When Nvidia announced the Tegra Note tablet reference design last week they promised that a number of device makers would step up and launch their own tablets based on the design. Today I learned that 2 different device makers have revealed plans for a new tablet based on Nvidia's work.
Neither has announced a retail price or a firm release date, but it looks like both HP and Zotac, a maker of graphics cards and mini-ITX motherboards, have a Tegra Note clone in the works.
First up is the HP Slate7 Extreme. This tablet tries to disguise its origin, but the hands on photos posted over the past few days make it pretty clear that this is a Tegra Note clone. HP has given the tablet a new shell, but it still has the distinctive rear camera, forward facing speakers found on the original design.
This tablet is going to have a Tegra 4 CPU, 1GB of RAM 16GB or 32GB of storage, a microSD card slot, Wifi, and Bluetooth. And yes, it will have the stylus, which Liliputing describes as being pretty impressive:
As you can see the pen has a fine tip, but it is not a digitized stylus as you’ll find on the Samsung Galaxy Note series or Lenovo pen-enabled tablets and laptops. The pen does offer some palm rejection and pressure sensitivity.
It’s halfway between traditional capacitive and digitized styli. This could be the best of both worlds in that regard–you get the functionality of an active pen without the high price of the technology that goes into it. HP hasn’t released pricing on the Slate7EX yet, but it appears the company is trying to keep costs low.
Another neat thing about the stylus is that it’s double-tipped. On the other end is a wide, flat wedge tip that can be used to draw fat lines or other width lines (kind of like a stub nib on a fountain pen).
HP hasn't announced the price, but the early coverage has made it pretty clear that this is going to be one of the premium clones. It's scheduled to be released in November 2013, and I am expecting this to cost a lot more than the $199 price tag that Nvidia was throwing around.
- Hands-on TO THE EXTREME: HP Slate7 Extreme (Liliputing)
- HP Slate 7 Extreme (CNET)
- Slate 7 Extreme and Slate 8 Pro feature NVIDIA Tegra 4 and Android (SlashGear)
The Zotac Negra Note gaming tablet was only announced today and at this point we only have the one product render that shows the rear of the tablet. Like the Slate7, the Zotac Negra Note is running Android 4.2.2 on a Tegra 4 chip with 1GB of RAM, and 16GB Flash storage.It has the same 7" screen with a screen resolution of 1280x800.
But that might be the limit of what these tablets have in common. Zotac has posted the full specs for their Tegra Note clone (unlike the Slate7), so I can also add that the Zotac clone definitely has the enhanced audio capabilities that Nvidia talked up last week. It also is confirmed as having both a front and rear cameras as well as all of the cutting edge camera software as on the original reference design.
Zotac hasn't announced when this tablet will ship or how much it will cost, but it's definitely one worth keeping an eye on. It might be the better tablet.
The HP Slate7, on the other hand, might be the slightly lesser tablet. There's a chance that HP decided to trim costs by leaving out a few of the more expensive components. I'm not certain that they did this but until I see a firm spec sheet I can't rule it out.