The most recent development in tablet technology seems to be coming from Nvidia this time around. Rob Csonger, a VP from the company, explained that the new line of tablets they are developing will be able to keep costs down in the $199 range, allowing them to compete directly with the Kindle Fire on price.
The Nvideo Kai platform, which incidentally is unlikely to be the final name of the new product when it is released, is meant to take advantage of a lot of the Tegra 3 design. Low power consumption, inexpensive components, and a lot of power for the money are characteristic of the chipset. While this could bring around a fair amount of interest, given that the Kindle Fire has driven prices down on 7″ tablets to a point where other products are having trouble competing, it remains to be seen who will take advantage of the new technology and when.
Many are speculating that the first major offering to make use of Kai will be the Google / Asus project that we have heard a great deal of speculation about. Google’s I/O conference is coming up and would make a perfect occasion to present such a device. They already had to set back its release when they were unable to make a decent tablet around the $200 price range to compete with the Kindle Fire. That would make a Kai tablet ideal for both Google and Nvidia to show off what they can do and perhaps pull some of the Android market away from Amazon’s control.
There isn’t anything to say that Amazon would be unable or unwilling to make use of the same technology, naturally. They are going to be facing stiff competition when introducing a larger Kindle Fire tablet that will undoubtedly draw comparisons with the market-leading iPad and having the extra power that a quad-core design offers might well be important. Toward the end of the year, when the first Windows 8 tablets are released, this will be even more important. Android is nice, but it doesn’t quite measure up in terms of performance right now so every advantage is welcome.
No matter how much some people might want it to be, this will not spell the end of the Kindle Fire. At best, it will help keep all-purpose Android tablets relevant as we move forward into a world of far more intense competition. The option to buy larger, cheaper, more powerful tablets is likely to be appealing to many people. These won’t replace tablets designed for pure consumption like the Kindle Fire unless they can severely undercut on price, which they can’t, but it would be even worse for the Kindle Fire to kill off the rest of the Android tablet market than it would be for the Android tablet market to shut out the Kindle Fire. Competition is good for the consumer.