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Asus to offer first quad-core Android tablet

by Kristen Nicole

The latest Tegra 3 chip from NVIDIA brings lots of power and graphic enhancements to Android devices. It’s the first quad-core mobile chipset to hit the market. It’s kicked off a race amongst Android manufacturers to build a worthy device around the revolutionary chip, which also has the added perk of better power consumption. Asus jumped out in front of its competitors with the Eee Pad Transformer Prime, while leaked images of the HTC Edge indicate what the OEM has planned for the near future. The B&N NOOK may not offer many of the standout features from other tablets, but the Android-powered reader is ready to give Amazon’s Kindle Fire a run for the money.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime

As the first Android manufacturer to commit to NVIDIA’s new Tegra 3 chip, Asus is getting a lot of attention for its December release. The $499 tablet comes with 32GB or storage, or for 64GB you can shell out $599. Similar to the original Eee Pad Transformer, it’s thinner and lighter than its predecessor at 0.33 inches and 1.29 pounds. There’s an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, it boasts 12 hours of power thanks to its quad-core chip, and better performance with a 12-core graphics processor. The Eee Pad Transformer Prime runs Android 3.2, but Asus promises an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwhich. The upgrade will offer new features like built-in photo editing and improved speech-to-text.

HTC Edge

With the promise of the Tegra 3 processor chip, you can expect several devices to emerge in the coming months. One’s already been leaked from HTC’s camp, revealing the Edge to the public. The Edge is expected to come with a massive screen for a smartphone, measuring 4.7 inches (the same size as the HTC Sensation XL). No word on which version of Android the HTC Edge is likely to run, but it’s expected to come with a full gig of system memory. As HTC only continues to push its Beats by Dre audio technology, the Edge could be a powerful entertainment device, alongside its four 1.5GHz cores packed into the Tegra 3 chip.

B&N Nook Tablet

Arriving shortly after the Kindle Fire, the Barnes & Noble NOOK is a low-cost e-reader that comes with more than just books. The Android-powered tablet will run you $249 with 16GB of storage (expandable to 32GB with a MicroSD card and free cloud storage). The screen is the same size as the Kindle Fire at 7 inches, and the resolution is also the same at 1024x600. It has a better dual-core processor than the Kindle Fire, and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. In an effort to become a media hub, the NOOK Tablet comes loaded with apps for Netflix, Hulu and others. From music to movies, books and games, the Nook Tablet emphasizes the mobile world’s focus on entertainment.