Nvidia’s cheap, quad-core tablet platform forgets about the iPad, targets Kindle Fire instead

Nvidia KaiAccording to the latest set of figures from IDC, Apple increased its share of the tablet market during the first three months of 2012 by more than 10-percent, taking it from 54-percent at the end of 2011 to 68-percent at the beginning of April 2012.

Amazon, who has thus far mounted the only significant challenge to the iPad’s dominance with its Kindle Fire, saw its 16-percent share down to just 4-percent during the same period, allowing Samsung to pass it for second place. Of course, the iPad is sold worldwide and the Fire isn’t, but that’s still quite a gulf between the leader and the chasing pack.

While Samsung is content to target Apple, other companies have finally realized that to make any kind of impact in the tablet market, they need to compete almost solely on price. For everyone else then, the target has been moved from Apple’s back to Amazon’s.

Step forward Nvidia, makers of the Tegra-series of processors, who have made strides in mobile recently, seeing its chips used in 29 different phones this year, a considerable increase over the 18 in 2011.

Oh, Hai Kai

During its annual stockholders call, Nvidia talked about its plans to enable manufacturers to produce cheap-but-powerful Android tablets, by using a new platform named Kai.

Nvidia’s vice president drew attention to the Kindle Fire’s competitive price but “disappointing performance,” and said he wanted to bring “quad-core tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich … out to market at $199.”

The Kai platform is the key, and it apparently uses the same “secret sauce” found inside the Tegra 3, but with reduced power consumption to allow for the use of lower cost components.

Exactly what Kai is, outside of calling it a “platform,” or what capabilities it will have wasn’t made clear, but Nvidia told theverge.com that manufacturers are already hard at work incorporating it into tablets.

Kai-powered Google Nexus?

Any talk of a keenly priced Android tablet is quickly linked to Google at the moment, as it has been rumored for a while that the search giant intends to launch just such a product very soon, perhaps as part of a wider range of Nexus devices to sell through its own online store.

Could it be based on Nvidia’s Kai platform? There’s always a chance, but Nvidia specifically mentioned Ice Cream Sandwich, and it’s thought that whatever devices Google does unveil will run the next version of Android. However, using the previous version could be necessary to reach that $199 price tag.

Without any manufacturers being named as partners, and no release dates for the tablets said to be in production, Nvidia has only just begun teasing us with the Kai platform and the low-cost Android tablet wonders it could produce. But the prospect of a quad-core tablet for Kindle Fire money is a tempting one, and could be exactly what the Android tablet market needs.

Product Review

Amid a new fleet of budget laptops, the ZenBook 13 sails where others sink

It’s never been truer that you don’t need to spend over a thousand bucks to buy a good laptop. The ZenBook 13 takes we’ve always loved about its predecessor and makes enough small refinements to keep it ahead of its competitors.
Mobile

Google may charge up to $40 per Android device for app suite following EU ruling

Google announced that it will be charging Android device manufacturers in Europe a licensing fee to use its apps and services. The announcement is part of an effort to comply with new European Commission regulations.
Computing

Is the Pixelbook 2 still happening? Here's everything we know so far

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Has the Pixel Slate taken its place? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.
Product Review

Don't bother with any other 2-in-1. The Surface Pro 6 is still the best

The Surface Pro been updated to its sixth generation, now coming dressed in black and packing a quad-core processor. Outside of that, you’ll have to dig a little deeper to see where Microsoft has made some truly noteworthy improvements.
Mobile

Keep your new Google phone pixel perfect with the best Pixel 3 cases

If you want your new Google phone to stay pixel perfect, then you should snag one of the best Pixel 3 cases. We've scoped out some of your best options so far based on different styles, levels of protection, and budgets.
Mobile

Huawei is working on a 5G foldable phone, the Mate 20 X may be its template

Huawei is working on a folding 5G smartphone, according to the company's CEO, Richard Yu. He also provoked speculation the phone may have something in common with the massive Mate 20 X and its 7.2-inch screen.
Product Review

Huawei’s monster Mate 20 X makes the Galaxy Note 9 look small

The Huawei Mate 20 X has a 7.2-inch screen, but is surprisingly manageable to hold, yet still a little too big to carry around. Huawei’s pushing the phone’s ability as a mobile gaming handheld, challenging the Nintendo Switch.
Mobile

Master your new Google phone with these handy Pixel 3 and 3 XL tips

If you’re hunting for some Pixel 3 tips to help you get more from your Google phone, then you’ll find them right here. We’ve got tips for shortcuts, camera controls, and more. All these tips will also work for the Pixel 3 XL.
Mobile

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are now available for purchase

Google's latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now official and we have all the details from the October 9 event in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Mobile

The five-camera LG V40 ThinQ is now available from the major carriers

LG has finally taken the wraps off the new LG V40 ThinQ, the company's latest and greatest flagship phone that packs a whopping five cameras. Here's how to buy the new LG V40 ThinQ.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Mobile

How to sell your old Google Pixel or Pixel 2 for the most money

So, it's time for a expensive new smartphone, and you'd like to partially fund the purchase by selling your old Google Pixel. Find all the information you need to get as much money as possible for your Pixel or Pixel 2 here in our guide.
Mobile

The OnePlus 6T is coming a day earlier, event moved to October 29

According to a recent report, the launch of the OnePlus 6T could be different from any other OnePlus launch in history. How? It could have the backing of a major U.S. carrier. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 6T.
Photography

Camera shootout! Testing the latest Pixel, iPhone, and Galaxy Note in real life

Which takes the best photos, the Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XS Max, Galaxy Note 9, or Pixel 2 XL? We put the cameras on all these top-notch phones through their paces to see which performs best in the real world, from low light to portrait mode…