Recently the tablet market has really become quite competitive with the Kindle Fire, iPad, standard Android tablets, Playbooks, and even upcoming tablet projects such as Windows 8 and Mozilla’s Boot 2 Gecko tablet/smartphone OS. In the process netbooks have certainly taken a bit of a backseat.
Tablets are a nice alternative to netbooks, thanks to their easy to navigate touchscreens and overall appealing design. If you ask most users, however they will tell you that tablets just aren’t fast enough for more intense processing tasks and therefore don’t make good notebook/desktop replacements.
Although their are dual-core options, this still isn’t enough raw power for some users. Thankfully, technology changes rapidly and a more powerful processor has finally arrived on scene.
Recently NVIDIA announced the Tegra 3, the world’s first mobile quad-core processor. With the potential of the Tegra 3, tablets finally get a major power boost that can really drive up their capabilities for both improved media consumption and productivity as well.
The ASUS Transformer Prime was the first announced tablet using the quad-core beast. Its tablet offering runs on Android Honeycomb and can later upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich Android. Overall the Transformer looks like a fairly sold Quad-Core tablet but it is certainly not alone. It seems that several companies including Lenovo, HTC, and Acer all have projects in the works.
Today HTC CEO, Peter Chou announced in a special interview that HTC ‘s Tegra 3 offering will be demonstrated in February 2012 utilizing the power of Windows 8. Of course Windows 8 isn’t going to hit the market until later in 2012 so this will put HTC behind other Tegra 3 tablets. The power of Windows 8 certainly has strong appeal though.
Chou has promised that his tablet won’t be a me-too device. If HTC is the first Windows 8 tablet that uses Tegra 3 he could likely deliver on this promise easily enough. For now, Chou is silent on other details regarding how the HTC will be different and what kind of features it will tout.
While HTC might be taking their time and playing it safe, Lenovo also intends to introduce a Tegra 3 tablet and seems willing to pull out all the stops. According to inside sources Lenovo’s Tegra 3 tablet will feature Android Ice Cream Sandwich, 2GB of 1600MHz ddr3 RAM, a standard USB host socket, a back-facing camera, a “Special Fusion-Skin Body” and even a fingerprint scanner that also doubles as an optical joystick on the flat backside.
So far that means two Android announcements and one for Windows 8, and all using cutting edge Quad-Core technology. Rumors also are spreading regarding speculation that Acer is prepping a quad-core Tegra 3 tablet as well, yet again based on the Android platform.
The device is codenamed A510 and is set to feature a 1280x800p display, Ice Cream Sandwich Android, and a 3G variant (the A511) as well. Of course for now, it is only speculated that such an Acer tablet is in the works.
Out of all the announced tablets, the Lenovo tablet looks to have the most options and looks very appealing yet with Quad-core processors in all of the announced tablets it is hard to go wrong. You have to wonder if HTC’s Tegra 3 tablet will be a little too late to the show since it is waiting for Windows 8.
Windows 8 has the style of the metro-interface and compatibility with Windows 8 PCs on its side, but it won’t be out until late 2012. Of course the HTC Tegra 3 tablet could certainly prove to be a great showcase item for showing off the power of Windows 8.
What do you think of the announced Tegra 3 offerings so far? Do you think that Acer will offer something different or better than what is already on the table? Share your thoughts below!