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

The Tegra Note 7 Is Neat; Is It Worth $200?

The Tegra Note 7 is an interesting product from Nvidia. It's the first tablet to follow a similar model as the company's graphics products in that it provides the silicon and a reference design, and leaves the sales and distribution to its OEM partners. It's interesting to note that we've seen other Tegra Note brands pop up besides the ones Nvidia shared with us on the first page of this review; UK retailer Dixons lists an Advent Vega Tegra Note for £180.

A $200 price point makes this one of the most affordable tablets that we'd ever consider owning, and the Tegra 4 SoC inside makes it one of the very fastest available. For the mobile Android gamer, Nvidia's Tegra Note 7 presents an extremely attractive option that's really only bested by Shield. Not so much in performance even, but due to the console's form factor and GameStream support.

Of course, if you're looking for a less game-centric device suited to some basic productivity tasks, the Tegra Note is much more useful than Shield, particularly when it comes to touchscreen gaming, reading, and even watching videos. But it's also not alone in the competitive seven-inch tablet market. The Asus-made Google Nexus 7 counters the Tegra Note 7's "stock Android" selling point, and clearly surpasses it with a sharp 1920x1200 display and 2 GB of RAM. While one may argue that the Tegra Note 7's comparatively lower resolution display at 1280x800 could mean that some applications are less memory-intensive, 1 GB appears as something we thought we left behind in 2012. Thankfully, Android 4.4 KitKat promises to be even more lightweight, supporting devices with just 512 MB of RAM. The same can't be said for increasingly graphically-intensive games coming out on Android, though. Nvidia is readying an update to Android 4.3 for December, and while we imagine that 4.4 is currently in the works as well, the company said it doesn't have anything formally to announce.

There's no question that the Tegra Note 7 presents an interesting value proposition. It's the fastest tablet in its size class and distinguishes itself from the rest with gaming muscle and a pleasantly effective stylus for those who may want to use it as a drawing tool. In some regards, there's nothing else quite like the Tegra Note 7. But there are many alternatives. Nvidia clearly had to make some tough design choices in terms of price and performance, and so too will you. Two-hundred dollars buys you no better tablet in terms of gaming, sound, and stylus support. However, an extra $30 put towards the Nexus 7 gets you ahead in most other experiences where processing power isn't as important.

  • 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.