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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