Nvidia has officially launched the Tegra 3 quad-core mobile chipset. It will be the first quad-core ARM-based chipset to appear in shipping products when it comes to market in the Asus EEE Pad Transformer Prime tablet.
Nvidia marked the official announcement by releasing a bunch of screen shots and performance details showing how Tegra 3 improves Web browsing, battery life, and—most importantly for Nvidia—gaming.
"Tegra 3 is about five times the performance of Tegra 2," said Matt Wuebbling, Nvidia Tegra's director of product marketing.
The gaming improvements are striking, and Nvidia spent a lot of time showing them off. You get more realism and more special effects on Tegra 3: much more realistic water simulations, blur effects, smoke, damage, textures and dynamic lighting. That comes in part from the chipset's new 12-core GPU, with triple the performance of Tegra 2's unit, Wuebbling said.
It's big, it's businesslike, and it might turn into a laptop like the groundbreaking Motorola Atrix 4G. Sprint's brand-new Motorola Photon 4G will face down the HTC EVO 3D this summer in a battle of the high-end Android super-phones. We got some time with it just before today's announcement, to check out the new device.
The new Photon 4G is one of 10 Motorola phones that Sprint plans to introduce in 2011, including the Triumph for Virgin Mobile, the Xoom tablet, and the XPRT and Titanium for Sprint. The two companies introduced the Photon and Triumph today at an event in New York City.
The Motorola Photon 4G is a huge 5.6-ounce, 2.6 by 5 by 0.5-inch smartphone with a downright gorgeous 4.3-inch, 960-by-540 screen. There's something very rich and deep about this screen; it may just be the wallpapers that Sprint and Motorola chose, but everything looked very sharp. The phone is fast, too, with a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor running Android 2.3. There's an 8-megapixel camera on the back, a 1-megapixel camera on the front, an HDMI out port, a kickstand on the back, and 16GB of on-board storage.
How does the Photon feel? Big. Solid. Glossy. The Photon feels a lot like Verizon's Motorola Droid X2, although it's rounded rather than squarish; this is a large, heavy slab of power with a whole lot of customized Android icons. The few apps I sampled ran smoothly. I asked the Sprint and Motorola reps whether the Photon would be more stable than the notoriously buggy Atrix, but they dodged the question.
Hey, It looks like the first real, formidable iPad competitor to hit the market is shipping from Newegg as we speak! The ASUS EEE Pad Transformer rocks an IPS display and Tegra 2 processor, and ships with Android 3.1 Honeycomb (the latest update.) We've tried other Android tablets and were left underwhelmed, but this one is hotness! You can get the 32GB model from Newegg for $499, which is $100 less than the 32GB iPad, y'all!
Read More | ASUS Transformer
What we've got above is a leaked image of the Motorola Droid 3, but that doesn't really tell us much about what's happening on the inside of the device. However, TechnoBuffalo is saying that they've got the goods, and if they are to be believed, this'll be a nice upgrade over the current Droid 2 smartphone. The display here is reportedly a 4-inch qHD screen, and inside there's a dual-core processor (similar to the Droid X2,) front-facing camera, and 8 megapixel camera around back. The other pertinent detail here is that the Droid 3 won't be packing a 4G LTE chipset.
An entry-level tablet codenamed Coyote will be powered by Nvidia's dual-core Tegra 2 mobile platform, while a more powerful device codenamed Hollywood will sport Nvidia's upcoming quad-core "Kal-El" chip, the website reported Monday, citing a "tipster."
The source did not provide screen-size details, according to BGR.
The processor details put the theoretical release of the rumored Hollywood tablet at no earlier than the second half of 2011. Nvidia's Kal-El upgrade to its Tegra lineup isn't expected to be released until then.
Kal-El promises a significant boost to Tegra. The System-on-a-Chip (SoC) for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones boasts a 1.5GHz, quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 central processor and a 12-core Nvidia graphics processor that's purported to deliver five times the performance of the GeForce GPUs in the Tegra 2 SoC.
At the Google I/O 2011 conference, Android product management director Hugo Barra held up a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 as an example of new exciting form factors using Google's mobile OS, adding, "it's not available to anyone yet ... with one exception: conference attendees."
You can guess the cry of elation that erupted in the auditorium. And it wasn't unjustified, based on our first impressions of the device. Most laymen could easily mistake it for an iPad 2, but it's a tad lighter at 589 grams (1.3 pounds), and has a larger, higher-resolution 10.1-inch display, at 1,280-by-800, compared with the iPad's 1,024-by-768. This means it can play full 1080p HD video, at a maximum of 30 frames per second.
Gallery: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 unboxing
The Atrix 4G, which was launched at CES, will be priced at $199.99 for AT&T customers who sign a new two-year agreement. The Atrix 4G is expected to ship on March 6, the company said, while pre-orders begin on February 13th.
AT&T also said that it would offer a $499 bundle for both the Atrix tablet and the associated laptop dock, which will require the user to sign up for a two-year service contract, a Data Pro smartphone data plan, and and the tethering add-on fee, but receive a $100 rebate on top of that. That works out to a total of $45 per month for 4 GBs of data, according a company spokeswoman; customers would pay $25 for the Data Pro smartphone plan and $20 for the tethering add-on.
Otherwise, the user will have to pay $499 for the laptop dock himself.
Acer let us know earlier that its new 10.1-inch Windows 7 tablet is going to use AMD, but left us hanging as far as exact specifications go. Now, from the looks of a new DigiTimes article, it’s looking like Acer’s tablet is going to use AMD’s dual-core C-50 Ontario APU (accelerated processing unit). This APU exploits a built-in Radeon HD 6250 graphics chip and uses 9W of power. Furthermore, the tablet is reportedly sporting Tegra 2, WiFi, and 3G capabilities. Of course, none of this is officially confirmed, so stay keep your eye on the blogs.