EVGA Tegra Note 7 Review: Nvidia's Tegra 4 For $200

Results: Battery Testing

While we typically use three battery metrics (gaming, video playback, and Web browsing), time did not permit that many full drains and recharges before having to go to publication. So, our battery life metric in this review consists of only one test: gaming. We chose this because the Tegra Note boasts Nvidia's Tegra 4 SoC, and we've only seen that product in a decidedly gaming-oriented device previously, the Shield. Also, our gaming benchmark is the fastest of the three, allowing us to dive deeper into some of the power-saving features that Nvidia includes in its first tablet.

The gaming drain is simply a loop of Mobile GPUMark.

We also had to ditch all our non-7” comparison devices in order to make a meaningful comparison to the Tegra Note.

The results from our most intense battery drain situation have last year’s Tegra 3-powered Nexus 7 topping the charts with nearly five and a half hours of game time, albeit at much lower frame rates than the other two comparison devices. While the Tegra Note places second on our chart, it’s only six minutes more than the Snapdragon S4-based 2013 Nexus 7. Considering that the new Nexus sports a near-QHD screen resolution and the Note is still in 720p-range, it'd appear that Qualcomm steals the battery life win from Nvidia. Bear in mind, though, that in the course of this run from full to empty, Tegra 4 is also generating higher performance than the previous-gen Nexus 7, according to this benchmark chart. If we were to normalize the workload, the Tegra Note wouldn't need to burn through power as fast, and its battery would theoretically last longer.

The next chart shows the Tegra Note in its two most extreme power modes, and with PRISM on and off (explained earlier).

Here we can see that the Tegra Note’s power-saving features scale up exactly how they should. The poorest time is achieved on the High Performance mode with PRISM off. Turning PRISM on nets the device an additional 30 minutes of battery life. Turning PRISM back off and switching to Power Savings mode adds yet another 30 minutes to the Tegra Note’s mobile longevity. Finally, we turn PRISM back on in Power Savings mode to gain yet another hour!

This shows that Nvidia’s energy controls are no gimmick. Going from just under four hours to almost six by flipping a few on-screen switches is quite impressive.

  • MasterMace
    It lacks a 1080 screen - deal killer for me.
  • DelightfulDucklings
    Performance wise it is very good for the price seemingly but I just hate the design, to me it just looks plain ugly
  • JD88
    Front facing speakers are really nice. One of the very few complaints I have about my Nexus 7 is volume.

    This thing is a powerhouse for the money.
  • ananke
    No 1080p, no sales. Otherwise great device, and good price, but DOA because of the screen. The Chinese knock offs will outsell it.
  • TheSchmed
    I am considering buying this tablet, but I'm weighing it against the less-expensive Dell Venue 7 and 8 (Android, not W8). I hope Tom's will review the Dell tablets and evaluate Intel processor performance and battery life!
  • johnjohn67
    Pretty good deal and it has a micro sd slot.
  • somebodyspecial
    "Sony has been optimising for Snapdragon-based devices since the Xperia range took on the Krait core, and its experience shows as the Xperia Z1 comfortably leads the Tegra Note and Galaxy Note 10.1 in both Managed and Native."

    xperia java=32352
    Tegra Note7=32648.5

    Unless I'm not understanding what is going on here, 32648 is the longer bar/better score right? So while it lost NATIVE, it did not lose Java Managed right? It seems Sony won NATIVE and TEGRA note 7 won Java Managed. You need to fix the text.
  • Lessthannil
    Why does everyone complain about no 1080p? The difference between 1280x800 to 1920X1080p on a 7" screen is minimal while it requires signifigantly more performance and power. Also, its a $199 tablet, what where you expecting?
  • JeanLuc
    While benchmarking did you check to see if the any of the devices you were testing were boosting the SOC clock rates beyond the advertised clock speeds in certain benchmarks? Anandtech looked at this issue a while ago, it would be good to see publications like Toms testing for this sorting of thing and name and shame culprits.
  • somebodyspecial
    Shows the power of the T4, I just wish they'd put it in something I want. And I agree 1080p min on anything that is above a phone' 5in size. But I also understand some just don't care so really a personally complaint about that. I'll wait for T5 and hope they get it into 1080/1200p on 13in or 20in ;) I have no use for 10 or below after using nexus10. Print etc, stuff is just too dang small. Maybe spoiled by 24in/22in dual monitors. I just can do squat on something that small and enjoy it other than some games and I'm not even sure about that. I hope they make a 7in shield 2 :) (maybe a 10in?...LOL).

    Smaller and THINNER (you took how much of my batter for thinner?) are USELESS to me. Give me back that larger and FAT model please, so I can run with more power or longer life (or some combo of both). As soon as I see "THINNER" in any description I just put my wallet back and shake my head :( Did I want thinner 10-15 years ago, yeah...Now that party ended ages ago for me.