The Tegra 4-powered Tegra Note 7 can now grab data when not near Wi-Fi.
Update with hands-on:
Alongside the Tegra 4i-powered Wiko Wax, we also got to see the new Tegra Note 7 LTE model. We were expecting something that looked indistinguishable from the EVGA Tegra Note 7 that we reviewed last year, but we were surprised to see the LTE model have a flat back made of soft touch material. It’s not unlike the Nexus 7 and definitely classes up the look.
We asked Nvidia why the change, and we were told it was simply down to having a different manufacturer. Rear differences aside, from the front the Tegra Note 7 looks the same, including the front firing stereo speakers that we loved from the original model.
The LTE model also has a little slot cover that hides the micro SIM and microSD card slot.
Just days before the start of Mobile World Congress, Nvidia has announced an upgrade to its Tegra Note 7 by adding LTE and HSPA+ connectivity. Everything under the hood is the same as with the Wi-Fi model, but this new model integrates Nvidia's i500 LTE modem.
Nvidia says that its i500 chip is special in that it leverages a unique software-defined radio technology – meaning it can deliver new capabilities via software without requiring an entirely new chipset.
The jump to mobile data connectivity won't be cheap for the Tegra Note 7 at a suggested $299, representing a $100 premium over the Wi-Fi model. While additional hardware and licenses don't make this an insignificant cost to Nvidia, buyers considering the Tegra 4-based tablet will likely stop and think whether or not it's worth paying 50 percent more over the $199 base model. That said, even at $299, the Tegra Note 7 is still priced competitively with other 7-inch 4G tablets. It's really the attractive entry-level price of the Wi-Fi model that changes the perspective on things.
Tegra Note 7 will ship with Android 4.4.2 KitKat, which is now rolling out at an OTA for all the existing Tegra Note models.
For our in-depth look Nvidia's tablet, read our EVGA Tegra Note 7 review.
LTE: 700/850/1700/1900/2600 (Bands 2,4,5,17,7)
HSPA+: 850/1900/2100 (Bands 1,2,5)
LTE: 800/1800/2600 (Bands 3,7,20)
HSPA+: 850/900/1900/2100 (Bands 1,2,5,8)
HSPA+: 850, 900, 1900, 2100 (Bands 1,2,5,8)