Report: HTC planning 9-inch Nexus tablet with 64-bit Tegra processor for late 2014

htc volantis
Credit: Android Police

If a report from Android Police is to be believed (and they're very confident in their information), HTC is planning to build a new Nexus tablet for Google, set to be released in the 4th quarter of this year. It has a more premium look and feel than most Nexus tablets, but most interestingly, it's one of the first products we've heard of to make use of the 64-bit version of Nvidia's Tegra K1 processor.

According to Android Police's information, the tablet's specs read as follows:

  • 8.9" Display at 2048x1440 (281ppi)
  • NVIDIA Logan 64-bit processor (Tegra K1)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16/32GB internal storage
  • 8MP OIS main camera, 3MP front facing camera
  • Aluminum zero-gap construction
  • Stereo front-facing speakers
  • 8.91"x5.98"x0.31" body (that's 22.63x15.19x0.79cm)
  • 418g (or 427g with LTE) (that's 14.74/15.1 ounces)

That's slightly slimmer than a Nexus 7, but heavier (aluminum construction, and a larger size, will do that for you). The weight seems roughly comparable to an iPad Air.

It's interesting to see the Nexus brand going for premium construction and look-and-feel, but I can think of no better choice than HTC to pull that off. The company's excellent "boomsound" front-facing stereo speakers would be particularly welcome in a large-ish tablet.

Android Police has heard that the price point target is around $400 for the 16GB version, and $500 for the 32GB one, marking another change from the Nexus line—this would not be a low-cost leader.

The most interesting part of the supposed specs list is the inclusion of Nvidia's Tegra K1 processor, specifically the model that uses a dual-core 64-bit CPU of Nvidia's own design. To date, all the Tegra K1 products have included the version with a quad-core 32-bit processor using ARM Coretex A15 cores. This has major implications for Android, as current builds of the OS are not really made to make use of the ARMv8 instructions or 64-bit applications. If this is going to be a Nexus tablet, with a 64-bit ARMv8-toting chip, that means a major 64-bit Android overhaul is likely coming, too.

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