The initial pack of Android-powered tablets was a bit of a mess, dominated by cheaply-made and poorly-supported models from plenty of fly-by-night companies. There’s been a world of improvement since then, obviously, but when Amazon came out with its Kindle Fire late last year, we once again got to see how consumers would react to a very-low-priced tablet, but this time with a quality name behind it. As we’ve seen, the combination has been a huge success.
While there have been some cheap tablets at the trade shows we’ve covered so far this year, it seems like most of the tablet focus, especially, has been on very high-end devices with the latest quad-core processors. According to some comments made by NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, though, there’s no reason we can’t have cheap Tegra-3-based hardware, and he thinks we might see such a tablet fall below the $200 point by this summer.
Huang discussed cost-cutting measures the company is using to reduce the price of manufacturing the Tegra 3. In order to start seeing those savings, tablet makers are going to have to keep orders for the component up in the immediate future, but as things balance out, we could start seeing reduced chip costs start translating into cheaper tablets within a few months’ time.
Considering how many other things go into making a tablet, and have influence on its price, beyond just the SoC, we’re worried Huang might be overstating things a bit with his prediction. Still, we remain hopeful he’s onto something here, and we’ll see a tablet just like he describes before the year’s out.