If you thought Nvidia was just a little too ambitious when it indicated that we'd have $199 Tegra 3 tablets by the second half of the year, this next bit might surprise you. Nvidia's Vice President Rob Csongor, speaking with investors last week, revealed that such an animal is already in production.
To be clear, I'm not talking about one particular tablet or piece of hardware expected to come to market. Called Kai, Nvidia's initiative should be considered more of a platform or strategy at this point.
Though product specifics haven't been fleshed out completely, Nvidia believes it can potentially deliver quad-core Tegra 3 tablets at the all-important $199 price point later this year. Fully realized, this would give consumers a variety of high-powered Android 4.0 tablets with Kindle Fire price tags.
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. - Rob Csongor
Still, this development shouldn't come as too much of a shocker. Android tablet prices have already started to plummet, with Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 (7-inch) being a recent example. Tapped with a $250 sticker, the Android 4.0 tablet features admirable specifications including a 1GHz dual-core processor, 8GB internal storage, 1GB RAM, and microSD expansion.
While educated tech shoppers will notice differences between the Tab 2 and a more modest Kindle Fire device, the masses are certainly more attracted to the Kindle's lower price point. If Nvidia is able to deliver on its Kai promises though, we could be in for a very fun holiday buying season.