Now not all of you may know this, but the only reason Microsoft went with Nvidia’s Tegra 4 processors for its second generation Surface tablets was because of contractual obligations.
When ironing out the details for the Tegra 3 chips in the original Surface RT, both companies, in all probability decided to continue the partnership to at least one more generation. This provides a bit of a cushioned guarantee to chip designers in terms of financials.
And really, the processing performance of the original Surface RT was not earth shattering in any way. The Tegra 3 is a pretty good solution, a great chip — but better suited for $199 tablets that barely break the HD barrier, like the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7.
Now the Tegra 4 processor on the second generation Surface amps up the performance to another level with its ability to power a full HD display and push an increased amount of pixels at once.
But it is not without its share of thoughtless decisions. For some inane reason, Nvidia decided not to build 4G LTE capabilities into it, and instead reserve this form of wireless cellular connectivity for the Tegra 4i — a less powerful and more power efficient chip designed for smartphones. Perplexing!
Anyway, Nvidia CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang recently shared his thoughts on the Surface partnership, and said that he was happy to work on the Surface, even if things did not pan out as well as he expected:
“I will say that Surface has been a big disappointment for us and for Microsoft. Both of our expectations from the product were much greater than what came to be and not only that. We invested enormous amount into research and development and spent a lot of time and energy into it.
All of us poured heart and soul into it, like we do for any product. But look that is the price of innovation. You cry over that or you move ahead. You lick your wounds, and move on. No hard feelings and I am delighted that I did Surface.”
Microsoft could have gone with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors for the second generation Surface units. These are said to be faster than Tegra 4 and come with cellular connectivity built in.
Anyway, Redmond is currently collaborating with Qualcomm, and Nokia is also said to be working with Snapdragon 800 processors for its upcoming Windows RT tablet that is set to be unveiled later this month on October 22.
As for the newer Surface units, they are powered by the silky smooth Tegra 4, but as mentioned above, this deprives users of a chance of getting a 4G LTE enabled slate — Surface Mini, anyone?