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Asus and NVIDIA Unveil Mini Quad-core Tegra 3 Tablet with Ice Cream Sandwich for $249

While the Ice Cream Sandwich update news for the Transformer Prime that came out of the NVIDIA presser was big, the other unveiling that took place on stage might mean even more in the grand scheme of things. With Asus in the building, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang announced a new Tegra 3 (quad-core) powered mini tablet that runs Android 4.0. It lacked a name and availability, but the price is expected to be $249 at launch. Think about that for a second.

The Kindle Fire can be had for $199, but it doesn’t have a quad-core processor, runs skinned Android, and can’t take a picture of anything. This mini tablet (looked to be about a 7″ screen) runs ICS, has cameras, and will crush almost any other device on the planet in performance thanks to its Tegra 3.

We are hoping to find out more when we meet 1-on-1 with NVIDIA later this week, but for now, we’ll all just have to sit back and imagine our lives with this personal beast.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/PhilHamlin Phil Hamlin

    “Oh, um, sorry, but we have a patent on white borders around tablet-looking thingies. Also, we have decided that we don’t like your company name starting with ‘A’.  We are asking you to rename yourselves to just ‘SUS’.”

    kthxbai,
    — Apple

  • J Dub

    I need more info on this. Will throw the TF1 up for sale to get the $250 for this. I only paid $250 for the TF1 on Black Friday at Best Buy so I wouldn’t lose money. Waiting for more details.

  • Raven

    Why, why do they design 10″ tablets for Landscape and 7″ for Portrait?  I LOVE my 10″ ASUS Transformer and like my Acer Iconia 7″.  I always use them both in Widescreen Landscape orientation, NEVER in Portrait.  I also think the Honeycomb icon layout looks way better in Landscape than Portrait.  The Transformer got the orientation right, but the Iconia was clearly designed for Portrait use.  Now this tablet which has WIN written all over the specs looks like it has a stupid portrait orientation design as well.

    So, am I in the minority?  I know vertical portrait orientation makes more sense in a phone you can palm, but as soon as you scale up to even 7″ tablet size horizontal landscape design seems so much more natural to me.  So, what do you think for tablets?
    __ Landscape
    __ Portrait

    • HoustonWeHaveAProblem

      I use my 10″ in both but probably more in landscape.  My biggest pet peeve of all Android tablets is the resolution…why do they all have to be in widescreen (16:10 or 16:9) resolution/aspect ratio?  Why can’t one of the manufacturers make a great tablet in 4:3 aspect ratio?  Drives me crazy.

      • Raven

        Better for widescreen movie watching I would guess.  Plus most phones are longer and skinnier so it was most natural to make that the defacto standard for most apps and therefore carried over to tablets as well.

      • Anonymous

        Apple will probably try to sue them if the do that.  LOL.

    • Anonymous

      I was about half and half on my 7″ tabs. I agree that the 10.1″ ones are better in landscape, though.

  • Srinivas Rajkumar

    will be released right when i start earning… awesome…. 

  • QtDL

    Hmm Do I cancel my Transformer Primer order?? It’s not like I “need” a tablet now anyways….the price of this is so much nicer. I hope it ends up being closer to 8.2″ though, 7″ is a little small for my taste.

  • Philip Van Luke

    I love that no one puts together the fact that google doesnt manufacture the nexus, and this mystery tablet at $249. I would bet that THIS is the nexus tablet. the price and the specs are right. also, everyone needs to realize that GPS is not going to be perfect on a non-cellular equipped tablet.

    • Bionic

      This is not the tablet google has been talking about.  For one thing they said it would be $199 or less.  Another thing, google didnt announce it.  If its their tablet they sure as hell are going to have a press event for it.

      • Anonymous

        While I don’t agree or disagree it could be Google’s tablet.  They could just be ordering a customer version from Asus and labeling it Nexus and selling it for $200.  Since they both are expected Q2 is seems plausible.  With HTC and Moto unable to create a reasonably priced tablet it doesn’t seem too far fetched they are not in the running.

        Edit: Also I’m sure if Google’s Nexus tablet hits at $250 instead of $200 Eric will just say oops, that was our expectation at the time. It’s not like they made an actually commitment.

    • Philip Van Luke

      im pretty sure the only statement that has been made, was the one saying “in the next 6 months we will market a tablet of the highest quality” i dont know where everyone is suddenly pulling this official $199 price from. thats just industry speculation based on the popularity of the kindle fire.

  • Anonymous

    =>[BUY IT NOW]

    :,( Didn’t work

  • Terminatorbob

    Why is it they can make a tablet like this for $250 yet we pay AT LEAST twice as much for any decent smart phone? Speaking of buying the phones at full retail of course.

    • Anonymous

      You always pay More for Less. If you take a 17″ laptop and shrink it down to 14″ form factor, it will cost you more money (for the same internals). A car manufacturer charges more for a coupe version of their sedan. Go to any foofoo restaurant and you’ll be charged double for half the serving size. It’s just the way it is.

  • Christopher Riner

    This is going to be my first tablet.  Got my eyes on the google tablet, also.  Availability, please?

    • Bionic

      We have zero info on the google tablet as yet.  Im hoping google will anounce it sometime at CES but havent heard that they will.  

      • Anonymous

        They’d probably do something like that at I/O.

  • trumpet444

    Gotta love capitalism and competition. 99% of the time a win for the consumer

  • TheGreatMCH
    • Eric Shelley

      That is the memo…this is a different tablet than we are talking about here

      • Anonymous

        The Verge is run by half-wit monkeys, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re right.

  • Anonymous

    That just happened!

    • trumpet444

      Shake & Bake

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Gulyas/709632554 Daniel Gulyas

    THIS is a gamechanger for Android and Google imho. This is the competition the Kindle Fire needed.

  • Booboolala2000

    Will make a nice present for my mom. Sooner than later i hope.

    • trumpet444

      yes. But also nice present for me as well

  • http://twitter.com/LAmDroid Steven.L

    So what about the ASUS MeMO??

  • Bionic

    Wow

  • http://twitter.com/jdrch Judah Richardson

    A 7″ quad core ICS device for $249? My guess is they got to that price point by skimping on the screen resolution and internal storage. The Fire is $199 because it’s subsidized by Amazon sales through it. Unless there’s a similar subsidy for this device, the price point won’t be sustainable.

    • Anonymous

      But keep in mind Asus makes the hardware and Amazon doesn’t so in theory they could sell the same exact spec’ed equipment for less money.  In theory.

  • GCurry

    I bought (and returned) the OG Transformer Prime.   Learned in the process that I won’t believe specs (from Asus) anymore, just delivered results.   But if they can deliver a 720 7′ tablet with fully functional wi-fi, bluetooth, GPS with some kind of uniformity, at $250, I’m in.    So much better than buying from Amazon.   Hope Google competes for that price point with a Nexus 7″ tablet.

    • Bionic

      Didn’t you hear? Google has a tablet coming for $199

      • Anonymous

        Lies.

    • Anonymous

      I would think a 7′ tablet might be too large for practical usage. It would look cool, though.

  • GCurry

    I’m shifting my lust-center from 10″ 1080p at $600 to 7″ 720p at $300.   A tablet for me is just a media comsumption device that lets me sit in comfortable chairs.    Right now, I’m reading off my Galaxy Nexus, replacing OG Droid, with my 2.0 diopter reading glasses.   7″ is way bigger, and cheap is good.

  • http://www.giquegear.com GiqueGEAR_Todd

    So glad I held on to my Christmas money !  

  • Kuboo99

    Hopefully not, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they got the price down by using 512mb of RAM and/or using a cheap display.

  • davetheAndroid

    And a big thank you for Amazon for starting this B E A utiful trend in tablet pricing. And this coming from an original Xoom. ugh. 

  • Jeremy Morrison

    Deffinitly buying this when it drops. Never wanted a tablet because of price and performance. Seemed un-needed to buy a dual core tablet for $500 when I can do the same stuff and have the same hardware in my phone. But this……. this changes everything!

  • Anonymous

    This is the way to get more people to adopt tablets.  Pretty impressive. 

  • Kuboo99

    I sold my original Transformer, but this might be cool, because it is a bit more portable. A vicious technology cycle :(

  • john swain

    All the right specs at the right price.

  • Anonymous

    I have an asus transformer prime on order form bestbuy plus the dock…this tablet and the Prime+ i will call it with its 1920×1200 screen has me wishing i did not. I know that we will ahve to wait for second quarter for these tablets but i have a galaxy nexus already…do i really need this prime? Asus is just as bad as Motorola in my eyes now…They can still TAKE MY MONEY when this drops lol

  • Edgardocamposmota

    There has to be a catch somewhere. Probably a locked bootloader.

    • Anonymous

      Who cares! Its iics at launch

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001805990120 Mike Røuche

      the transformer prime has a locked bootloader, but its already been unlocked .

  • http://www.facebook.com/iamnotseanclark Sean Clark

    i think i need to cancel my transformer prime preorder. and get the one or this

  • john swain

    Steve must be rolling over

    • Anonymous

      He’ll reach out and sue from the Great Beyond.

  • Michael Forte

    At 249 I think they skimped on something. Probably the resolution.

    • Anonymous

      its 1280×800…ya they really skimped being the same resolution as the 10.1 prime…

      • http://twitter.com/55938 MrSix

        When you assume you make an ass out you and…you.

      • Jeremy Morrison

        Source? I think the only thing any of us know about this is that it has ICS and a tegra 3. No other specs as of yet.

        • Anonymous

          The Verge because they have the most access out of everyone in CES

          • Eric Shelley

            Maybe you are confusing this tablet with the asus memo.

  • Primeguest

    Awesome. I may actually get a tablet if this proves good. 

    Please please please be a solid piece of hardware

  • http://www.facebook.com/TJHRULZ tjhrulz

    High powered and low priced? Pinch me i’m dreaming 

  • Anonymous

    Finally a price point making it worth taking a serious look

  • john swain

    “GAME OVER” 

  • Anonymous

    When can i preorder?

  • Anonymous

    What about the direct touch thing? Will that come to all tegra 3 devices?

  • http://twitter.com/55938 MrSix

    249? Crimminy jim jim. Can they make like an 8.2in version for $300? 7in is sub-optimal for me as I’d hope to use it for work.

  • john swain

    Now all they need to do is let me make a phone call from it.

    • Anonymous

      Sounds like the return of jnco pants phone

      • trumpet444

        I can proudly say I never owned Jncos, but a spot on joke nonetheless

  • http://twitter.com/JONvsLEE Jonathan Lee

    SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY

    • Edwin M

      Does it work if we throw our money at the screen?

      • http://www.giquegear.com GiqueGEAR_Todd

        2 comments that made me laugh.  Well played …. :-)

      • Anonymous

        Maybe if we just PayPal them 250 they will send us one

    • Anonymous

      I only said that for two things this year, Galaxy Nexus and Serious Sam 3.

  • Anonymous

    No. no, no they got it all wrong.  They need to sell it for $600 and call it the DOAboard.

    • James Craig

      +1

  • http://twitter.com/AndroidScottRox Andrew Scott

    I wonder how many current Transformer orders just got cancelled.

    • http://twitter.com/MaverickVirus Andrew Nichols

      I cancelled mine as soon as they said they had an updated model. I still think the pricing is wrong (current prime should be discounted and the new one replaces the old prime). Now I’m thinking of just sitting on my hands for a while until ASUS figures out what they want me to buy.

      • Anonymous

        That’s what I am hoping, that when the high res unit hits the TF201 will displace the TF101 and takes it’s place price wise, if not even cheaper.

    • AwesomeSauce

      How bout how many Kindle owners just got pwnd?

      • HoustonWeHaveAProblem

        Nah…having the Amazon Prime Video service is worth the sacrifice of the cameras and performance to many of us.  Of course, it’s really all based on how you use the product…we all have different uses.

        • Anonymous

          Ever hear of Adobe Flash Player? That’s how i watch Amazon instant videos works like a charm on all devices.

  • http://twitter.com/myleslynch Myles Lynch

    Wow, that price sounds too good to be true! But if it is, OMGEE I want it like now!

  • Sporttster

    This is EXACTLY the size and price point I’ve been looking at. Bought the wife and daughter both Nook Colors for Christmas and rooted em both and put CM on em and they’re fantastic little tablets! BUT they do lag a bit due to their limited processor and single cores. If they come out with this….I’d probably go buy it that day….

  • Anonymous

    Hmm… remember NVIDIA saying at their Tegra 3 announcement that over the next few quarters devices would be under $300?  Looks like they were correct…

    • Anonymous

      I thought they were talking about old models…guess I was wromg

    • Anonymous

      For once NVIDIA wasn’t full of it, if these rumours are true.

      • J Dub

        You don’t go to CES, put a huge slide with $250 up, and then not deliver.

        • Anonymous

          ASUS wouldn’t, but NVIDIA has done crap like that in the past. Their CEO likes to make promises he can’t keep.

  • Anonymous

    Instant buy.

  • Anonymous

    =0!

  • http://twitter.com/jackrupps Jack Ruppel

    Seems way too good to be true. But if it is true… You could bet money I’d pick one up for $249 with those specs.

    • Anonymous

      If this is true they could cause a silicon shortage.

  • FIIIRST!

    First!

  • http://twitter.com/cheese cheese

    how the heck are they going to make money out of this? lol..

    i would assume that $249 is the cost of the hardware itself, especially that Quad-core SoC.

    • Jason Purp

      No, honey. I highly doubt that they would price the tablet at $250 if that’s basically what it costs to make it. That would be silly.

      • Anonymous

        The Kindle Fire apparently loses like $1-2 per sale, but Amazon makes up for it through their strong ecosystem.

        It’s like how game consoles might sell for a $100-200 loss.

        • Anonymous

          Only at launch, every game console now makes money I think. The PS3 the last to join the club.

    • mikeym0p

      They could skimp on build materials (plastic vs aluminum) and display tech. There is also the memory (RAM and NAND) as well as wireless chipset and image sensors. Theres plenty of places to trim the cost and make a good budget tablet.

      Look at the iPhone, 3/4’s of it’s price goes to the 64gb NAND flash they put in the phone, after that it’s the screen. This would hold true to tablets