Saturday, November 16, 2013

Anyone excited about Tegra Note 7?

This tablet is interesting but I'm not sure what to make of it.

It's just under $200, has a resolution of 1280x800, like the 2012 Google Nexus 7 but has the nVidia Tegra 4 processor, and uses a stylus.

It only has 16 GB of storage, which is not surprising at this price, but has a microSD slot for an additional 32 GB of removable storage that can certainly be used for music, photos, and video.

All-in-all, it looks like an enhanced version of last year's Nexus 7 tablet that had the rather problematic Tegra 3 processor.

Mind you, I liked the Nexus 7 when it worked well but that wasn't all that often, unfortunately.  Android 4.x has come a long way compared to version 2.x.  The performance was like a car speeding out of control with the brakes applied, released, applied, released.

There is no question about linking it to an HDMI-driven device such as a TV.  The output is there.

My only question is whether operating system updates will be continually available for a couple of years.  Since it's an EVGA product, not a Google product, will it have good backing, or will this be a one-off product that might be considered a mistake for the company?  Will nVidia provide support?

There are a few answers out there, but until it arrives and we see what happens, I'm a bit cautious.  It's slightly less expensive (US$30) than the 2013 Google Nexus 7 16 GB tablet, although that doesn't come with a stylus or a microSD slot.  However, support could prove invaluable.

I hope that nVidia has worked out the problems with their previous processor, which is another reason to be cautious.  When I tried the 2013 Nexus 7 the other day, it worked smoothly, unlike last year's version.

Still, a tablet that is made to use a stylus but doesn't force you to use it would be great, especially with the prices of the Samsung Note series.  Even more, if the tablet really is oriented toward gaming, it could be less problematic than an Ouya or nVidia Shield gaming system.

I'm not holding my breath.

Update 2013.11.21: I didn't hold my breath and I bought a 2013 Google Nexus 7 at a US$30 discount, which brought it to the same price as the Tegra Note 7, without the uncomfortable worries about whether another Tegra processor combination would be a flop.

Update 2014.01.17: At CES, nVidia described their Tegra K1 as something totally different from the previous Tegra SoC parts, basically implying that it was a winner, which means that the Tegra 4 and earlier SoC parts were losers.  Of course, the latest and greatest is always supposed to be the best, but while there are still products on the market, should you imply anything about problems that might be in the Tegra Note 7 or nVidia Shield products because of their SoC?

Update 2014.12.25: I wonder if they've sold more than a few thousand.  I don't hear anything about it now.  I half expected that Google would have introduced a replacement for the 2013 Nexus 7 tablet that I bought last year.  The Tegra Note 7 seemed a huge deal, and nothing seemed to happen.

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