Nvidia Delivers Complete Low Cost Tablet Platform


Nvidia has joined Microsoft, Google, Amazon and a host of others this week as it became the latest company to break from its traditional role in the hi-tech industry and deliver a hardware product designed for the consumer and business market, in this case a 7-inch tablet.

The company teased the market months ago with a brief demo of the product, and discussed its plans for a low cost platform last year but now the Nvidia Tegra Note is a reality, and has a basic structure that the company will then offer to third party customers who can add their own features in order to differentiate their products.

The Tegra Note features Nvidia technology to power the system and its graphics and includes a Tegra 4 with a 72-core GeForce GPU and quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU with a fifth battery-saver core. It has a 7-inch display that has 1280 x 800 resolution.

A key technology that the company is touting is its DirectStylus that it claims is a significant improvement over other stylus technology with faster response time, a finer point and broader stroke control. It calls older stylus technology passive in comparison

It will run the latest version of the Android operating system, feature 16GB of storage with an expansion microSD slot, an HDMI port, a rear 5MP camera with a VGA front facing one and what the company calls HD Audio speakers. All for $199.

The company has a host of new as well as established partners that plan to deliver tablets based on this basic platform including EVGA and PNY Technologies in North America; EVGA, Oysters and ZOTAC in Europe; Colorful, Shenzhen Homecare Technology and ZOTAC in Asia-Pacific; and XOLO in India. They join other partners, including HP, ASUS, Toshiba, Kobo and Xiaomi, which have already announced Tegra 4-based products.

As tablets have seen their popularity soar over the last year it will be interesting to see how this cookie cutter method will work. Will the developers be able to create differentiated products or ones that have specialized and localized features that will make them appealing to the market?

It does seem that time to market could be cut for many of the developers because they have an almost finished product to start with, but then in reality so do a lot of other established players such as Samsung, Google and Apple.

Fujitsu updates its Stylistic Tablet lineup

Fujitsu will be delivering its latest tablet sometime in the next few weeks, called the Stylistic M532, and it is not targeting the consumer but rather the mobile professional with the lightweight 10-inch device, a move that to a degree sets it apart from most of its rivals.

When you look at the company’s page touting the device the business approach screams out at you. Rather than a full deck of speeds and feeds, which are present, it talks about the tablets ability to support a company’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure for secure access to apps. It points out how corporate apps such as exchange mail, calendar and contacts can be used safely while remaining behind corporate firewalls.

This is a refreshing approach and it should be helped by the fact that this is not a repositioning of an older machine, it uses Android’s 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system and is powered by an Nvidia quad-core 1.4GHz Tegra 3.

It features a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 display and has a 2 megapixel front camera as well as a 8 MP backward facing camera. It has 1GB of memory as well as a 32GB flash internal storage drive and supports one MicroSD slot

Many of the players in the tablet space appear to be making headway into the corporate and government space simply via a semi stealth approach. Employees bring in their own devices (BYOD) and rather than set limits or demand uniformity in platforms the BYOD approach appears to be working.

Cisco was one of the first to take a different approach, trying to position its Cius tablet as a business product and selling directly to professionals through its business channel partners. This approach, and possibly its high price point, failed to catch on and now the company is ramping down the product.

According to a piece on ZDNet, Fujitsu is positioning its slightly older Stylistic Q550 offering, a tablet that runs Windows 7, at the BYOD space, enabling it to approach this market from a personal and corporate position at the same time. In addition it looks to have a new lineup in the fall when Microsoft releases Windows 8.

While we do not focus on the corporate segments of the tablet market this strategy is an interesting one since it seems that rather than an all-in-one approach that Apple takes or the specific niche market that the eReaders are developing, Fujitsu is building slightly different products for multiple segments and it will be enlightening to see how they are all accepted or what factors are inhibiting sales.

The benefit for consumers is that if they are looking for a tablet this might be the selling point to get work to pony up the cash and buy it for you, or at least get approval to being it in the office as work approved device.