Qualcomm quad-core tablet arrives -- for deep pockets

You can pick up a Qualcomm quad-core tablet if you're willing to drop $1,300. It's probably a safe bet that only developers will do that.

Qualcomm quad-core tablet.  It's a reference platform aimed at developers.  And it's priced that way, going for $1,300.
Qualcomm quad-core tablet. It's a reference platform aimed at developers. And it's priced that way, going for $1,300. CNET Asia

Qualcomm's first quad-core Snapdragon chip has arrived in a tablet -- but only for those with $1,300 burning a hole in their pockets and developers.

The tablet packs an APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 quad-core chip -- one of the most highly-anticipated quad-core ARM processors. Why? Because Qualcomm S4 silicon -- currently dual-core -- can be found in popular mobile devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One S.

The S4 is also slated to appear in the 4G version of the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity tablet.

And that means, of course, we can expect the quad-core Qualcomm chip to find its way into Verizon phones at some point, in addition to tablets.

At the moment, the only quad-core ARM competition is the Nvidia Tegra 3, used in scores of devices, and Samsung Exynos 4 Quad, used in the Galaxy S3 in Europe.

Apple has its A5X chip -- but that's a quad-core graphics engine, not a quad-core processor per se.

And speaking of the A5X, a preliminary review of the Qualcomm tablet (via Anandtech) comparing it to the A5X, Exynos, and Tegra 3 says it's really fast, though not faster than the competition on every benchmark.

The $1,299 tablet (Android is offered on one reference device) includes a 10.1-inch WXGA display (1366 x 720), 2 GB of system memory, and 13MP rear camera.

Branded products from device vendors are expected at the end of this year or early next year.

[Via CNET Asia ]

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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