Computational Photography, Camera Awesome, And Audio
Nvidia Chimera and Camera Awesome
Nvidia also has a special build of SmugMug's Camera Awesome on the Tegra Note 7. Up until now, Camera Awesome was only available for Apple's iPhone. Now it's available for Android, and debuting on Nvidia's tablet. In fact, Camera Awesome will be able to take advantage of the Chimera computational photography features first discussed by Jen-Hsun at CES back in January. Always-on HDR, tap-to-track, and 100 FPS video with slow-motion playback are the most talked-about capabilities.
As of this today, not all of those features are integrated into the 4.2.2 ROM. Nvidia tells us that full functionality will be enabled by the 4.3 update in December, so we'll revisit the Tegra Note 7's photography features at that time.
Due to the "slab" mobile device design, speaker placement is often a challenge. You're always interacting with the tablet or phone directly opposite of the display. But form factor limitations force many companies to drop speakers on the edge or even the back of their products. The Tegra Note 7 makes audio more of a first-class citizen, reserving space for a stereo speaker setup on the front of the display. The left channel is up top (when you're holding the tablet in portrait mode), next to the front-facing camera, while the right channel is at the bottom. This means that sound is projected directly toward the user.
The two speakers do indeed output in stereo and the effect is much noticeable than we're used to from a tablet. Of course, the left and right separation only works in landscape mode, but that's fine since that's typically how we watching movies anyway. The only confusion may come from distinguishing between the left and right channel, which is either solved by finding the front camera or by ensuring that the logos on the back of the tablet are right-side-up.
Subjectively, the Tegra Note 7's audio quality is impressive for its class. This is still a small device working with small speakers, but driver placement gives it an edge on the competition. The only tradeoff is that the audio design choice may have made the Tegra Note 7 slightly larger than if the speakers were tucked away on the edges.
Although the audio experience is above-average, if you're truly looking to get the most out of your music, movies, and games, we expect that you'll reach for a pair of headphones. There's just no getting around the physics of diminutive speakers. Nevertheless, we're happy to note that the Tegra Note 7's speakers are excellent for casual listening; they're one of our favorite differentiating features of the tablet's design.