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The Nvidia Tegra Let Down?

Last year, as we were gearing up for CES, kind of like we are now, the world was on fire about the Nvidia Tegra 2 processor.  We were expecting Android tablets, and phones to run faster than Firehiwot Dado and Buzunesh Deba.

As those wonderful days in January approached last year, through the holiday bliss, egg nog, Christmas cookies, Chanukah gelt and some great games of driedel, we all sat back and waited. We waited for the Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, it was going to be the bees knees.  When we got to CES the fanfare surrounding these devices with this amazingly fast super chip was everywhere. We even got cool little key chains with a Tegra 2 processor inside… but then what.

More after the break

Some of the biggest signature smart devices released at or around CES featured the New Nvidia Tegra 2. Take the Motorola Xoom and the Motorola Atrix 4G for instance. Those two devices were said to be super fast and efficient with the “ooh ahhh ohhh” Tegra 2. Check out any number of reviews on the internet published after true hands on time and the word “lag” often comes with the words Nvidia Tegra 2. In fact a Google Search of Tegra 2 and “lag” yields over 8 million results.

Now lets put into the equation the fact that while some of the Nvidia Tegra 2 powered devices did “ok” by sales standards of smart Android devices, none of them went over the top.  In fact the biggest Android phones this year features a Samsung Exonys dual core processor or a Qualcomm SnapDragon dual core processor. The likes of the Samsung Galaxy S II, the HTC Evo 3D and even the original HTC Evo topped lists of most popular Android devices in 2011 and none of them had a Tegra 2 processor.

The most anticipated Android devices here at the end of 2011 also are absent of an Nvidia processor. The upcoming Samsung Galaxy Nexus has a TI OMAP processor as does the Motorola Droid Razr. The HTC Rezound has a 1.5ghz Qualcomm processor. Samsung usually goes in house for processors however with the Nexus they went outside to TI, don’t you think of the Nvidia processor was all it’s cracked up to be they would have gone with it? Don’t you think Google would have endorsed it as the processor for ICS?

The devices that were supposed to move the Tegra 2 processor to the front of the line, again like the Atrix, the Photon and the LG G2X have had less than stellar sales. At one point analysts cut Motorola’s expected sales numbers over the dismal sales of the Atrix. At another point T-Mobile pulled the G2X out of stores and then finally restocked it.

Now, with  the announcement of the Asus EeePad Transformer Prime and it’s Nvidia quad core processor, we’re hearing rumors of Nvidia Tegra 3 phones. Two rumors, the HTC Ville and the HTC Edge strike us as odd. Why you ask? Is there anyone else who’s noticed the tight, and we mean really tight relationship between HTC and Qualcomm?

Now I realize everyone with a computer and  a word press or blogger account has written about the HTC Edge and it’s Nvidia Tegra 3 processor but none of the stories actually cite an accredited source at HTC. In fact all of the HTC Edge fire was originated with one post and a mock up picture of what the HTC Edge could look like.

We could be wrong, HTC could switch up their processor strategy but their partnership with Qualcomm is deep and has been since HTC became a household name.

Ray Walters over at ExtremeTech adds another good argument to the Nvidia hype machine and that is about battery life and being cautious at an early adoption of an unproven technology. Couple that with the fact that for the most part the Tegra 2 processor lags and maybe we should wait it out, like Walters suggests.



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  1. the cool factor is very much marketing as long as the device is somewhat capable. You’ll probably see the cool factor marketing as how Microsoft will be marketing their phones and tablets.

  2. Cool factor is apple… More like marketing factor.. Id put my gtab 10.1 setup against anyones ipad2 setup any day of the week for useability and work production, etc. Not to mention screen quality and brightness.. Oh and resolution, and ease of access to info using widgets, etc…

  3. We will know soon enough in dec with the prime… But again we may still have to wait until ics is available on the prime to see thr true performance of the tegra 3.. heck, id even say we still dont know how good the tegra 2 even can be until we see it with ics.. I think Android has been whats holding up tegra more tham the processors themselves..

  4. I’ve heard the Tegra 2 has power problems and it didn’t help those devices using it were typically priced well over $400. The non techies who’ll part with that kind of cash don’t care about what’s under the hood and go with what is the cool factor and that’s Apple right now.

    It’ll be interesting to see where the Tegra 3 goes but my bet is that it’ll be the premiere Windows 8 platform more than an Android winner. Again, price will be key and Microsoft can and will likely fund the development and maybe even subsidize the cost to the consumer. It’ll also be for larger devices with larger batteries if there’s still a power issue. 

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