Nvidia will soon ship a new model of the Tegra Note 7 tablet with LTE wireless connectivity and Android 4.4.2 OS code-named KitKat, with the device priced at US$299.
The tablet has a quad-core Tegra 4 processor and 16GB of storage. The tablet will become available worldwide in the second quarter, Nvidia said in a blog entry on Friday.
Tablets with LTE are largely sold through wireless carriers, but the Tegra Note 7 will be available without a contract.
The tablet is priced favorably to Google's Nexus 7, which has 32GB storage and a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and is sold through T-Mobile and AT&T for $349.
The Tegra Note 7 with LTE has a run time of 10 hours on a battery charge, according to Nvidia's measurements. It has a 1280 x 800-pixel screen, 5-megapixel rear camera, 720p front camera, micro-SD slot and micro-HDMI port.
The tablet will work on the 700MHz, 850MHz, 1700MHz, 1900MHz, 2600MHz frequencies in the U.S., and the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz spectrum in Europe. The tablet uses a software-defined modem based on technology from Icera, which Nvidia acquired in 2011.
Nvidia is offering the Tegra Note 7 tablet as a way to highlight its Tegra 4 processor, which has not been considered a success. The chip has appeared in a few tablets like Microsoft's Surface 2 and Hewlett-Packard's SlateBook X2, and the company last week reported that Tegra revenue in the most recent fiscal quarter was down 37 percent year-over-year.
The strong graphics capabilities stand out in Tegra 4, but can also be a drawback. There is a demand for longer battery life in mobile devices, and heavy graphics can consume a lot of power. Nvidia last month announced the successor to Tegra 4 with the Tegra K1, which will appear in mobile devices in the second half of this year. The first mobile devices with Tegra 4i, which has an integrated software-defined LTE modem, will be announced this quarter.
Nvidia also upgraded its $199 non-LTE Tegra Note 7 tablet to KitKat, with updates being delivered over the Internet.
Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.