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.


Google’s Stadia is the future of gaming, and that’s bad news for our planet

Google’s upcoming Stadia cloud gaming service, and its competitors, are ready to change the way gamers play, but in doing so they may kick off a new wave of data center growth – with unfortunate consequences for the environment.
Home Theater

Beats Powerbeats Pro: Everything you need to know about the earphones

Apple will release a fully wireless pair of earphones in May from its Beats brand. The Powerbeats Pro earphones have impressive features to compete with the AirPods, along with a litany of other options. Here's everything we know.

Has it really been 17 years? The past, present, and future of the Xbox

From DirectX Box to 720, it's been a long, strange trip for Microsoft's Xbox gaming console. Here is what happened, from its odd beginnings to the rumored Scarlett console with streaming.

2019 Audi TT RS gets subtle cosmetic surgery ahead of its trip to the Big Apple

The 2019 Audi TT RS gets a minor face-lift, but it keeps its signature turbocharged inline-five engine. The updated TT RS makes its United States debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show.
Product Review

Screen snags aside, the Galaxy Fold is an exciting step toward a foldable future

Samsung's Galaxy Fold is the company's first foldable phone, with two screens, six cameras, and a dual-cell battery. The phone may be delayed due to display issues, but that doesn't stop us from asking -- what's it like to use?

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…

Google Creative Lab’s new AR experiment helps you learn how to draw

Google's Creative Lab developed an experiment called Drawalong AR that could make it easier for aspiring artists to follow YouTube tutorials. The experiment essentially leverages Google's ARCore to create a virtual tracing paper.

Google I/O 2019

Like Microsoft BUILD and Apple's WWDC, I/O is Google’s premiere event for developers. Between May 7 and 9, thousands will descend on the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, where Google will hold keynotes and developer…

Whether by the pool or the sea, make a splash with the best waterproof phones

Whether you're looking for a phone you can use in the bath, or you just want that extra peace of mind, waterproof phones are here and they're amazing. Check out our selection of the best ones you can buy.

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best affordable phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget…

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.

Solve a galaxy of problems with a simple reset of your S10

If your Samsung smartphone is acting up, then you may want to try resetting it. We'll show you how to overcome simple issues with a soft reset and also how to tackle bigger problems or prep it for sale with a factory reset.