Nvidia and Asus debut $249 Tegra 3 tablet

All the latest news and reviews from Las Vegas: CES 2012 Special Report

Asus has revealed it plans to produce a 7-inch Android tablet that will use the quad-core Tegra 3 chipset yet cost just $249.

The company admitted the as yet unnamed tablet is meant as a direct (hardware) rival to the likes of the Amazon Kindle and Nook.

asus tegra 3

Announced at Nvidia’s press conference here at CES, it was also revealed confirmed the tablet would run Ice Cream Sandwich right from the get go. Alongside this announcement, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Haung told the crowd that Ice Cream Sandwich would be coming to the Transformer Prime beginning today, as opposed to later this week.

asus tegra 3

Nvidia also talked extensively about the wonders of Tegra 3 and demonstrated a new feature called DirectTouch. This takes advantage of the tablet’s fifth, low power, core and uses it to process the touch inputs. By doing this, it can interpret many more touches per second, giving faster, more accurate touching. This was quickly demonstrated by a video that showed the tablet sensing ten fingers without DirectTouch and getting around 60 samples a seconds then with DirectTouch and getting 200 samples a second. A neat trick, certainly.

asus tegra 3

Another clever trick of the Asus Transfomer Prime that was given its debut showing was the ability to play an networked two player FPS game on two Transformer Primes using xbox controllers. We espoused the ability of the Prime to support all current game controllers in our review but it was particularly compelling to see two people effortlessly sat back in armchairs taking full advantage – we’re getting more and more tempted to snap one up.

Are you tempted by a $249 7-inch tablet or (like us) are you just more compelled than ever to snap up a Transformer Prime? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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