NVIDIA Tegra Note Review: a Truly Gaming Device with a Great Stylus Touch Response

Posted by B. Johnson
December 5, 2013 | 0 comments
NVIDIA Tegra Note Review: a Truly Gaming Device with a Great Stylus Touch ResponseHi guys, it’s me again, Bryan. I just want to say welcome back to all of you here! :)

Anyway, the holiday season is just about to start, to be exact, in around 20 days or so from now on.

So some of you here are probably still looking around some great presents for your family or friends, right?

Well, if you’re still confused about what kind of presents that will cheer them up in this holiday, then i have one great recommendation for you.

NVIDIA Tegra Note benchmarks and gaming performance

It’s a tablet – a 7-inch tablet that i believe will be a great device, an amazing device for watching movies, browsing internet, reading books, drawing stuff, writing notes and most importantly, playing 3D games.

The good news is, the tablet that i’m about to recommend to you in this blog post is not gonna cost you arm and leg.

In fact, it’s really affordable for lots of people here who have some limited budget for this holiday.

Okay then, without further ado, introducing to you, the “Tegra Note 7”.

Maybe some of you here are already familiar with Tegra Note 7, right?

Well, not surprising given that i’ve already talked a lot about this device in my older articles.

Actually, I’ve also included this device in the list of best gaming tablet at affordable cost, which you can read more of that here.

That’s the reason why i think it’s really important for me to make a separate review for this device – you know, one of my other “my own personal” reviews, because i want to share to you my own knowledge about this tablet so hopefully, this review can help you a lot in deciding whether to buy this tablet or otherwise, aim for other alternatives.

But again, i need to mention to you that in writing this “my own personal” review, i don’t actually own the device by myself, so the way i’m writing this review is based on my knowledge of the device based on user reviews and video reviews that i’ve been seeing around the net.

However, before we jump straight to talk about the whole thing this tablet, let me begin this review with the introduction of the device first.

Introduction

Ever since NVIDIA made a jump to mobile phone industry with its Tegra project (that means tablet industry as well), this specialized-GPU manufacturer managed to create such a huge impact to the smartphone and tablet market in such a short time.

Suddenly, NVIDIA’s homemade chipset, Tegra 3, went viral on many devices across the market, like Google Nexus 7, Microsoft Surface RT, Acer Iconia Tab, HTC One X and many other devices.

In the speed of light, Tegra 3 becomes popular around the tech world as a great chipset at affordable cost that is capable to deliver an outstanding performance to the devices.

Unfortunately, this year, when NVIDIA outed its latest model of Tegra chipset, Tegra 4, this company lost many businesses from Google, that preferred to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor on its new Nexus devices.

The good news is, NVIDIA still has a good partnership with Microsoft as Tegra 4 can be found on the latest model of Surface RT tablet.

This year, NVIDIA also made a brave move from just manufacturing Tegra chipset into manufacturing the real devices, which NVIDIA calls them as its reference devices.

There are many reference devices from NVIDIA that have been planned to launch this year.

However, only 2 NVIDIA’s homemade devices that manage to land to the market.

And they are Project Shield and most recently, Tegra Note, which both are packing NVIDIA’s latest beast no other than, Tegra 4.

As you know already or not, with Tegra 4 powering these 2 devices, it means games will look insanely great and have more detailed and well-polished graphics than any other non-Tegra devices.

And it can be proved by games that are specifically optimized for Tegra devices, which are showcased on TegraZone app.

Project Shield is a gaming controller with a flippable screen.

Meanwhile, Tegra Note is a 7-inch tablet that has a stylus support. However, the highlight of both devices is clear, NVIDIA wants these 2 devices to be powerful gaming devices.

Okay then, in this review of Tegra Note, of course i’m not gonna talk a lot about Project Shield, especially given that this gaming handheld was launched several months ago.

So i don’t think it’s relevant anymore to bring up that device to this review.

However, i might bring Project Shield again to the table and make a separate review of this device in the future.

In the meantime, let’s focus our attention on the other Tegra 4 device, Tegra Note.

As the name says, Tegra Note is basically a similar device like Samsung’s popular GALAXY Note.

However, given that Tegra Note is packing a 7-inch display and its official stylus, then it’ll be relevant to say that the reason why NVIDIA outs Tegra Note to the market is simply because it wants to steal some attention, not to mention sales and the market share of Samsung GALAXY Note 8.

Actually, i have a great feeling that this Tegra Note could indeed be a great sell in the market, although might not be as popular as GALAXY Note 8.

Something that makes me really impressed with this device is that, even though Tegra Note is only priced at $199 compared to $380 of GALAXY Note 8, this NVIDIA’s homemade device surprisingly is a great stylus tablet.
  • It has a great touch response either with fingers or stylus,
  • great gaming performance,
  • great battery life,
  • great front design (which kind of reminds me with HTC One’s design),
  • fast and smooth experience,
  • great HD display
  • and pretty much everything about this 7-inch tablet is just great.
For your information, I’ve seen it myself about the touch response comparison test of the screen and stylus between Tegra Note and Samsung GALAXY Note 8.

And amazingly, the touch response of Tegra Note can match and even outperform the touch response of S-Pen stylus on GALAXY Note 8.

That’s an impressive achievement!

It may use some plastic material all over its body (remember, GALAXY Note 8 is also using plastic), however, at just $199, you can have a solid tablet that you can use to write notes, draw pictures or even professional paintings, play high-performance graphics intense games, watching HD movies, browsing internet and all of these are wrapped up in a really beautiful looking tablet.

Pros
  • Great touch response of stylus, even outperforms the stylus of Samsung GALAXY Note 8
  • Great gaming capability
  • Fast and smooth performance
  • Affordable to buy
  • Cool front design
  • Great support for games on Tegra Zone
  • Great battery life
  • microSD card slot
  • Awesome sound quality from speakers
  • Bluetooth controller support
Cons
  • Cheap looking design on the back
  • 1GB of RAM is not ideal for today’s standards
  • Only uses 720p display, not 1080p
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As a $199 note tablet, Tegra Note is packing some impressive specs on it, like:
  • a 7-inch IPS LCD HD 1280x800 pixel display,
  • a quad-core Tegra 4 chipset clocked at 1.8GHz Cortex A-15,
  • Geforce 72-core GPU,
  • 1GB of RAM,
  • 16GB of internal storage,
  • microSD card slot,
  • 4100mAh battery,
  • 5MP rear-facing camera,
  • VGA front facing camera
  • and an official stylus with a dedicated hole on the back of tablet.
With all of these goodies, then there is no doubt that Tegra Note will be a great tablet for watching HD movies, playing graphics intense games, browsing internet, listening to music, reading books or magazines, writing notes and more amazingly, drawing even a professional paintings with its great stylus.

Design

When it comes to design, i personally like how NVIDIA is in charge in handling the entire design of this tablet.

At a glance, the first thing that manages to capture my attention is the front side of this tablet. It looks really solid and elegant.

It actually kind of reminds me with the design of HTC One – the front side of this phone.

It has 2 separate parts up and bottom with grey color, while the bezels around the screen have dark black finish, making it look really premium and elegant, despite having an affordable $199 price tag.

Tegra Note Review: a Truly Gaming Device with a Great Stylus Touch Response

However, that really contradicts with the back side of this tablet.

As you can see, the back cover of Tegra Note has those 2 different texture finish, the one with a grey color and the other one, actually 2, with a much darker black finish, which NVIDIA provides for the logo of partner company that will sell this reference tablet to the market, in this case is EVGA.

According to many reviewers, the back cover of Tegra Note feels really nice and comfortable to hold in hands, although there are some others that said that the back side of Tegra Note feels really cheap and plastic.

But overall, i really like the whole design of Tegra Note. Despite being sold as $199 tablet, Tegra Note still looks quite nice and has that premium feel.

So great job to NVIDIA for creating the device that is affordable but powerful, and has a pretty great design.

Performance

When it comes to performance, Tegra Note really screams. It comes with NVIDIA’s latest mobile processor known as Tegra 4 SoC (system on chip), bundled with 1GB of RAM and GeForce 72-core GPU.

With this type of specs, then no doubt that Tegra Note is a perfect device for many things, from watching HD movies/videos, browsing internet or even professional paintings directly on the device, and most importantly, for playing games.

But we’ll talk more about gaming performance of Tegra Note later.

Tegra Note comes with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean out of the box. However, unlike other manufacturers like Sony or Samsung, NVIDIA decides to use the stock version of Android.

So you’ll never have to deal with bloatware or heavy custom skins from the manufacturer, which could inundate the RAM and decrease the whole performance of this tablet.

So great job on that NVIDIA!!

DirectStylus

As mentioned above, Tegra Note comes with its own official stylus from NVIDIA itself and also a dedicated hole on the back of the tablet that can be used to insert that stylus when not being used.

It’s kind of like S-Pen on Samsung GALAXY Note, where it has its own hole on the back.

The great thing about Tegra Note’s stylus is that, it surprisingly delivers a great touch response to the screen of the tablet.

This is so amazing because at just $199, narrow-minded people usually think that the stylus of Tegra Note will be crap.

Well, they are wrong about that.

Tegra Note’s stylus known as Direct Stylus impressively works great and even better than the stylus of GALAXY Note 8.

As i mentioned above, i’ve already seen the touch response comparison test of stylus and the screen between Google Nexus 7, Tegra Note and Samsung GALAXY Note 8.

Amazingly, the stylus of Tegra Note has this technology, developed by NVIDIA, that allows the stylus to work just like pencil on the screen.

So with this stylus, you can apply some different thickness on the screen without even setting the thickness when writing or drawing on the screen.

So in simple words, for example, if you draw a picture on Tegra Note with a small brush, the thickness of the drawing can be controlled directly with how deep you press the brush to the screen.

So if your press the brush harder on the screen, the result will be really thick.

However, if you don’t push the brush on the screen, the result will be less thicker. Do you understand with i’m saying.

NO? Sigh. :(

Okay then, if you’re still confused, you can check out the video below to get a simpler understanding.


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If you happen to love playing games on tablets, then you’re in luck as Tegra Note is more than capable to handle any kind of games, from simple 2D games to high-performance graphics intensive games on Google Play Store or TegraZone.

I personally believe that Tegra Note will still be capable to play any Android games even in the next 2 years.

Tegra Note Review: a Truly Gaming Device with a Great Stylus Touch Response

What makes the Tegra 4 on Tegra Note more awesome than any other tablets the market is because, with Tegra 4 powering this tablet, games will have more detailed and well-polished graphics than other non-Tegra tablets out there.

This can proved if you visit TegraZone app on Tegra Note tablet.

On TegraZone, you’ll find plenty of games that are well-optimized specifically for Tegra-powered devices, including Tegra Note.

So if you pick Tegra Note, you’ll be able to play any future games like Modern Combat 5, GTA San Andreas (which will come this December by the way), N.O.V.A 4 (not confirmed yet but will arrive for sure), Real Racing 3, next Gangstar games, Dead Trigger 2, Asphalt 8: Airborne and even the next Asphalt game, and any other graphics intense games on Google Play Store or Tegra Zone.

Tegra Note is just simply a perfect device for gaming.



Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of NVIDIA Tegra Note, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Camera

The other thing that makes Tegra Note stand out among other rivals is definitely its camera.

Based on the reviews of this tablet, many said that the 5MP rear-facing camera of Tegra Note can take decent photos and videos.

This really contradicts with the 5MP camera on Google Nexus 7 that according to many people, can only take mediocre shots.

So it’s good to hear that NVIDIA really nailed on this sector pretty well given that with the price point of $199, we just can't expect to get some spectacular photos.

But Tegra Note is definitely an exception for that matter.

Battery Life

Tegra Note comes with a 4100mAh battery, meaning that this tablet could last around 8 or 10 hours in heavy usage.

However, when used for gaming in marathon, according to some reviewers, Tegra Note is only able to last around 4 to 5 hours of battery life. But this is still pretty neat for a $199 tablet though.

Conclusion

So to sum this up, i’m really impressed of how Tegra Note manages to become a great quality tablet, despite having a $199 price tag.

With that price point, Tegra Note deserves to be rivaled with other competing tablets like Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX.

However, with all of the goodies (i mean, specs), that come with this device, then Tegra Note deserves to sit on the same level of competition with the tablets like Google Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HDX, iPad mini 2 and Samsung GALAXY Note 8.

Tegra Note may not have that 1080p display just like the other rivals, that’s for sure.

Nor it doesn’t have a solid premium aluminum material just like iPad.

However, what makes this NVIDIA’s tablet really awesome is its complete package of entertainment and productivity sector that can be had on this cheap 7-inch tablet.

If you love gaming, you got it.

Tegra Note has Tegra 4 under the hood, as well as 1GB of RAM and a staggering 72-core GPU.

Not to mention, with Tegra Note, you’ll gain the access to the TegraZone, where you can find many Tegra-optimzed games specifically for Tegra device.

So games will look much even better, have well-polished graphics and have more visual effects than other non-Tegra tablets.

Don’t you forget about its stylus.

The DirectStylus, that’s how NVIDIA calls it, is a great stylus that not only great for writing simple notes on Tegra Note, but also great for drawing even professional paintings on this tablet.

Amazingly, the touch response of Tegra Note’s stylus can match the quality of S-Pen on GALAXY Note 8, even outperforms it in several conditions.

So if you’re still confused to find a great present either for your family, friends or even your loved ones this holiday season, then look no more because with only $199, you can get a great stylus tablet that is also great for many things.

From watching HD movies, reading books, listening to music (it also has great speaker, which produces very loud and clear sound), browsing internet and especially for playing games. Last but not least, this tablet also has a great battery life.

So you’ll make no mistake if you decide to buy this tablet.

And if you ask my recommendation between Google Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HDX and Tegra Note, then i will definitely pick Tegra Note.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. So this is just like Read more...
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