The Tegra 2 processor from NVIDIA has found itself in a huge assortment of smartphones and tablets, quickly becoming one of the most preferred dual core chips for that segment. Even though Tegra 2 is still relatively new, Tegra 3 is just around the corner and it looks like Asus could be getting first dibs at Kal-El.
As you may recall, Kal-El (inspired by Superman) is the codename for Tegra3 and it’s part of a longer roadmap with more superhero-inspired codenames. What we’re hearing now is that the first device to launch with Tegra 3 will be the next-generation Asus Eee Pad Transformer Android tablet. The current (first) gen Eee Pad Transformer has been a huge hit, partly because it undercut similar devices like the Xoom and Galaxy Tab 10.1 by $100 or more right at launch. Now, the others have had to follow it down to the $399 start point.
I’d imagine that Asus will be very happy to follow up that success with an even faster tablet powered by the quad-core 40nm Tegra 3 chip. What’s interesting is that the quad-core chip is actually more efficient than its dual-core Tegra 2 cousin, consuming less power and thus extending battery life. Considering that I can easily get three days out of the Eee Pad Transformer I’ve been using (when attached to the keyboard dock), the second-gen model with Kal-El is sounding even more appealing.
Look for the Eee Pad Transformer 2 and its other Tegra 3-based compatriots to start hitting retailers in the first quarter of next year.