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

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: EVGA

Real World Use, Pricing, Conclusions

Taking a step back from the benchmarks and performance numbers on the previous page, I wanted to spend a bit of time talking about my experiences just USING the Tegra Note 7 over the last week.  Out of the box, the Note 7 was snappy and responded well to touch input from both my fingers and the stylus.  The screen brightness can stretch high enough to be mostly readable in an outdoors environment, but with a highly glossy screen it has the same issues that almost every tablet and smart phone suffer from with light and reflection.

The first qualitative test we put every phone and tablet through is as a simple reader for websites and e-books.  Loading up PC Perspective wasn’t an issue, and even heavier sites like The Verge and Polygon result in snappy load times and smooth scrolling.  With Adobe Flash out of the way, it seems that mobile space is getting closer and closer to simple browsing perfection.  Reading a long form article or book on the Tegra Note 7 was basically an identical experience to that of the Nexus 7, though the NVIDIA device was just slightly heavier. 

For multimedia consumption, the Note 7 presented a great experience as well.  Doing some video playback with movies from the Google Play store provided excellent results.  Though the Note 7 doesn't feature a 1080p capable display, the video was clear and crisp and the viewing angles are as good as the Nexus 7 or better.  The audio experience is infinitely better on the Note 7 thanks to the front facing stereo speakers, a feature that I touted when showing the NVIDIA hardware for the first time.  While some users will always have headphones on while using a tablet, most of us will find the forward direction audio a huge step in the right direction for functionality.

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As an audio device alone, the Tegra Note 7 is obviously great too.  If you want to carry a device around the house to play music from Spotify or Pandora, the Note 7 is probably the best hardware I have seen for that. Factoring in the price, this becomes a compelling option.

As a writing pad, the Note 7 does well with the included stylus and the NVIDIA DirectStylus technology they have built for Tegra 4.  If you want to take some notes and are faster at writing than typing on the on-screen keyboard, the applications included on the tablet will get the job done. 

There is Tegra Draw for some open artistic endeavors, and Write will allow you to jot down on some virtual notepad paper.  It can handle text recognition to turn your sloppy handwriting into readable fonts or can save it as is.  All of this can be saved, shared, and transferred around.  The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 does do a better job in many areas of detail (points, very thin lines), but for the price the Tegra Note 7 is impressive.

For users that might be trying to get some actual work done, the Tegra Note 7 does about as well as any other similarly sized tablet.  NVIDIA does not offer a dedicated keyboard accessory, but it can be paired with any standard Bluetooth option.  You will still be limited by the effective functionality of Android and the applications on the platform.  Could you do some writing and editing in a pinch?  Absolutely.  Would I recommend it for anyone over a larger, 10" two-in-one tablet running Windows?  Nope.

Closing Thoughts

NVIDIA first entry into the world of tablet design comes away with a positive reception from my testing.  The hardware inside the Tegra Note 7 offers performance that is competitive with the best SoCs on the market in both CPU and GPU results and thus it makes one of the best Android gaming devices you can buy. 

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At a price of $199, the EVGA Tegra Note 7 is priced just under the lowest cost Nexus 7, and is able to make a case for itself with performance and features.  Yes, the Nexus feels a bit better in the hand and has a higher resolution screen, but the Note 7 comes with a stylus a, drastically improved audio with front facing speakers, and a camera with pending features like always-on HDR. 

Support for native, stock Android operating systems will make enthusiasts happy as well, and NVIDIA committing to frequent OTA updates (over the air) to keep devices (SHIELD included) updated to the most recent versions of the operating system is a good sign. While our Note 7 only had 4.2.2 installed, the NVIDIA SHIELD has 4.3 already available so I see no reason that NVIDIA shouldn’t have it ready for the Note 7 by the end of the year. 

When I asked NVIDIA what features the Tegra Note 7 would have that make the SHIELD interesting, like PC game streaming or even the “console” mode, they made the case that without support for 2x2 5.0 GHz WiFi, the Note 7 wouldn’t be able to keep up with the performance of SHIELD for game streaming.  You can still hook it up to your TV though HDMI if you want to play some big screen Android games, using your Bluetooth game pad for control, but it would have been great to offer up the Note 7 as a $199 device that you could double as a semi-temporary streaming option.

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Other than the Nexus 7 (and the Galaxy Note 8.0), another potential threat to the success of the Tegra Note 7 is the pending array of Bay Trail based tablets running full Windows 8.1.  We have already spent some time with the ASUS Transformer T100, and I found it to be a fantastic option for users hunting out a 10-in tablet with the full Windows OS on it.  But at double the cost of the NVIDIA Tegra Note 7, and with a very different size and software ecosystem behind it, the overlap should be somewhat minimal for both parties. 

If you already have a Nexus 7 in your life, then there isn’t really enough new on the Tegra Note 7 to warrant an upgrade.  But for users that are looking to enter the tablet market, the 7-in device being released this month from NVIDIA and EVGA is clearly among the best options in terms of performance, value, and features. 

EVGA is taking preorders for the NVIDIA Tegra Note 7 on Newegg.com today for $199 with a shipping date of November 19th.

November 12, 2013 | 07:31 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 | 10:40 AM - 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 | 07:11 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 | 04:02 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 | 08:14 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 | 12:04 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 | 12:05 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 | 12:54 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 | 12:23 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 | 12:34 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 | 01:25 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 | 02:36 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 13, 2013 | 10:01 PM - 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 | 05:46 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I am.  :)

No game streaming.  

November 15, 2013 | 09:15 AM - 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 | 04:16 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Agree !

December 5, 2013 | 08:08 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 | 04:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The stylus and the Tegra 4 did it for me !

December 30, 2013 | 10:29 AM - 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 20, 2014 | 09:43 PM - 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 | 12:21 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 | 03:28 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.

June 16, 2014 | 07:09 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Everyone shut up about the display. I have a 50$ no name tablet with 800*480(183ppi) display which is absolutely gorgeous for movies and gaming. 800P display on tegra note 7 should be KILLER for the price. The lower the resulation, the better the framerates in gaming.

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