Nvidia put a lot of effort in its third retail product, the Nvidia Tegra Note 7. Just as we suspected it picked a few strong add-in-board partners and local etailers and retailers to make the push. It chose the strongest add-in-board partners and in Europe it chose EVGA and Zotac, as well as Russian company Oysters take care of the Russian/CIS market.
We had a lot off meetings with Nvidia’s senior management as well as some Tegra and Geforce executives and without knowing the price at that moment we suggested that it has a chance to do great if they price it below the first generation Nexus 7 price point, which was $199.
Nvidia argues that Tegra Note 7 has a stylus, HDMI and micro SD slot as well as a significantly faster processor than the original Nexus 7, as well as a 5-megapixel camera that is supposed to be better than the one that comes with Nexus 7 2013. However, Nvidia decided to use an inferior 1280x800 screen and 1GB memory, which looks a bit paltry compared to the second generation Nexus 7.
We believe that the decision to go with 1GB of memory is Nvidia’s biggest weakness and that 2GB would make a significant impact on performance. Android 4.2 and 4.3 really want 2GB memory to work well, this is what we seen across many devices including phones and tablets. This is especially true of more demanding apps, namely games.
Nvidia is lucky that the current Google Nexus 7 costs $229 making it 15 percent more expensive and in this entry level to mainstream market, every cent counts. Tegra 4 will obliterate the venerable Snapdragon S4 Pro and we looked at some benchmark numbers from Nexus 7 2013 and compared the numbers we got from Shield, powered by a Tegra 4. Tegra 4 is ridiculously faster making it so far the best Android experience we had a chance to try, although we did not get our hands on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 product yet. To be fair, the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 both with Snapdragon 600 also felt extremely fast in everyday Android tasks but they might lose here and there in benchmarks to Tegra 4.
Tegra 4 has a much faster memory subsystem, which was one of the biggest performance issues with its predecessor, the Tegra 3. Shield installs applications significantly faster than a Tegra 3 powered Asus Transformer Prime TF701 and the difference is more than just noticeable.
However, we believe that the Tegra Note 7 should be sitting in the $149 to $179 price bracket and with this price it would do really well, but as always the market will decide whether $199 is the right price for Tegra Note 7. Here at Fudzilla we had internal brainstorming discussing that $149 without Pen, HDMI and SD card would also make sense, it that is what it would take to drive the price down. One can argue that HDMI and SD are only a few dollars on the price but we can only speculate on the digital Pen and digitizer price. The other option would have been to go all out - with a 1080p screen, 2GB of RAM, more storage and a higher price, but then it could have ended up pricier than the new Nexus 7 and in this market segment that doesn't sound like a good idea.
We expect to see Tegra Note 7 shipping in Q4 2013 that starts in October, but we still haven’t got clear confirmation when exactly we can expect them to ship. It remains to be seen what will differentiate Zotac from EVGA in European market and why would buyers chose one or the other. At this time the only thing we can confirm being different is the company logo as EVGA has an EVGA Tegra Note 7 and Zotac calls its baby the Zotac Tegra Note 7.