NVIDIA announces the Tegra Note, comes with a business model that is somewhat confusing

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 18 Sep 2013

NVIDIA is a company that made a name for themselves with graphics cards for personal computers. The computer industry being in the terrible shape that it’s in, the company decided to invest in chips for smartphones and tablets several years ago. And thus, Tegra was born. Besides the HTC One X from 2012, and the ASUS made Nexus 7, again the one from 2012, there haven’t been any notable devices that use the Tegra chip.

Earlier this summer, NVIDIA thought they should be more like Apple, so they announced Shield. Put simply, it’s a controller with a screen that’s attached. The whole package runs Android too. Shield is a complete product, meaning NVIDIA makes it, supports it, ships it, brands it, everything.

Today, NVIDIA is announcing the Tegra Note. It’s a 7″ Android tablet that’s powered by the Tegra 4, it has a stylus, front facing speakers, all for just $199. Before you get excited, note that the screen resolution is 1280 x 800 pixels.

So who exactly is going to sell the Note? NVIDIA’s partners, which include EVGA, PNY, ZOTAC, XOLO, and many more. This is where I get confused. Is the Tegra Note an NVIDIA product or is it a reference design that companies can slap their name on and say they created it?

Circling back to the graphics cards I mentioned at the beginning of this article, NVIDIA only recently started making their own cards. Before they depended on their partners to buy graphics processors and come out with their own cards.

Is the Tegra Note being sold like a graphics card instead of like a Shield?