Asus to launch 7in tablet for only $249

Asus will introduce a 7in Android tablet for only $249, the company has announced during Nvidia’s keynote speech at CES.

In an presentation dominated by tablets, Nvidia showed off devices running both Android 4 and Windows 8.

However, it was the announcement that Asus plans to launch a 7in tablet based on Nvidia’s Tegra 3 platform for the equivalent of £161 that stole the show.

Details of the new Asus tablet are scarce, suffice to say it runs on Android 4 with a resolution of 1,200 x 800. It is also based on Tegra 3, meaning it benefits from a quad-core processor and Nvidia’s fifth “companion core”, which takes over the running of the tablet when it’s only performing undemanding tasks such as basic web browsing.

Asus didn’t confirm the name of the new tablet, nor when it will be released.

Tablet power

Nvidia president and co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang spent the majority of his hour-long keynote showing off the power of Tegra 3-based devices. The most impressive demonstration showed an Asus Transformer Prime being used to play the recently released PC title Skyrim, via the remote desktop application Splashtop.

Huang also unveiled a new Nvidia touch technology, which will replace the touch controller found in today’s tablets and integrate it into the mobile processor. The integrated controller delivers three times the number of touch samples per second, delivering a much smoother touchscreen. “It’s much, much more responsive,” Huaung claimed. “It’s buttery smooth.”

Windows 8 demonstration

Windows 8 on Tegra 3

Hunag was also joined on stage by a senior executive from Microsoft, who demonstrated Windows 8 running on a Tegra 3 device. Huang said Nvidia had been working closely with Microsoft over the past year to deliver Windows 8 on ARM-based hardware, although the on-stage demonstration merely covered features that were announced at last September’s Build conference.

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