Nvidia adds LTE and Gamepad Mapper to Tegra Note 7 tablet

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Nvidia is adding an LTE option for its stylus-equipped, stock Android tablet, the Tegra Note 7.

The Tegra Note 7 LTE will cost $299—compared to $200 for the Wi-Fi model—when it launches in the second quarter. In the United States, the LTE version should support AT&T and T-Mobile networks, though Nvidia didn't announce any partnerships with specific carriers.

Nvidia is also bringing over a feature from its Nvidia Shield gaming handheld for both the Wi-Fi and LTE models. If you have a Bluetooth game controller, you can map controller support to touch-based games with Nvidia's Gamepad Mapper software. Nvidia is delivering the feature as part of an update to Android 4.4 KitKat.

At CES in January, Nvidia also told me it was planning to bring GameStream to tablets this year, allowing users to stream full PC games from a networked desktop computer. GameStream is only available on the Nvidia Shield for now, and it's unclear whether this feature will land on the Tegra Note. Nvidia may need to improve the experience with Bluetooth controllers first, because in my testing this introduces too much latency to the setup.

For your reference (model)

Other specs are unchanged from the Wi-Fi model, including a 7-inch 1280-by-800 resolution display, Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, microSD card slot, 5-megapixel rear camera, VGA front camera and micro-HDMI output.

Nvidia takes the approach of leaving the stock Android interface intact while adding its own apps and features, such as an included stylus. It's not an active stylus like the one in Samsung's Galaxy Note tablets, but it uses image processing for palm rejection and pressure sensitivity. The Tegra Note also includes HDR and slow-motion photography, a TegraZone app for gaming and front-facing speakers with what Nvidia' claims is the widest frequency range in a tablet.

Nvidia doesn't sell the tablets itself, but instead takes a page from its graphics card business and relies on partners for sales and distribution. For example, EVGA sells the Tegra Note 7 in the United States, and includes some of its own branding on the tablet and packaging.

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