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Android Graphics Hardware

NVIDIA Tegra Note 7 Tested, Fastest Android 4.3 Slate Under $200 107

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the still-waiting-for-pixel-qi dept.
MojoKid writes "NVIDIA officially took the wraps off of its Tegra Note mobile platform a few weeks back. If you're unfamiliar with the Tegra Note, it's a 7", Android-based tablet, powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 4 SoC. The Tegra Note 7 also marks NVIDIA's second foray into the consumer electronics market, with an in-house designed product; NVIDIA's SHIELD Android gaming device was the first out of the gate earlier this year. Though Tegra Note 7 on the surface may appear to be just another 7-inch slate, sporting a 1280X720 display, it does have NVIDIA's proprietary passive stylus technology on board, very good sounding speakers and an always on HDR camera. It's also one of the fastest Android tablets on the market currently, in the benchmarks. Unlike in NVIDIA's SHIELD device, the Tegra 4 SoC is passively cooled in Tegra Note 7 and is crammed into a thin and light 7" tablet form factor. As a result, the SoC can't hit peak frequencies quite as high as the SHIELD (1.8GHz vs. 1.9GHz), but that didn't hold the Tegra Note 7 back very much. In a few of the CPU-centric and system level tests, the Tegra Note 7 finished at or near the head of the pack, and in the graphics benchmarks, its 72-core GeForce GPU competed very well, and often allowed the $199 Tegra Note 7 to outpace much more expensive devices."
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NVIDIA Tegra Note 7 Tested, Fastest Android 4.3 Slate Under $200

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  • by BBF_BBF (812493)
    Wow, an ad for a nVidia product posing as a slashdot article... this is, unfortunately, getting more and more common. :(
    • by StevenMaurer (115071) on Wednesday January 01, 2014 @03:47PM (#45839021) Homepage

      Do you have evidence that slashdot was paid for this?

      If not, this is a product review of a tech toy, which seems perfectly fine for this site.

      Believe it or not, it isn't a requirement for all reviews (be they for movies or products) to be entirely negative. When something has much better technical specs at a lower price point, that's something I want to know.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        It's more likely the other way around. This is an interesting product, far more so than the latest incremental iterations of Surface/iPhone/Pads, which featured in multiple articles on Slashdot's front page.

        It's common knowledge that Apple and Microsoft routinely pay for attack postings on Android and Google products. Have you been Scroogled yet?

        • interesting, except perhaps for the 'always on hdr camera' can't imagine that being helpful to battery life, or your personal privacy. i presume it uploads the video and audio to asn.su.vog

    • $200 for a nice tablet is news AND inherently an advertisement.

      • It's not a "nice:" tablet, it's a cut-rate excuse to get Tegra 4 in the news. If they had properly outfitted this thing, it would be the same price as the Nexus 7 2013 model (and exactly the same performance, which a shittier screen).

        Any tablet that ships in this day-and-age with just 1GB of ram is not "nice." You just try and load more than 4 tabs in your web browser before running out of ram. And while benchmarks don't tend to care about memory capacity, it will certainly make a difference in games (wh

    • by MojoKid (1002251) * on Wednesday January 01, 2014 @04:47PM (#45839423)
      Yes, and that slashvertisement BS is getting mighty old. It's a legitimate product review that discusses the pluses and minuses of the product. Take time to actually read the content submitted instead of being so judgmental maybe?
      • by BBF_BBF (812493)
        Sure, the linked to article is a *real* review. The slashdot summary is not, it reads exactly like an ad, that's what makes it a "Slashvertisement". Too bad it's no longer *news* since the tablet was released in NOVEMBER, over one month ago.

        And by calling it a "slashverdtisement" I don't imply that Slashdot is getting paid in any way, I mean that the summary reads more like an ad than a "news" item for nerds.
        • by MojoKid (1002251) *
          The product was released at the end of NOVEMBER and is just now getting out to retail. No need to shout that. And just because an article here speaks to a product's salient features (both good and not so good - lest you forget the lower res display was mentioned too) doesn't make it an advertisement.
    • Wow, an ad for a nVidia product posing as a slashdot article... this is, unfortunately, getting more and more common. :(

      If stories about new tech devices isn't what belongs on /. then I don't know what is. You should think a bit more before you just blindly react in a knee jerk fashion. Sure, there are a lot of Slashvertistments these days, but this really isn't one of them. News of the next iPad will be posted as well. Stories about the next great CPUs from AMD and Intel will be too. Here, in the spirit of the holidays, I have a present for you. It's called a clue. Take it in the spirit is offered and then you get a

      • by BBF_BBF (812493)
        For a product released in late November 2013, this is not a *new* release. New release articles should be posted when the actual item *is* released, not 1.5 months later.

        This is not a new release anymore, just a review of the "updated" to v 4.3 android version... maybe you should be the one to get a clue.
  • Always-on HDR (Score:5, Informative)

    by umafuckit (2980809) on Wednesday January 01, 2014 @02:37PM (#45838341)
    In case you were wondering what always-on HDR actually means: http://androidcommunity.com/nvidia-tegra-4-always-on-hdr-camera-demo-20130320/ [androidcommunity.com] Looks rather nice, actually.
    • by Zynder (2773551)
      That article explains nothing. There is no reason to have an always on camera chewing up my already short battery run time. Oh and people complain about this kind of thing with Google Glass and it isn't even always on! This is. Rooting it to disable it would be my first task if I was even bothered to buy one.
      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        I suspect what that means is that camera is automatically recording when camera software is running, and you can choose stills or video bits from what it has been recording, while it continues to record. At least that's what would make sense, as such operation does indeed require significant computational power, which appears to be the selling point of the tablet.

        It's pretty unlikely that it would be recording when camera software is not running for reasons like battery life and privacy.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Bold claim. You obviously didn't even read the article. The camera is not always on, it is HDR that is always on when the camera is on...

      • You've got the wrong idea. I had that idea too until I read the article I linked to. The idea is that the HDR is always on. Not the camera. HDR normally involves taking multiple sequentially images at different exposures and merging them off-line. With this tablet the HDR is somehow done in near-real-time, effectively in parallel. It's pretty cool, since it makes the images look a lot closer to what your eye sees.
  • I got my kids some $59 "iRola" Jelly Bean tablets from nomorerack for Christmas and they're really fantastic for the price, and plenty of machine for kids, and at a price that you can give them to kids. I paid ~$250 for a Nook color a couple years ago and other than the screen quality, these are much better.

    Yeah, the LCD viewing angle is old-school but kids don't care - all the games and Netflix work great, and the wireless radios work without complaint. I even snuck some math and foreign language games o

    • I got my kids some $59 "iRola" Jelly Bean tablets from nomorerack for Christmas and they're really fantastic for the price, and plenty of machine for kids

      Amazing how low you can get the prices when you use children to build gadgets for children.

      • by couchslug (175151)

        " Amazing how low you can get the prices when you use children to build gadgets for children."

        Got a better job to offer those children which won't be displaced by someone else shopping their business to other children?

        Unless the NEED for child labor is removed, it's better than starvation. Note that horrid labor conditions are how all developing countries compete until they can compete by other means. That includes the US.

        If you have a (practical) alternative, please share it.

        • by Burz (138833)

          Starvation?? The planet still produces food surpluses, and some countries (***cough**USA***cough***) throw away 40% of the food they buy at the market/restaurant.

          The answer is that you GIVE the food to the children, you economic and moral imbecile. The parent was talking about making gadgets, not tending crops.

          • by Burz (138833)

            Starvation?? The planet still produces food surpluses, and some countries (***cough**USA***cough***) throw away 40% of the food they buy at the market/restaurant.

            The answer is that you GIVE the food to the children, you economic and moral imbecile. The parent was talking about making gadgets, not tending crops.

            I'll burn karma to kick down a defence of child labor, thankyouverymuch.

      • Amazing how low you can get the prices when you use children to build gadgets for children.

        Don't worry - my 10-year-old daughter has both a job and a side business too. I didn't have a job until I was eleven, so she's ahead of me.

  • by Dzimas (547818) on Wednesday January 01, 2014 @02:42PM (#45838407)
    Company introduces new version of an established form factor, except slightly faster. Not really worthy of mention. The disruptive (or potentially disruptive) products are the ones /. should be covering -- like the tiny new laptop chargers from finsix (complete with built-in USB port so it can charge your phone at the same time). Let's hope for something extremely clever to come out of the upcoming CES show. I'm not holding my breath, though; we may have a decade of iterative improvements in tablet tech ahead of us before the next big hardware shift.
    • like the tiny new laptop chargers from finsix

      I googled it for everyone:

      How it looks [finsix.com]

      How it works [technologyreview.com]

      • How it really works [technologyreview.com]

        I had to dig down another layer to discover that they were creating an intelligent amplifier that used asymmetric multilevel outphasing. This is surprisingly similar to the new logic going into cruise control systems (see recent slashdot article) but applied to phasing the amplifier instead of an automotive powertrain. This thing should waste a LOT less energy when "idle" as well -- just running the chip and sensor controlling the phase level.

      • why have a power brick at all i its so small that it can probably fit inside the laptop itself? that should be these guy's aim, imo.

    • I'm guessing you didn't bother to read anything about the product before posting? I consider hitting a $200 price point with nice hardware very worthy of mention. Also of interest is the high quality stylus support implemented without the need for specialized hardware and the first Android tablet from NVIDIA and their manufacturing model of providing reference models for their partners to brand and sell.

  • benchmark (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bram Stolk (24781) on Wednesday January 01, 2014 @02:58PM (#45838595) Homepage

    It does well for on-screen benchmarks, because of the low resolution of 1280x720.
    For on-screen tests, it will have to process fewer pixels than the more expensive models with high-res screens.
    This makes it look faster than it is, as you can see by the off-screen benchmark results.

    • Did you miss the part where it's $200? 1280x720 still provides a good experience for everything a tablet does.

    • by Teckla (630646)

      It does well for on-screen benchmarks, because of the low resolution of 1280x720.

      The submitter got the resolution wrong. It's 1280x800, which is actually a quite nice DPI for a 7" device that's only $200.

    • Re:benchmark (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Luckyo (1726890) on Wednesday January 01, 2014 @05:17PM (#45839641)

      No, it makes it look like it's actually sane in the current "more pixels is better" fad. It prioritizes having a good resolution and computational power to match it, rather than huge resolution and no computational power to support it which is the current fad.

  • Why would anybody want the video camera on this tablet to be "always on"?

    • by craigminah (1885846) on Wednesday January 01, 2014 @03:10PM (#45838709)
      This is an NSA-mandated option...
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Why would anybody want the video camera on this tablet to be "always on"?

      Always on HDR or High Dynamic Range http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-dynamic-range_imaging
      Not the camera
      basically it takes images so fast it can snap 2 images at the same time

      ~Loko

      • Why would anybody want the video camera on this tablet to be "always on"?

        Always on HDR or High Dynamic Range http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-dynamic-range_imaging [wikipedia.org]
        Not the camera
        basically it takes images so fast it can snap 2 images at the same time

        ~Loko

        ...at different exposure levels.

        Actually, this makes a lot of sense -- if your first exposure is REALLY fast, then you get the underexposed image really quickly, and you can use it as an index to build the overexposed image, and interpolate the desired image data from the difference. This should actually be a faster technique than the traditional sensor feedback exposure metering, as you can take your first image as part of the metering process and preserve the data for later use.

      • basically it takes images so fast it can snap 2 images at the same time

        You can do it with one image if you've got access to the raw (more than 8-bit depth) data from the camera.

        • by joh (27088)

          basically it takes images so fast it can snap 2 images at the same time

          You can do it with one image if you've got access to the raw (more than 8-bit depth) data from the camera.

          This still isn't going to give you very much to work with. Taking two shots with a given sensor and its limits can give you much better dynamic range by using different settings to begin with. HDR can be ugly, but used within reason it can give you much better photos.

    • by asmkm22 (1902712)

      The HDR feature is "always on" not the camera itself, in that the camera can snap HDR photos in real-time without the lag of processing the image into HDR ranges right after it's taken.

      My guess is they kind of regret having chosen that name...

  • There's a promo for what it's supposed to do from nVidia here [nvidia.com]. The short of it is that they're trying to replicate what pressure-sensitive active styluses do without requiring you to actually have a pressure-sensitive stylus. Instead it seems to use some kind of pattern-recognition on the input signatures from the passive stylus to figure out what you're intending to do, and does things like vary stroke width with pressure, or treat the back side of a stylus as an eraser, etc. Cool if it works: if you can replicate a more expensive hardware stylus in software, go ahead. But does it work reliably?

    • The Nintendo DS has a resistive touch screen that gives a stream of (X, Y) pairs, with the first and last being unreliable. It also gives a raw resistance value that decreases with increasing pressure. Colors!, a homebrew paint program for Nintendo DS, uses the resistance to estimate how much area of the (round plastic) stylus is in contact with the touch screen, and then it uses that to modulate brush size and/or opacity. It's impressive for something so much cheaper than what Wacom was selling at the time
    • Looks nice, but are these styluses, like this and the S Pen, implementing for the Android stylus API?

    • by Shinobi (19308)

      Yeah, I'm interested in that too. I own a Galaxy Note, and it's absolutely wonderful for taking notes, scribbling down flow charts, formulas etc, but would be nice to know if there were perhaps even better things coming along.

    • I haven't tried it myself but I read the review on Anand's site a month or so ago and they were very impressed with how it worked. NVIDIA's Tegra 4 SOC has a quad-core CPU plus a low-powered fifth core invisible to the OS. Apparently NVIDIA is using some proprietary algorithms on this "stealth core" to handle the stylus processing.

  • Considering that modern smartphones are coming with 1920x1080 resolution on a 5inch LCD, 1280x720 is pathetic on a 7 inch LCD.

    • by Teckla (630646)

      The submitter got the resolution wrong. It's 1280x800, which is actually a quite nice DPI for a 7" device that's only $200.

  • by joh (27088) on Wednesday January 01, 2014 @04:01PM (#45839137)

    I recently handled a Lenovo Yoga 8 tablet. This thing has paltry specs, but front-facing stereo speakers, an adjustable stand and power and volume buttons you can actually press without looking for them without any risk of pressing them by accident. I was utterly impressed.

    Most tablets are just so BORING. There are very few tablets that actually try some new and useful things. Really, being able to put that thing up onto a table and easily adjust the angle so that the camera when using Skype actually shows me and not the ceiling is more useful to me than pushing the benchmarks a little farther out. Why are there so precious few tablets allowing this? Why has even the fine Nexus 7 the power and volume button hidden behind the bezel, all of them in the same shape and close together, so that half of the time you have to first hunt them down and then you still press the wrong one often enough? Why?

    • by guises (2423402)
      The headline is stupid, tablet speed is largely irrelevant - your machine is either fast enough or it isn't. It's not like a PC, where framerate is a moving target.

      None the less, the Tegra Note does have a standout feature in the style that you're asking for: it's the cheapest tablet by far to support a pressure sensitive stylus, and supposedly it works quite well. I've considered one of these (over a Nexus 7-2) for the sake of have a little sketch pad.
      • by joh (27088)

        Yes, if a pressure-sensitive stylus is your thing, this is interesting. But I have never missed that (or any stylus at all). I would gladly take it as a feature, but this is just ONE thing of many that people may want besides a screen on the front.

        What I was saying is that almost all tablets are of the most generic kind, with everything but the hardware and the price being judged as totally unimportant. Some try to stand out with the fastest specs, others with the cheapest price and that's it. It's as if yo

  • I had to come read it to cleanse my palate after glancing at the flute story. JFC, Slashdot!

  • Interesting that we have 2 or 4 core processors handling program execution, and in the same device 72 cores handling graphics processing. The GPU cores are much simpler and smaller than the CPU cores, but get through a lot of processing. Some of the most cost-effective supercomputers built use GPUs to handle compute-intensive processing. Maybe it's time to do the RISC thing all over again and radically reduce the complexity of the CPU by reducing its instruction set size so we can pack 72 simple CPU core
  • I saw the specs for the Tegra Note a while ago and got a bit bored with them because:

    1. It's not a Nexus device, so is already behind with its Android version. Now it may be with the many updates to the Nvidia Shield, we might see speedy updates to the Note as well, but until this actually happens, I'll err on the side of caution.

    2. I would prefer an 8" display in the same dimensions and weight as a typical 7" tablet (e.g. reduce the bezel width). 7" displays aren't just quite large enough, IMHO.

    3. The scre

    • This is a copy from my post on Engadget, Modesto updated. The tablet has many compelling USPs, and is a great successor to the Kai platform developed by nVidia and used in the OG nexus 7. If the nexus 7 is news on Slashdot (as it often is) then why wouldn't this be? ======== I have one and am stylus-swype typing on it right now. As a mobile web developer, I use a half dozen different tablets regularly, and this is my favorite. Key points: 1. Stylus is awesome. Get the fine tip for impressive accurac

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