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Nvidia Unveils Its Own 7" Tegra Note Tablet

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the your-name-here-for-a-few-million dept.

Handhelds 56

crookedvulture writes "Nvidia has already produced a gaming handheld based on its quad-core Tegra 4 SoC. Today, the company announced plans to build a 7" Tegra Note tablet that uses the same chip. Rather than selling the tablet itself, Nvidia will make the device available through parters like EVGA and PNY. Asking price: $199. That seems a little steep given the Tegra Note's 1280x800 display resolution, which delivers a much lower PPI than the 1080p panel in the latest Nexus 7. But the Tegra Note does have some perks, including front-facing speakers, Micro HDMI output, microSD expansion, and an optional stylus. The tablet also boasts a fancy camera that taps into the Tegra chip's photography engine. Nvidia promises to keep the device updated with the latest versions of Android, too. You can expect to see the Tegra Note for sale worldwide in the next few months."

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Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44884877)

... does it run Linux?

Re:Yes, but... (2)

Enderandrew (866215) | about a year ago | (#44885427)

Given that it is an Android tablet, yes.

Re:Yes, but... (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year ago | (#44886645)

But can you build a BeAndroidWulf Cluster of them?

Re:Yes, but... (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about a year ago | (#44888595)

Coming in the Post-Microsoft Era....

But will it run Windows?



All joking aside...pretty much everything can run Linux now except WinRT devices

Re:Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44890237)

Great, nvidia is pushing android-linux on their hardware, but I still can't get a working optimus driver from them after all this time. wtf

Re:Yes, but... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#44887939)

Actually, aside from Android, would it run other OSs, such as WebOS, Plasma Active/Linux, NetBSD, et al?

Re:Yes, but... (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | about a year ago | (#44888583)

Sounds like a huge untapped market. I think they ought to make huge capital investments to capture the WebOS and NetBSD tablet markets.

Stylus (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#44884911)

Nexus has no stylus either... Wacom pen perhaps? Too bad its not 8", if so id buy it in a heartbeat when it came out.

Re:Stylus (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44884963)

At the risk of opening myself up for all kinds of internet snark ... does that 1" really make much of a difference?

Is an 8" tablet that much better than a 7" tablet?

Re:Stylus (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#44885011)

If you want to read on it, yes it makes a lot of difference. Not talking theory here as I do have both sizes, and its a world of difference in usability.

If you just want to play angry birds or something, then no, it don't matter much.

Re:Stylus (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44885089)

Difference of opinion I guess ... I've got a 7" and a 10" tablet, and I find the 7" one is just as usable/readable as the larger one.

Haven't done extensive testing or reading for hours, but I barely notice the screen difference -- the difference in weight yes, but the screen not so much.

re:7" one is just as usable/readable as the larger (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a year ago | (#44885413)

I agree. I turn my 7" tablet sideways to get the same width of my 10", and it just requires a little more scrolling. The difference in weight is a huge difference when holding the device for extended periods.

Re:7" one is just as usable/readable as the larger (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44885441)

That could be one difference ... I've got mine locked to a landscape orientation because I find in portrait mode the fonts are too small. But I found the same thing on my 10" tablet.

Re:Stylus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44887149)

A paperback book is too small to read??

Re:Stylus (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#44950165)

No. But that is what an e-ink reader is for. Since color e-ink isn't a real option yet, LCD is used for tech books. You cant read a tech book on a tiny screen unless you want to zoom and pan all the time, thus my statement about being at least 8".

Re:Stylus (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#44949933)

I've only used the tablet I got my daughter for her birthday this summer but I don't get it. You have trouble reading a standard size paperback? Leila's little seven inch tablet is bigger.

Is it a geezer thing? (yes, I'm a geezer but I had a lens replacement in my left eye and now see better than kids so I would no longer know)

Re:Stylus (1)

dcherryholmes (1322535) | about a year ago | (#44886193)

I've had 10" tablets as well as 7" tablets. I think 7" is superior in almost every way, except for one. And that one happens to be one of the things I most enjoy using my tablet for: reading comic books in .cbr format. And for that 7" is too small for my taste. But it's *almost* enough. So maybe 8" would be sufficient (although I suspect you really do want that 10" screen for easy reading without a lot of panning).

Re:Stylus (1)

wmac1 (2478314) | about a year ago | (#44886351)

I have a Nexus 7. On nexus 7 it is painful to read books and academic paper at least for my 40 yo eyes. I previously had a 8.9" tablet and it was quite ok.

On 10" W510 tablet things are ideal but it is a bit heavy and carrying it around is less comfortable (it is like you always have a book with you).

Re:Stylus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44888497)

Yes. I have both Nexus 7 and Galaxy Tab 7.7 and besides the far superior AMOLED screen (perfect contrast ftw) 8" is 5x better for reading. An extra inch makes all the difference.

Re:Stylus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44884991)

That's what she said.

Re: That's what she said (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44886107)

Truth hurts sometimes. But I have to agree with her.

Re: That's what she said (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44886777)

Truth hurts sometimes.

Then stop bending over.

Re:Stylus (1)

HermMunster (972336) | about a year ago | (#44885765)

The low quality screen will likely hinder the acceptance. Because it has a Tegra 3 matters not if others offer comparable units with better screens. I've seen some cheesy screens at that resolution. At least the Nexus 7 has an awesome screen. That entices a lot of people to buy it.

"Fancy camera" (3, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a year ago | (#44884977)

>> fancy camera that taps into the Tegra chip's photography engine

Careful - you don't want to overwhelm us with too many technical details.

you have to compare in the store (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44885003)

displays use different tech and numbers don't tell the whole story. if you want the best display for your eyes go to the store and look at them

hyping the resolution numbers is about as big a scam as megapixels on digital cameras

Re:you have to compare in the store (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44888099)

displays use different tech and numbers don't tell the whole story. if you want the best display for your eyes go to the store and look at them

hyping the resolution numbers is about as big a scam as megapixels on digital cameras

um... megapixels is a measurement of... oh never-mind.

1920x1200 is awesome but not THAT awesome (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#44885005)

On a 7" display, I don't see the benefit. Seriously, and I mean this sincerely. I am a high-resolution junkie in so many ways. If I can see the pixels, I am annoyed. And I threw a fit when Dell went from 1920x1200 to 1920x1080 for their best laptops. And so when the new Google Nexus 7 came out, I was there to get one. But now that I have one, I am not displeased with it, but I am also not "impressed" with it either. I mean I can tell the difference to be sure, but the difference just isn't huge. And that may actually be the fault of the applications themselves... the games I play. Video plays back fine though .. and it is very clear. But the 1280x800 was fine... and still is. And while I am not sure it's worth the full $199, it's not bad and does enable useful features. I guess I'll look it over when I can.

Re:1920x1200 is awesome but not THAT awesome (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44885211)

It's just specmanship unfortunately. Once there are devices of a certain size out there that can do 1080p, anything with a lower resolution and people will be all like "ooh, that's so lame, it can't do 1080p, 2012 wants its 1280x800 displays back, blah blah blah". People are saying that about 5" phones, FFS. I don't need a 1080p display on my phone, sucking up battery. Even 720p is overkill on a phone. But that's how it is, if you want to sell your product, you can't have reviewers saying its lame, so you've got to keep up with the joneses.

Re:1920x1200 is awesome but not THAT awesome (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about a year ago | (#44889629)

I agree. 1280x800 is twice the PPI of a laptop, more than twice the PPI of a 2560 display too so surely it would be nice enough, and a ton better than the typical 7" tablet resolution : 800x480.
For now I've seen a high PPI display once : Galaxy Note, 1280x800 on 5.3". I thought WTF? this looks like paper.

What's awesome is too read the summary when it says on the plus side it has a SD slot and video output. WTF? The typical tablet ONLY has a SD slot and a HDMI output (and a slave USB port, and a 3.5mm jack). I don't know why you would get a tablet without SD slot (without HDMI, maybe). You might as well say "This car only has a 200HP engine, but compared to the competition it has some perks like windshield wipers".

It has.. a stylus! now that's a feature that sets it apart because it seems you find it on PDA from the 90s, Nintendo DS, Microsoft Surface Pro but tablets usually don't have it.
So the tablet seems high spec (if the display is up to par) and not expensive.

Re:1920x1200 is awesome but not THAT awesome (1)

hattig (47930) | about a year ago | (#44891599)

800x480 hasn't been a typical 7" tablet resolution since ... ever. Maybe the original EeePC?

Most 7" tablets are 1024x600 or 1280x720 (or 800). But in the past year there has been a move to high DPI, even at relatively low price points, so 1920x1080 in a 7" device, like the current Nexus 7 tablet.

Re:1920x1200 is awesome but not THAT awesome (1)

Pascoea (968200) | about a year ago | (#44892743)

...people will be all like "ooh, that's so lame, it can't do 1080p, 2012 wants its 1280x800 displays back, blah blah blah".

I just talked to 2012, they said they don't really want their 1280x800 displays back, in fact they asked if I could send something 1920x1080 back instead.

Re:1920x1200 is awesome but not THAT awesome (4, Interesting)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#44885745)

I have to agree.

However first, I don't buy the "I can't see the pixels so its not worth it" argument. I mean when I see a screen with high pixel density vs one that doesn't, it just looks fucking better, period. I may not be able to differentiate individual fucking pixels, but a lot of stuff looks crisper, and more importantly, you can fit more content on the screen because it remains clear and readable even if its smaller. Try to render 8pt text on a VGA display, you are not going to read the bits and blogs of characters struggling to display on low res shitvision. Games are more detailed with the higher resolution than on a screen with less pixel density.

But where I DO agree, especially on the Android platform, NOBODY authors content for these high pixel density displays. I mean I have the Nexus 10 which has higher pixel density then this thing, and yet 90% of the content I use on it is simply authored for less pixel density and scaled up. Games look like crap because they simply double or quadruple the scaling, turning shitty low res graphics into even shittier high resolution garbage.

This is part of the problem with Android as a platform because there is no consistency across all the devices for screen size and pixel density. When Apple comes out with "Retina" for the iPad or iPhone, everybody authors content to look good on the Retina display. When even Google comes out with a high pixel density device, people just author content for some shitty cheap Android phone released 5 years ago.

So while I don't buy the whole theory behind not seeing individual pixels bullshit, for the most part most Android shit is going to still look like shit regardless of how many pixels you throw at it.

Hopefully because this is a tablet inspired by a graphic's card company they might also be rolling out a development platform that allows Android game designers to actually author quality content that takes advantage of high pixel density. But from what I have seen from other nVidia device's released recently, I just don't think they bothered with much more then putting their name on some OEM commissioned product.

Re:1920x1200 is awesome but not THAT awesome (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#44888239)

More content? Sorry but no. That's not what people do. They just make things bigger.

Re:1920x1200 is awesome but not THAT awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44890997)

Text will look better, and how does integer scaling turn "shitty low res graphics into even shittier high resolution garbage"?

Re:1920x1200 is awesome but not THAT awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44887697)

You're just old with bad eyes. I can easily see individual pixels on a nexus 7, and can see rows of pixels on my 1080p phone.

Re:1920x1200 is awesome but not THAT awesome (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about a year ago | (#44890947)

You're looking at the wrong content. When viewing full desktop websites with small text, or PDF files, the high resolution really comes in handy, because you can view the thing in "fit-to-screen" portrait mode without compromising legibility. Try that on the 1280x800 version and you'll be squinting like crazy because there's only something like 5x3 pixels available to render each letter. No amount of crazy-good antialiasing can fix that.

That said, I bought my girlfriend a Nexus 7 when it first came out and she can't tell the difference... because she doesn't view anything with tiny text.

TL;DR: Buy appropriately for your needs and you'll be fine.

might make me switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44885083)

At first glance this might make me reconsider a new iPad!
something I really like about Nvidia the company.

Re:might make me switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44885207)

At first horseshit, nobody asked...

How hot does it get? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44885099)

Comfortably warm, or blistering performance to the point of hardware failure?

News at 11 (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year ago | (#44885455)

Yet another half-assed, get to market quick, abandoned by its own makers before the next year is out Android tablet that will be so unsatisfying to use, it should be labled as landfillware.

Re:News at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44885587)

Yup. Only a $30 price difference from a Nexus, and significantly lower specs. DOA.

"But but but it has a microSD slot and the nexus doesn't." Nobody cares. That feature is only a "deal-breaker" for a handful of whiny slashdorks.

Android tablet makers: Google has caused consumers to up their standards, so up yours.

did not RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44887235)

"One of the many innovations it introduced was NVIDIA DirectStylus technology, which significantly improves passive stylus performance."

Re:News at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44885727)

Spoken like a true iLemming.

Never trust Nvidia to not screw their customers (1, Informative)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a year ago | (#44885479)

> Nvidia promises to keep the device updated with the latest versions of Android, too.

Years ago I picked up an eMagin head mounted display for about a grand, which was pretty spectacular until Nvidia dropped support for the product with their next driver release, making it totally useless for any game that came out after the HMD was released. Nvidia had made a deal with the people who make the Trimon 3D monitors, and as part of that, they had dropped support for prior 3D products. Do not trust Nvidia to provide usable updates, unless you want to waste money like I did.

Re:Never trust Nvidia to not screw their customers (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44885693)

You know, you can probably safely generalize that to 'never trust any tech company to not screw its customers'.

Sooner or later they all can (and will) leave you holding the bag.

Which is precisely I never want to be an early adopter of technology, because you never really know how long it will last.

Re:Never trust Nvidia to not screw their customers (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44885999)

A) It sounds like he was a late adopter of the tech, having purchased it just prior to NVIDIA EOLing it.
B) I am unaware of any requirement that forces you to use the latest release of a driver. He could have simply stuck with the driver that worked.

Re:Never trust Nvidia to not screw their customers (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a year ago | (#44886199)

>You know, you can probably safely generalize that to 'never trust any tech company to not screw its customers'.

Probably true, but no other company has screwed me like Nvidia did. I'm sure others have stories of other companies doing similar things to them, but for me Nvidia is the only company that obsoleted a very fun $1K product with a software update.

eMagin is also to blame of course for not creating their own software to drive the device, and they never managed to get their head-tracking working on anything but Windows XP.

I think that was the last bleeding-edge product I ever bought. I'm hoping to not have the same experience with the Occulus Rift, which I probably won't be able to resist buying.

Re:Never trust Nvidia to not screw their customers (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | about a year ago | (#44886823)

yeah but the statement is not worth much without the anecdote

Re:Never trust Nvidia to not screw their customers (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44887301)

I'm surprised there wasn't a class action lawsuit over that. That's fraud, like a store selling gift cards before Christmas then going out of business after and not honoring them at the going out of business sale.

Too little, too late (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44885643)

Nvidia is shovelling out this tablet via its GPU partners. However, Nvidia was too stupid or malicious to even give a nod to gaming on this tablet. No joypad controls, either built in or as an optional clip-on. No streaming of PC games to the tablet, unlike the PS4, Xbone, Wii U, or Nvidia's own 'shield' portable gaming device.

Where's the hires display? Where's the 2GB of RAM? Nvidia's Tegra 4 merely draws equal in performance with Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon parts (as found in Google's latest Nexus 7 and similar tablets).

It gets WORSE. Nvidia will fully disown the Tegra 4 (and T3, T2) when they release the Tegra 5 next year! Why? Because the Tegra 5 has PC class graphics, not the primitive ancient graphics core of the older Tegra's. I'm sorry, but AMD/ATI and Nvidia take great delight in trashing their older designs, once the newer ones are available, and describing the users of the older devices as "irrelevant losers". It's just how this business drives itself forward.

Nvidia needs to compete with Imagination (of the PowerVR GPU in Apple chips), Intel, AMD, and ARM (Mali), and each of these companies have state-of-the-art OpenGL ES3.0 GPU cores. The sooner Nvidia can forget about the trash it was forced to use in Tegra 4 and earlier, the better.

So, this tablet has to be judged purely as a lowish mid-end 7" tablet of the now, and in that respect it is somewhat overpriced. It will suffer constant price drops, but always too little and too late to make it of much interest. By the time it is being 'given' away early next year, the obvious future lack of support from Nvidia will still turn most people off.

Had Nvidia given the damned thing the option to convert into a tablet form of the SHIELD, it would have justified its existence regardless of its shortcomings. But Nvidia has never been more incompetent as a company than it is at present.

Re:Too little, too late (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about a year ago | (#44893303)

nvidia released a Windows 8 driver for the geforce 6/7 (including geforce 6100/7025 chipsets), they have a history of being the vendor which provides longest support for GPUs. It's true the Tegra 5 will be much better though in allowing e.g. running real linux (so that you can run grand stuff like blender and, er, openarena)

Who needs design wins? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44885897)

Does it count as a 'design win' or a 'design award for participation' when you award it to yourself?

i bet (1)

mattsqz (1074613) | about a year ago | (#44886415)

if you plug it into a tv its a pretty good drawing pad

Tax it I say! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44887233)

Ok what games are available for Android that would tax this? Stuff like Pocket Legends and Idiot Running Thru Temples or whatever doesn't cut it.

Re:Tax it I say! (2)

nevermore94 (789194) | about a year ago | (#44887731)

In no particular order:
Dangerous HD
Galaxy on Fire 2 HD
Dead on Arrival 2
Dead Trigger 2
Shadowgun HD
Shadowgun: DeadZone
Avengers Initiative
Blood Sword: Sword of Ruin HD
Ravensword: Shadowlands
The Conduit HD
SoulCraft
Horn
Asphalt 8

USB host? (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about a year ago | (#44893235)

Does this thing have USB host?, so you can plug in USB peripherals. That would be nice to have on such a powerful computer.

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