The ASUS Nexus 7 isn’t yet a year old, but already rumors have begun to spread about an updated tablet from Google, said to be set for release at Google I/O in May. One major feature of the device is said to be a 1080p display, as well as a host of other improvements, in addition to a still rock bottom $199 price.
However, even though the current Nexus 7 packs a Tegra 3, and the next ChromeBook might be getting a Tegra 4 (and Android apps), it looks like Google and ASUS might be leaving NVIDIA behind for the next Nexus tablet. According to at least one analyst, Qualcomm has offered Google and ASUS a great deal on upgraded Snapdragon S4 Pro chips that will both consume less power and work better than previous versions. They also are said to have better integration with mobile 3G and 4G networks, which would ensure that the cellular data enabled Nexus 7 is here to stay. In addition, the Snapdragon S4 is slightly older than the yet to be released Tegra 4, and might help keep costs down.
NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 has been a hit due in large part to devices like the Nexus 7, and the announcement of the Tegra 4 caused quite a stir, as well. However, while the Tegra name is one of the few that a more average consumer might recognize and consider high-end thanks to NVIDIA’s marketing, I’m not a huge fan. The fact that Tegra Zone for games willingly adds to fragmentation annoys me (and others), development doesn’t seem to be as robust around the Tegra processors, and many think that the Snapdragon S4 bests the Tegra 4 even in the speed department. Of course, even if the next Nexus 7 does come with a Tegra 4, I’ll probably buy it, but I would actually prefer it if Google used some of Qualcomm’s silicon instead.