Asus announces new 7" Tegra 3 tablet, priced at $249

The NVIDIA press conference was full of interesting tidbits of information, but the one that drew the most interest was announcement that Asus is creating a 7" tablet to compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire. While the official name has not been released, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang and Asus CEO Jerry Shen referred to the device as a "seven inch Transformer Prime," so there may not be a new name when the product is released later this year.

There weren't many details on the new device, but we know that it will use the Tegra 3 processor (with a fifth low-power "ninja core" that helps improve the UI performance), has a 1280x800 resolution, has a front facing camera, and will be priced at only $249. At a mere $50 over the cost of the Kindle Fire, you get all of the power of the Tegra processor and Ice Cream Sandwich. No specific release date has been announced.

Asus and NVIDIA are definitely pushing the Transformer Prime and the Tegra 3 processor into the gaming markets. They displayed multiple games on the device, and were even able to stream Skyrim directly from a PC onto the tablet using the Splashtop application.

There were a few other highlights at the press conference. NVIDIA has a new technology, called DirectTouch, that is able to keep the framerate up even when there are many simultaneous touches being performed on the screen. Ice Cream Sandwich is also available immediately, a couple of days before the original launch date was announced.

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If they were able to release now, it would be an instant success. The feature set looks really promising but with an unknown release date the price figure may just fall in-line with all the other 7" Android tablets that we will no doubt see by Christmas this year. The Kindle Fire was/is $200, and it stands to reason that better 7" tablets will come out this year at the same price point.

Anthonyd said,
No Windows 8? I'll pass.

Well, FWIW, the Windows 8 license alone won't really allow for this price point.

Expect those tablets to be $400 and up.

Joshie said,

Well, FWIW, the Windows 8 license alone won't really allow for this price point.

Expect those tablets to be $400 and up.

I seriously dont expect arm based windows licenses to be anywhere near full price, since you dont get to run the library of x86 apps and its really geared up for tablets only (with notebooks based on arm to arrive later in the year).

Also, I dont expect to be able to buy OEM licenses for ARM from the local computer store, since you also (AFAIK) cant buy ARM based components.

I think they'll be coming in very cheap on the licensing front, to give themselves a better chance of competing against android tablets.

time will tell.

duddit2 said,
I think they'll be coming in very cheap on the licensing front, to give themselves a better chance of competing against android tablets.

Exactly. I would estimate pricing to be around that of Windows XP embedded, and as long as they are making Android revenues, this won't hurt their bottom line at all.

Once Windows vNext comes out and you see upgrade copies for ARM on retail shelves, then pricing will fall in line.

Joshie said,

Well, FWIW, the Windows 8 license alone won't really allow for this price point.

Expect those tablets to be $400 and up.


The OEM price of a Windows licence is about $20 for Asus and other manufacturers. Not $150 are you are suggesting it.

Anthonyd said,

The OEM price of a Windows licence is about $20 for Asus and other manufacturers. Not $150 are you are suggesting it.

*shrug* I don't think Microsoft really cares to compete in the budget Android tablet field. What we've wanted all along was an iPad competitor, and that price point is well beyond even my $400 estimate. I don't know if there's some way I can put a bet on it, but I'm more than confident enough to say: there will be no $250 Windows 8 tablets of any architecture at launch.

Joshie said,

*shrug* I don't think Microsoft really cares to compete in the budget Android tablet field. What we've wanted all along was an iPad competitor, and that price point is well beyond even my $400 estimate. I don't know if there's some way I can put a bet on it, but I'm more than confident enough to say: there will be no $250 Windows 8 tablets of any architecture at launch.

I'm sure that we'll see people installing the Windows 8 beta on such tablets if the beta works with such architecture.

If they don't make it too ugly, like have the same sorta looks as the Transformer Prime but thicker and slightly bulkier, then this should be a winner.

sam232 said,
If they don't make it too ugly, like have the same sorta looks as the Transformer Prime but thicker and slightly bulkier, then this should be a winner.

Definitely and say good bye to the Kindle Fire and Nook.

Hope you can run Windows 8 on this.