Back at CES, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang rocked the house when he briefly showed off a new 7" quad-core tablet that was said to be introing with a price tag of $250. Since then, he publicly stated that $199 Tegra 3 tablets could become a reality sometime this summer. We're now hearing more details of how these budget powerhouses will become a reality: a new platform call Kai.

Little is known about Kai right now, only that it's based on the Tegra 3 chip, but is developed at a much lower cost.

Our strategy on Android is simply to enable quad-core tablets running Android Ice Cream Sandwich to be developed and brought out to market at the $199 price point, and the way we do that is a platform we've developed called Kai. So this uses a lot of the secret sauce that's inside Tegra 3 to allow you to develop a tablet at a much lower cost, by using a lot of innovation that we've developed to reduce the power that's used by the display and use lower cost components within the tablet.


This is clearly something that NVIDIA has been working on for several months, as the image used in the Kai slide is the exact same one to announce the $250 ASUS tablet back at CES (sans branding).

So, when will we see Kai materialize? It's hard to say, but something tells me that we could see these devices start to emerge in the coming months.

[The Verge]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://twitter.com/liveoutloud91 Hayden

    This sounds right up my alley :) I have no interest in paying more than 200 bucks for something that's less-than-a-pc

    • DrewNusser

      I agree.  I've kind of wanted an Android tablet for a while, but until I can do real work on it (web & app development) I see it as more of a toy, and $400-$500 is way too much for a toy.

  • Himmat Singh

    Is Kai something like say, Touchwiz - Android OS with makeover from the manufacturer? If yes, I don't see the benefit of it.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      No. NVIDIA isn't in the software business - Kai sounds like a new chipset platform that costs significantly less to produce, and thus, leads to cheaper tablets.

  • Bb

    Would it kill them to make a quad core phone at that price?

    • George

      They could make a 4.3" tablet at an even lower price with quad core. They can't pack in all of the things (modem, GPS, proper microphone and ear speaker, good camera, bluetooth) that people expect in a phone for that. 

      I'll concede though, they COULD do a 4.3" phone with a modem, mic and ear speaker (and possibly bluetooth since it is often built-in to the modem chipset) for $250 though ... and many people could do without a camera or GPS for basic phone stuff. 

  • fixxmyhead

    please make it 10in and u 100% got my money. i refuse to buy 7in toy tablets 

    • George

      You're not going to see a 10" tablet, at least not with decent CPU and RAM, for $199 for a very long time. And plenty of people specifically want 7". 

      PS. "shift" key ... use it. 

      • fixxmyhead

        sigh :'(

        and no!! this is the internet not school i dont care about being "graded" 

        • Cuvis the Conqueror

          Then don't complain when people think you're a moron.

          • fixxmyhead

            but i am kind of a moron i barely graduated high school :'(

          • shonangreg

            @fixxmyhead:disqus "but i am kind of a moron i barely graduated high school :'("

            And still you're ignoring the help being offered.

            I wonder what the corollary is to the adage, "When the student is willing, the teacher will appear"? Perhaps, "When the student is willing to be a moron, a moron he will be"?

  • Ron Amadeo

    Nexus tablet!

  • Paul Allen

    I have been waiting to see what 730T would finally end up being, hopefully it is close to the original specs as it was announced at CES. Perhaps this new Kai platform will allow it to be sold for $199 price point so many have been wanting to achieve. I just hope the specs are not scrimped on to much to achieve a lower price point. Personally I am wanting a higher end 7″ device with some good specs, the 730T tablet as announced at CES was just such a device to me, and well worth the $249 they were asking. But hey I’m not stupid, give me those same specs for $49 less I would be happy.

  • carbonated_turtle

    Yet people will still pay more than twice as much for an iPad, and ignorantly claim that nothing compares to it. Suck it, fanboys, this is a tablet!

  • Merle Reine

    Love it.  Apple is as good as dead.

    • shonangreg

      I am a big android fan, and even I see that as a ridiculous statement. Unless Apple makes several BIG fumbles, they're going to be at least 50% of the tablet market well into the future. Ditto for android. Both iOS and android are here to stay.

      Windows is a much bigger question. If they don't hit the ground with a well-planned, competitive tablet by this fall, and if Apple and google can improve on several points (better office documents and apps for both, more robust USB functionality for both (hardware and OS), and some kind of "vetted apps" section of google play), then Windows is as good as dead in the tablet sphere.

      And tablets will take over the notebook market segment. With a keyboard and a mouse, and the aforementioned document and USB improvements, there is almost no role a tablet can't do nearly as well or much better than a notebook. Tablets can work almost as well as a laptop when it is actually being used on your lap, and tablets can work better at a desk when you have a big monitor to work on (the lid attached to the keyboard of a notebook just gets in the way of the bigger screen).

      Whether you use docked keyboard tablets like the Transformer or ThinkPad Tablet, or cradles and bluetooth/USB keyboards, the definition of a tablet as being a notebook with a missing keyboard has become inverted. More and more, it is a notebook PC which is a tablet with a non-removable keyboard and no preferred plane for accelerometers to to be aligned with. The notebook form-factor is the crippled one.

      • Dan

        "Unless Apple makes several BIG fumbles, they're going to be at least 50% of the tablet market well into the future."

        You might want to get your crystal ball recalibrated.  Android has already shot past iOs in the phone market in just a couple of years.  Now, 50% of smartphone users are using an Android phone.  That's reality, like it or not. http://goo.gl/qQDfG  Why in the heck would those same users want to buy a tablet that's not compatible with their phone?

        When tablets become as main-stream as smartphones, the OS distribution in both markets will end up being almost identical because they're doing so many of the same tasks.

        • shonangreg

          50%, 60%, you're nitpicking. iOS and android devices are going to be splitting the market for several years now even if microsoft delivers on a great device with good support and a predictable future, user empowerment, transferrable document formats, and a very quickly building app market. Microsoft could change the market in three to five years IF they do everything right. But they won't. They will screw it up three ways before sunrise.

          To the point of $200 quad-core 7-inch tablets. Yeah, it will bring up android sales quickly. And it will contribute to the overall health on the android side. Jellybean devices will bring rough parity to iOS across all considerations: usability, elegance, pre-sumably document handling. And android will conceivably pull away in peripheral support and a whole DIY ecosystem (iOS will remain too locked down unless they build an open, user-programmable garden within their larger, walled garden -- think Lego Mindstorms for iOS...)

          But there have been believable rumours for six months now that Apple will produce a 7-inch iPad as well. Whatever android begins doing, Apple will compete with if it can.

          I hate Apple, their litigious attitude, and their snobbish user controls, but their design is wonderful. They don't tolerate the kind of sh*t that google pulls again and again. For example, in 2012, my google docs apps on android 2.3.4 and 3.1 will not allow me to search for text within a document. I don't know why, but I had to go to my PC and use a browser to find the info I needed. Also downloading a pdf of the document in question allowed an android pdf reader to find what i was looking for. Google docs would not do it.

          And on the web interface, to search for a term, I have to use the "Search and Replace" feature? WTF? That is like using a rifle scope to search for friends on the beach? Search and replace? No, jut search. I usually don't want to replace. Including that function in the more basic read-only one is just asking for a mistake. "Oops! Damn. I just just deleted everything I was searching for. Double damn! The document just saved itself."

          And in other spheres too, google keeps operating with these huge blind spots. Google plus missed the opportunity to become the central forum for all pseudonymous online posters. That p*ssed away the chance, thinking about it, no one showing leadership or even demonstrating an awareness of the problem. Six months to a year later, google plus doesn't have the new launch buzz anymore. The timing is gone even though pseudonyms are now predictably welcome . . . Google shot itself in the foot with a silver bullet because it wanted the kaching!

          And the android developers being stiffed on payments. There was nowhere for them to turn to to tell google the developers were not getting their paychecks! Would you work for a boss who couldn't manage to deliver your paycheck? And then has no line to call when he screws it up?

          It is the competition between apple and google that is good for both. Apple is forced to give their users more freedom in order to compete with andorid. And google is pressured to find execs to handle more specific problems, to cover more of their blind spots, because Apple is not screwing up like that.

          So, no, the $200 7-inch android tablet is not going to kill Apple. It is just going to result in iOS users having a better world too :-)

  • Simon Belmont

    This and the Nexus tablet is what will get tablets into the hands of people who can't afford or don't want to pay the high prices of an iPad. I'm all for this strategy.

    Especially, if they can keep the quality good. 2012 is going to be an interesting year what with JellyBean and these lower cost, but good, tablets coming.

    • Semianonymous

      I like your name. Can we be friends?

  • gosa

    Question is... will it come with a sim slot?

    - Ain't buyin' no tablet without a sim slot no matter how cheap it is...

  • Regnevakrad

    Another Tegra 3 announcement! Blah blah blah. At least Apple delivers. My prediction is that by the end of the year no other Tegra 3 tablets on market except Asus.

  • Soma9x9

    The Ainol Novo 7 Aurora (and Aurora II coming very soon) appear to be very well designed and constructed Android ICS 7 " tablets for less than $200. Unfortunately, I didn't know about the A II until after I ordered the current Aurora. The good news is, it has the LG IPS display and great graphics (and excellent speed). This is not an ad, just FYI for those who expressed interest in a good tablet under $200.