impossible to use. I'm wanting a $199 linux tablet. Please don't lock the bootloader.
0 1 [Posted by: user99  | Date: 03/29/12 12:58:16 PM]
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2. 
I have no need for an android tablet or tablet of any type as of yet. Although come the day that I can see a use for one, I can't wait to see how cheap they will have become. When tablets started to become popular I never dreamed I would see a quad core tablet, let alone a tablet this powerful for this cheap.

It makes me wonder how a wireless carrier can justify charging around $600 for a phone (if you are not in an upgrade period or changing to a new carrier) that is far less powerful or as technologically advanced as this tablet that only costs $250.
0 0 [Posted by: OsirisEven  | Date: 03/29/12 01:34:20 PM]
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3. 
Everyone who tries to increase market share is talking about lower prices. Finally they are realizing that they can not compete with Apple at Apple prices.
On the other hand the Chinese companies, that even their owners don't know, are starting to build tablets with A8/A9 single cores, fullhd hdmi and 256/512MB ram that are going to sell for about $50-$70 in a couple of months. So making a cheap tablet is not something new, or amazing, or rocket science anyway. There are many reasons for not having cheap tablets from well known players in the market and the costs of material like "expensive memory" is not one of them.
1 0 [Posted by: john_gre  | Date: 03/30/12 01:28:57 AM]
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4. 
China already selling 1.5GHZ A8 + Mali400 GPU + 1GB DDR3 based 7' tablet starting USD 80 for some time.

the same spec with 9.7 inch 1024x768 IPS screens + 500 Mega Pixels cam selling about USD 200 (onda vi40)
0 0 [Posted by: ctmk  | Date: 03/31/12 05:44:58 PM]
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