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EVGA NVIDIA Tegra Note 7 Review - $199 Tegra 4 Tablet

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Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: EVGA

NVIDIA Tegra Note Program

Clearly, NVIDIA’s Tegra line has not been as successful as the company had hoped and expected.  The move for the discrete GPU giant into the highly competitive world of the tablet and phone SoCs has been slower than expected, and littered with roadblocks that were either unexpected or that NVIDIA thought would be much easier to overcome. 

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The truth is that this was always a long play for the company; success was never going to be overnight and anyone that thought that was likely or possible was deluded.  Part of it has to do with the development cycle of the ARM ecosystem.  NVIDIA is used to a rather quick development, production, marketing and sales pattern thanks to its time in high performance GPUs, but the SoC world is quite different.  By the time a device based on a Tegra chip is found in the retail channel it had to go through an OEM development cycle, NVIDIA SoC development cycle and even an ARM Cortex CPU development cycle.  The result is an extended time frame from initial product announcement to retail availability.

Partly due to this, and partly due to limited design wins in the mobile markets, NVIDIA has started to develop internal-designed end-user devices that utilize its Tegra SoC processors.  This has the benefit of being much faster to market – while most SoC vendors develop reference platforms during the normal course of business,  NVIDIA is essentially going to perfect and productize them.

Continue reading our review of the NVIDIA Tegra Note 7 $199 Tablet!!

The first entry in this pattern was the very specialized NVIDIA SHIELD device.  Sold as part Android gaming device, part PC streaming device, and part multimedia tablet, SHIELD was one of the first products to integrate the Tegra 4 processor.  I reviewed the unit and continue to use one around the offices here at PC Perspective. SHIELD is an incredibly unique device that is high quality and high performance, but struggles to find a precise target market.  Android gamers are likely to already have a device with them, and PC gamers still want to stick with large screen experience at their desk rather than the 5-in option on SHIELD.  Recent feature additions like console mode are trying to tweak things to find the perfect mix, but clearly there is still work to do on SHIELD.

Announced earlier this year, the Tegra Note program takes the idea of direct integration another step forward.  This time NVIDIA is building out a tablet platform in its entirety, the SoC, the screen, features, etc. and partnering with companies in each product section to bring them to market and support them.  In the US that company is EVGA, which frequent PC Perspective readers will immediately know from its legacy in graphics cards.  In a rather surprising move, EVGA will be carrying the NVIDIA Tegra Note devices starting with the Tegra Note 7 launching today.

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NVIDIA has a complicated relationship with its partners, and when SHIELD launched at CES 2013, we immediatly got feedback from them. The  same companies that had supported NVIDIA in the past, good times and bad, were miffed that NVIDIA had chosen a direct-to-consumer model for this new gaming device.  Even though EVGA has little experience supporting multimedia type devices like the Tegra Note 7, NVIDIA would rather offer the opportunity for partners to share in the profit (while handling support).  It doesn’t hurt that vendors like OEMs can then start to diversify product portfolios should the discrete market slide backwards.  There is no shortage of reasons for this kind of partnership to take place.

The Tegra Note 7 is the first in what will likely be a series of NVIDIA built tablets and products based on the Tegra line of processors.  Starting with a 7-in tablet, powered by the Tegra 4 SoC, and adding fantastic front facing speakers and a high quality passive stylus configuration, the Tegra Note 7 is great option for $199.

Continue reading for our look at the hardware, comparisons to the Google Nexus 7 and of course benchmarks and impressions!

November 12, 2013 | 10:31 AM - Posted by willmore (not verified)

This looks pretty nice! The performance is well better than I was expecting. I don't know much about the tests that were run, but are they screen resolution independent?

For me, the improved audio isn't at all a feature as I almost always listen to my tablet over BT. But, I can see how that would be a nice feature--especially for a low end tablet.

But, the lower screen resolution is the largest downside. The screen of the N7/2013 is wonderful.

I'm still trying to figure out why anyone would buy the Samsung tablet.

November 12, 2013 | 01:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

But, the lower screen resolution is the largest downside. The screen of the N7/2013 is wonderful.

Again, it goes back to price. I wish people would stop harping on that.

December 3, 2013 | 10:11 AM - Posted by Frank Bales (not verified)

It's the same as last year's Nexus 7 which everyone raved about. No, it's not the best anymore, but still a good display.

November 12, 2013 | 07:02 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

One site in the U.S. with more details on the new Tegra Note is TabletSprint -- and they add in premium bonus games and free 4G monthly internet access with 500MB of data use.

November 12, 2013 | 11:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This EVGA Nvidia Note 7 tablet is a killer!! Check out the full review right here!! http://goo.gl/mMaaiA

November 12, 2013 | 03:04 PM - Posted by Robert23655124 (not verified)

The built in stylus is a nice touch, price is solid too, I've already got 2 tablets, so I'm not in for this generation.

But if this is the angle they are taking I'll strongly consider it in the future :)

November 12, 2013 | 03:05 PM - Posted by Bill (not verified)

1280x800? This is a total non starter! Especially when the Nexus 7 (2013) is the same price. Then there's the rooted Kindle HDX option. Good luck Nvidia.

November 14, 2013 | 03:54 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Nexus 7 (2013) is $30 more than the Tegra note. But yes it would have been great if they included a higher res display. It beats the Nexus in all other categories (except for a few design flaws on the outside).

November 12, 2013 | 03:23 PM - Posted by pdjblum

The tegra 4 soc seems to be faster than other leading mobile soc's. Yes, the battery life suffers. Is this why we are not seeing the tegra 4 soc in more mobile devices?

November 12, 2013 | 03:34 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Are the test run at native resolution or fixed ?

The devices don't have same resolution so you might want to clarify how the test were run.

November 12, 2013 | 04:25 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Most are running at a fixed resolution.  For example, 3DMark Unlimited is running at a fixed resolution to make the results directly comparable.  

November 13, 2013 | 05:36 AM - Posted by Dr. Mouse (not verified)

I'm disappointed about the game streaming. While I appreciate that it may struggle with the lack of fast Wifi, it should still be possible (even if at a reduced resolution).

November 14, 2013 | 01:01 AM - Posted by freeloadr (not verified)

Tommy's Hardware says that this thing supports PC streaming, but I heard Mr. Shrout say otherwise on the live stream. Who's right here?

November 25, 2013 | 08:46 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I am.  :)

No game streaming.  

November 15, 2013 | 12:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The 1200x800 is an advantage for games since they will have a better frame rate than nexus 7. I prefer the lower res as I intend to use this for tegra 4 android gaming but it must output the games to hdmi at 720p for me to get it...

December 26, 2013 | 07:16 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Agree !

December 5, 2013 | 11:08 AM - Posted by Frank Bales (not verified)

I originally thought the cover was included, but it's not. Another $29.99. Seems a bit steep for a cover.

December 26, 2013 | 07:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The stylus and the Tegra 4 did it for me !

December 30, 2013 | 01:29 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

Hey Ryan,
If someone were to buy a USB Wifi dongle that supported 2x2 would it be able to stream?
Thanks.

February 21, 2014 | 12:43 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

http://www.androidpolice.com/2014/02/20/evgas-tegra-note-7-getting-4-4-2...

Tegra Note 7 users should update.

March 15, 2014 | 03:21 AM - Posted by martin clukey (not verified)

hello guys i love Sony Tablet and i have sony tablet now my friend want to buy new tablet but i am confused between Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 vs Archos 101 Platinum
and i compare both tablet http://tabletvs.net/compare/Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-2-7-0-vs-Archos-101-Platinum
but i am not tech geek someone please suggest which one is best

March 31, 2014 | 06:28 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

those two are simply BAD. tegra note 7 is the best. Other alternatives are nexus 7 and kindle fire hdx.

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