HTC, the company that made the 10-inch Jetstream tablet that dared to challenge the iPad 2 in the over-$700 category, has decided to take the next step and launch an even higher-end device next year. HTC announced they would produce a quad-core tablet using the Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, a move that seems like an all-or-nothing bid to capture people's imaginations the way the iPad has.
When the Jetstream came out in September, HTC already had a tablet computer for sale, the Flyer. Flyer, however, was a seven-inch, Wi-Fi only device. Jetstream is being offered as AT&T's first 4G tablet, and with a two-year contract it comes in at $700. The 32 gigabyte 3G-enabled iPad2 goes for $730 from Verizon or AT&T. Jetstream also comes with 32 gigabytes, but it runs the Android system as opposed to the iOS-powered iPad.
Jetstream sure sounds like a legitimate iPad contender, but where it falls short is that it's not an iPad. It's hard to be an innovator when you are the imitator, but perhaps that is why HTC has opted to go for the first quad-core tablet next year. It's a true gamble because the question remains as to how any tablet battery can withstand all that processing power. Furthermore, besides being a feather in HTC's cap, many applications and indeed most functions on today's dual-core tablets run just fine without the extra power.
What would really turn heads is if HTC were to come up with some feature on its new tablet that can take advantage of the quad-core system. For example, if the new device had 3D gestures or some similar feature that no other device could do, that could be the way ahead.
This holiday season, however, it seems the high-end device is out of favor as consumers seemingly flock to the $200 Amazon Kindle Fire. Let us know in the comments if you think the quad-core system is here to stay or if it's still another year away.
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