WHY IS 2010 THE YEAR OF THE TABLET?

by Neil Trevett

Apple’s announcement of the iPad has raised consumer awareness around tablet devices to an all-time high.  But many consumers are still trying to figure how a tablet device will fit into their lives – and if they really need a third device besides their smartphone and laptop.

At NVIDIA, we think tablets are going to make computing a more intimate and immediate part of our everyday lives. Whereas previous tablet devices never quite broke into the mainstream, today’s tablets are lighter, thinner, devices that are fun to use and have the potential to become indispensable. Large, gorgeous screens that provide smooth, multi-finger touch can open up new styles of interacting. And new technologies and applications may inspire consumers to leave their laptops behind.

The key “under the hood” tablet-enabling technology are mobile processors, such as the NVIDIA Tegra, which is now powerful enough to drive rich media and graphics onto a high-definition screen – all day on single battery charge.  NVIDIA recently launched its next generation Tegra, which is specifically designed for tablets. It packs 10 times the performance of a typical smartphone to drive fluid graphics and video onto large tablet displays.

Neil Trevett- Year of the Tablet

Tegra provides enough horsepower to transform the mobile browsing experience – a killer app for tablets. Imagine using a mobile touch device that can access the entire web, without the blinkers of a smartphone-style small screen. When paired with a sophisticated mobile operating system, like Google’s Android, a Tegra-based tablet can add Adobe’s Flash Player – which is used for 80 percent of online videos and within many favorite sites such as CNN, Disney, Netflix, YouTube and Hulu – at high-definition tablet resolutions.

Tegra also enables rich digital media on a tablet – videos on a screen that doesn’t make you squint, eBooks on a gorgeous display and a whole new class of interactive digital publications.  Tablets will enable magazines to cross the chasm into the digital age – with incredible opportunities for interactivity and connected richness that build on the design sensibilities of today’s print publications.  And let’s not forget games – both casual games with the immediacy of a large-screen – and full 3D games that can leverage the power of NVIDIA Tegra to deliver the power of a gaming console in your hands.

So, take an NVIDIA Tegra processor, add a large touch screen, power with the Android operating system and sprinkle on the visual richness and full web capabilities of Adobe Flash Player – and you have a thin device, much lighter than your laptop, with significant web, media and gaming capabilities that will run all day without needing to be plugged in.   I’ll have one of those, please!  Add a Bluetooth keyboard and web-based storage and productivity applications, and I would even consider leaving my laptop behind.

We are just at the start of a wave of innovation around tablet hardware and software. It’s going to be quite a ride – and NVIDIA Tegra will be there at the heart of the revolution – the engine powering this amazing new computing capability in your hands.

If you’re at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona this week, stop by the NVIDIA booth in Hall 1, IC34 to check out the latest tablet devices.