NVIDIA thinks tablets should be cheap, but not if that means sacrificing on specs or design. So when the company introduced its new platform in September, it made a commitment by laying the groundwork for third-party partners to come in and build out a Tegra 4 army. On Monday, the first piece of the puzzle was rolled off the assembly line, and it comes courtesy of the EVGA Tegra Note 7, which will be available for $199 on Nov. 19—that’s more affordable than the Nexus 7 (2013) and Kindle Fire HDX.
Much of the emphasis is being put on the Note 7’s DirectStylus technology, which NVIDIA says is capable of differentiating between a fine-tip stylus, finger, eraser and palm. Thanks to the computing technologies of Tegra 4, DirectStylus is able work work with Direct Touch 2.0, supporting up to 300 scans a second—this allows the Note 7 to detect more detailed movement for more natural stylus use (writing notes, drawing, etc.), including lines of different width and pressure. With such focus being put on the stylus experience, NVIDIA is putting itself in direct competition with Samsung, but also third-party accessory makers, just to name a few.
Like users would do on a Galaxy Note III, or one of Samsung’s tablets, you can use the Tegra Note 7’s stylus to edit, sign and annotate PDFs, or use Tegra Write and Tegra Draw applications to jot down notes and doodle. Additionally, users can take advantage of other stylus-enabled apps “in a comfortable and natural way” without the devices registering false inputs. NVIDIA claims its technology is much more accurate than what you’d find on a Nexus 7. We put the Tegra Note 7’s stylus to the test, and found ourselves enjoying the experience—we’re not sure how it holds up after more extended usage, however.
On the inside, the Tegra Note 7 comes equipped with a Tegra 4 processor, 7-inch HD (1280 x 800) display, 1080p video capture, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (microSD expandable), Bluetooth 4 and Android 4.2.2. Over the air updates come directly from NVIDIA—a future one will include an Always On High Dynamic Range (AOHDR) for the device’s 5-megapixel camera. We wish we could test that feature right now, but unfortunately it’s not available quite yet.
To get a better idea of what the EVGA Tegra Note 7 has to offer, check out our unboxing and hands-on, and stay tuned for future coverage. The device will be available on Nov. 19 for $199.