A fresh wave of rumours on the tablet front are pointing to at least a few interesting developments currently underway: moves by Nvidia to enable low cost, but high performance quad core tablets, and a 7” tablet from Google that will supposedly come to market in July.
A particularly exciting announcement by Nvidia’s vice president of investor relations, Rob Csongor, during the company’s recent annual meeting of stockholders
, indicated that Nvidia is planning to ‘democratize quad-core Tegra 3 system-on-chip,’ with a new platform, called Kai.
In essence, this means that the company is envisioning enabling quad core tablets that run Google’s latest OS, Ice Cream Sandwich, to be released at the same price point as the Kindle Fire, namely below the $200 (R1500) mark, according to The Verge
Csongor explained that Kai would use a “lot of the secret sauce that's inside Tegra 3” to enable manufacturers to develop a tablet at a much lower cost. This would be accomplished, he elaborated, by using the innovation that Nvidia has developed to reduce the power that's used by the display, along with using lower cost components within the tablet.
We suspect this could be particularly relevant for developing countries, which could benefit from inexpensive tablets (in schools, for example) while still enjoying the advantages of powerful devices.
Seven inches of Google?
Further news indicates that Google is getting ready to release its 7” tablet, according to a recent report by Cnet
. Indications are that the new tablet will be co-developed with Asus, and that it will possibly come to market as early as July.
While little is known about exact specifications, the presence of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) seems likely, while a quad core processor is also rumoured.
While we are always inclined to take these rumours with a pinch of salt, the now dwindling success of Amazon’s Kindle Fire, and the rabidly rumoured release of a 7.85 iPad mini
, may well be emboldening Google to enter the 7” tablet space.
To the point
To our minds, it is quite possible that the next battlefield for tablet users’ attention may be fought on the 7” to 7.8” form factor arena, and that this may start as early as the second half of this year.
Indeed, Samsung has long had a champion in that fight, with its Galaxy Tab 7 and its more recent Glaxy Tab 7 Plus and Galaxy Tab 2 seven inch version, while Huawei with the Ideos Slim and HTC with its Flyer have all made an appearance.Our prediction: Interesting times lie ahead.