HTC Taps into Tegra 2, Android for Upcoming Tablet

Steve Jobs and the rest of his Cupertino cohorts did two things when they released the iPad under  Apple's unofficial planned obsolescence model -- you know, the one where Apple leaves off obvious features like a USB port, HDMI connectivity, upgradeable storage, and everything else you'd find on even the most thinly spec'd netbook. First, they left themselves an upgrade path for a second generation iPad, one that will undoubtedly address some, but not all, of the original iPad's shortcomings. And secondly, they left the door wide open for a competitor to storm through with a bona fide "iPad killer," a slate that delivers everything the iPad does, and things it doesn't.

Enter HTC, the one company who, if they decided to, could give Apple some serious competition in the tablet market. Think about it for a second. As much as we like Windows for notebooks and desktop PCs, it's Google's Android platform that seems to be the best fit for a general purpose slate. It's light, open-source, and already has an established app market. So if Android is the future of tablets, then who better to deliver it than HTC, the handset maker responsible for the first-ever Android powered smartphone (HTC Dream, or G1), as well as dozens more Android-based greats since then?

Well guess what folks, according to reports, HTC has decided to jump into the tablet market and perhaps in a big way. Word is that HTC has already inked a deal with Pegatron Technology to build its upcoming Android-powered tablet, but lest you think HTC is going about it half-baked, check out the rumored spec sheet.
  • Android 3.0 software
  • NVIDIA Tegra 2 platform
  • 1280x720 multi-touch panel
  • 32GB solid state drive
  • 2GB of memory
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Support for Chrome Web apps and Android Market
We're not saying HTC's slate is going to be an iPad killer -- Apple will still manage to sell its magical tablet no matter what the competition puts out -- but this could very well be the tablet PC you've been waiting for, and a blueprint for future models to follow.

In case you need a refresher, NVIDIA's Tegra 2 platform is comprised of a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor clocked at up to 1GHz and up to twice the graphics performance of the original Tegra. Some nifty tidbits include a programmable pixel shader, vertex, and lighting, support for 1080p playback, full Flash acceleration, and built-in image signal processing capable of powering up to a 12MP camera, all wrapped in a low-power design.  Now polish that Android-driven hardware engine up with HTC's super slick Sense UI and you begin to get the picture.  This tablet could be the real deal, as they say.

In short, if the spec sheet turns out to be true, this is the tablet Apple should be worried about, and one we're most looking forward to this holiday buying season.