Last month, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang hinted that we might see a $199 Tegra 3 quad-core tablet hit the markets out of Nvidia this summer. Luckily, it looks like that idea is rolling. Nvidia VP Rob Csonger revealed the company’s project to start developing $199 tablets last week, as The Verge first reported. As you can see in the slide above, which was shown at its investor meeting, the platform is called “Kai”. It will focus on developing tablets priced at $199, while featuring Nvidia’s blazing quad-core Tegra 3 system-on-chip.

At $199, the obvious competitor that comes to mind is Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which is arguably one of the best selling Android tablets on the market right now. The Fire is said to have taken up more than 50 percent of Android’s tablet market share, and while the company has not released any official sales numbers, Amazon said the Fire is one of its hottest selling items available. Csonger explained to investors how the tablets out of Kai would be low priced to compete with the Kindle Fire:

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.

Once a tablet or tablets launch out of Kai this summer, I think we will see a much different name. Furthermore, with an Ice Cream Sandwich experience and a blazing fast quad-core processor, Nvidia could certainly take a notable amount of sales away from Amazon if its tablets are marketed correctly.

Do not forget Google, which is also rumored to have partnered with a hardware manufacturer to develop a similar, low priced tablet. The Mountain View-based Company is rumored to sell the Nexus tablet directly from its Play store, much as it does with the Galaxy Nexus.

As The Verge pointed out, Nvidia and ASUS also teamed up to develop a $250 tablet at this year’s CES, called the “ME370T”. Interestingly, it looks straight up like the Kai shown off in Nvidia’s investor slides.

I think customers will buy such a tablet, considering it is priced comfortably, and it should offer good enough speeds for getting a decent amount of work done. Expect the competition in the $199 market to get pretty spicy this summer.


(via The Verge)

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