Hey HP, we know you're new to the Android game, so here's a tip: if you've got a hot new piece of hardware, the absolute worst time to announce it is a few hours before Google I/O. That said, the new SlateBook x2 might garner some interest thanks to its internals alone - it's one of the first devices after NVIDIA's own Shield to use the Tegra 4 SoC. Throw in a 10.1-inch 1920x1200 screen and a very familiar-looking keyboard dock, and you've got the makings of a serious competitor. Well, you might, if it weren't for the high price tag and cheap-looking build.
Toshiba is kind of all over the place when it comes to Android. It has released some absolutely fantastic hardware in the past, but the lack of support for said hardware is awfully damning when it comes to recommending its devices in good conscience.
Still, it looks like the company is knee-deep in the development of a new tablet, which is currently being called the "AT10LE-A," and is said to be powered by NVIDIA's newest baby – the upcoming Tegra 4. While this isn't the first device we've heard about with T4 roots, it is the first tablet leak we've seen thus far.
Vector Unit – the development team behind Riptide GP, Shine Runner, and Beach Buggy Blitz – has long been taking advantage of NVIDIA's Tegra processors. In fact, Riptide was one of the games used to show off the power of the Tegra 2 back in the day, and it was even updated to add enhanced graphics for the Tegra 3, once again highlighting the power of Tegra.
Now, NVIDIA has released a teaser video showing off Riptide GP 2, which will of course be optimized for the Tegra 4 and its 72 GPU cores. The gameplay looks similar to the original Riptide GP, but the waves are larger, curves are tighter, jumps are bigger, and, of course, the graphics are better.
Yesterday, we got an eyeful of NVIDIA's new Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i, along with the Phoenix, NVIDIA's nifty reference device. The benchmarks were quite impressive compared to current-generation processors, but all we got to see in terms of gaming performance was a brief demo of Real Boxing.
In a video posted today to NVIDIA's YouTube channel, the chip maker shows off a "Tegra 4 enhanced Zombie Driver," side by side with the same game running on a "non-Tegra 4" device. The difference (as with many Tegra-enhanced games) is night and day. The video puts on full display Tegra's dynamic shadows and lighting, textural enhancements, and overall finesse.
While NVIDIA may have just announced the Tegra 4 at CES back in January, that isn't stopping ZTE from promising to deliver the first "superphone" to use the powerhouse chip by the end of Q2 2013. Although the company is being scant on exact device specifications, we do know that it will not only use the T4 chip, but also NVIDIA's new i500 LTE modem.
For those who may have missed everything the T4 has to offer, here's a quick rundown:
- 4-PLUS-1 architecture, just like the Tegra 3
- 72 GPU Cores
- A15 architecture
- Optional LTE modem via the i500
Judging by the wording in the press release, ZTE isn't working on just one Tegra 4-powered phone, either.
NVIDIA has officially unveiled its smartphone strategy with Tegra 4 this morning, and the star of the show is undoubtedly the new Tegra 4i platform - a low-cost, slightly down-market version of NVIDIA's Tegra 4 chip that was announced at CES in January. And don't worry - the standard Tegra 4 platform will be featured in 'superphones' as well, T4i is all about the low to middle range of the market.
I understand, a budget chip may not sound like the most exciting thing in the world on paper, but remember - NVIDIA's budget Kai tablet platform is what the Nexus 7 owes its existence to.
Just in case you slept through the first week of January, take a peek back at our coverage of Project Shield, NVIDIA's attempt to inject the Android gaming market with a Tegra 4-powered supersoldier serum. There's still no word on exactly when shield will hit the market, but the boys in green want to make sure it stays in your mind. To that end, they've just posted a short run-down of a year's worth of Shield development on their blog, including the frantic construction of show-ready units less than two weeks before NVIDIA's CES presentation. Fried chicken was apparently a vital component of the limited manufacturing process.
Like a lot of you, I watched NVIDIA's press conference with my jaw firmly on the floor when Project Shield was unveiled. It's a true Android gaming portable, built from the ground up to make a great gaming experience - not a phone or a tablet that also plays games, with varying degrees of efficiency, like Sony's now outdated Xperia Play or Archos' Gamepad. And it's made by NVIDIA, the company with the most to gain by expanding the platform's gaming horizons. The potential embodied by Shield is amazing... but there are also some reasons to to curb your enthusiasm.