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NVIDIA Announces Kai Platform, the Basis for Building Quad-Core Tablets at $199

The star of the show at this year’s CES was a 7″ tablet that NVIDIA and Asus partnered to create which would meet a price point of just $250. What made it so desirable is that while meeting such a competitive price, it didn’t sacrifice in the specs department. It had a low power consuming display and naturally, NVIDIA’s quad-core Tegra 3 chip powered the internals. 

According to a semi-recent announcement from NVIDIA’s VP, they have developed a platform called Kai which is not just hardware, but a platform at which other companies can accomplish the same thing. The goal is to be able to create a tablet more powerful than the Kindle Fire, but be sold at the same price. NVIDIA’s VP said this on the announcement of Kai:

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.

With signs of Google looking to produce a tablet along the same price point and power, could the Nexus tablet be based on the Kai platform and maybe feature a Tegra 3? It’s a stretch, but it is starting to look like the Android tablet market is to become very exciting for consumers this summer.

Via: The Verge

  • JMonkeYJ
  • br_hermon

    Kinda Off Topic but… I’ve been saying this for a while now. I’d love to get DL’s thoughts on tablet price points vs smartphones’. It’s great to see Google, Nvidia and Asus working on bring the price down while leaving in high end components. But IMO Even the cheapest tablets are still over priced when you compare their specs and usefulness to say a laptop. I see the pricing between the two similar to comparing SSDs to HDDs. Processing power, storage, functionality; getting the most bang for your buck still goes to PCs. Tablets are coming along. But that’s a side thought.

    The point I’m trying to make is in the grand scheme of things (comparing all devices in the tech world) tablets are just starting to reach a fair price, yet smartphones are still ridiculously high. I realize it’s probably more difficult to get high quality components into such a small space (resulting in greater cost) but I can’t believe that alone is enough reason for smartphones to be 2 or even 3 times the price of some tablets. Aside from size, the components are nearly identical! Like I said… we see it all the time. HDDs > SSDs, DVD > Bluray, HDTVs when they first came out. Everything eventually drops in price. Aren’t we overdue for smartphones to start to do the same?

    DL would you consider doing a story on this?

  • Isn’t there also a rumor that apple is making a 7 inch tablet to be priced at $250. I think I saw it on engadget. So I think Nvidia will need to make it a $200 price point if they wanna outsell apple or Kindle

  • I have been waiting to see what 370T 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 inch device with some good specs, the 370T 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.

  • Hoping for a 10.1 tab my hands are too big for 7 inches

  • David Cosme Jr.

    (off topic) I have to say, I’m very pleased to see some intelligent discourse here. I love Droid Life for the content, but I love it even more when people have meaningful comments that add to the posts.
    A $200 tablet is something I would consider if it were running true Android, and not Kindle Fire’s version. Nothing against the Fire, but I want a tablet that can be a reader, not a reader that can be a tablet.

    • athensjohn

      While I agree with you, I really wanted a tablet so I bought a Kindle Fire during one of the “Fire Sales” for $140. The ICS development on it is going rather fast. It is extremely easy to root, install a new recovery, and then install ICS. It is not ideal as it doesn’t have bluetooth or VOIP capabilities, but it works well as a tablet. The developers working on the 3.0 kernel and the developers working on the ICS Roms have done outstanding work. I think it would take a person with basic computer skills about 15 minutes to convert the Fire to an ICS tablet.

      I would prefer a full blown ICS tablet with bluetooth and a few other extras, but the Fire does a great job as a low cost ICS tablet (or Gingerbread or rooted close to stock). You can get a refurbished Fire with an Amazon warranty for $170 everyday. If you don’t want to wait or have a need for the tablet now as I did, it is not a bad option.

  • lets hope one of the requirements for the Kai platform is vanilla android.

    • AnotherAndroidKid

      I know Asus isn’t using pure vanilla, but i find it just fine Yes vanilla would be idea, but if it is no worse than current Asus ICS, i’d be fine with that too.

      • AlexKCMO

        On that note, I prefer Asus’s modifications; and they can be disabled!

  • hkklife

    Despite this “breakthrough” I still worry about other corners that would need to be cut to achieve a Fire-level price. I imagine this will be like buying a Core i7 PC with 16GB RAM but attached it to a 15″ monitor and then being disappointed that its integrated graphics aren’t up to snuff. Also, Google needs to get serious and partner with someone major (Target? BB?) with some major in-store promos and advertising to make people realize that there are more tablets on the market other than the iPad, Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet.

    I simply would not expect an IPS LCD at the $200 pricepoint (I have visions of the abysmal Acer Iconia A100 7″ screen). A weak battery and/or build quality and limited internal storage with no SD slot are also likely at this pricepoint. Storage concerns are probably the biggest potential deal-breaker—a tablet like this is primed to be a PS Vita killer but what good is it if you can only store a handful of large 3D Gameloft or EA games onboard? Cloud streaming won’t cut it and even if it’s like Sammy’s Galaxy Tab 2 7″ with 8GB internal + microSD slot, that leaves precious little space for apps and ICS doesn’t do installs on external volumes.

    I’d rather see something fairly pedestrian like a Snapdragon S4 or even S3 but mated to solid hardware for a more well-rounded $200 package. Or, bump it up to $250 or even $300 and make a TF Prime equivalent in a 7″ formfactor.

  • Awesome news for the future of Android tablets. Top-line specs, low price range. Looks like it’s FINALLY sinking in for Google.
    Now add reasonable smartphone/tablet bundling packages thru the Play Store and you’re all set. {{-_-}}

  • Brent Stewart

    This is good. Mobile devices need serious price disruption and more tablets like this is just what the doctor ordered. Now if we can just drive down the prices on smart phones (essentially the same device except with smaller screens and carrier radios) – oh wait, that’ll never happen because the carriers and OEMs are making too much money with their price fixing schemes.

    • hkklife

      I had hoped Apple would do their best to break the backs of the carriers and their retarded overpriced handsets and subsidy schemes but they’ve actually made things worse (no 1yr contracts, no more unlimited, no more early upgrades etc). So if anyone can do it now, it’s gonna have to be Google. I think at least a few savvy buyers in the USA are starting to come around to the unlocked phone + SIM only plans.
      A $399 unlocked Galaxy Nexus is a BRILLIANT move, IF Google sticks with it and diversifies their hardware offerings and keeps pushing it. I was very disapointed when they pulled the plug on the Nexus One experiment so quickly in 2010.

      • Michael

        Google should buy tmo to have its own cell carrier, it would give them a head start instead of starting one from scratch. BTW does anyone know what happened to the Google internet/cable system they announce a few years back? They were going to be laying cables all through the u.s. and supply people with better internet.

  • You have my money, now just tell me when you can give it to me.

  • Raven

    Want! Take my money, now!