Nvidia is rumoured to be developing a tablet, or possibly a pair of slates, for release in the early days of 2014.
The graphics chip maker "plans to launch a high-end tablet under its own brand" which will sport Nvidia's next-generation Tegra 5 System-on-a-Chip (SoC) code named Logan, Fudzilla reported.
Earlier this month, the German-language tech site Tabtech surmised from the listing of an unknown device in some GFXBench testing results that Nvidia may also be developing a less pricy, 7in tablet powered by a 1.8GHz Tegra 4 chip and featuring a 1280 x 800 pixel display.
Fudzilla, translating the Tabtech report for us, notes that the device listed as "Nvidia Tegra Note Premium" was running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean for the benchmark test, supports stylus input, and scored "just slightly lower than the Nvidia Shield" on GFXBench. The two tech sites did not offer any thoughts on if or when Nvidia might start selling the 7in, but Fudzilla cited unnamed European sources as saying the more expensive Logan-based tablet was being prepped for release in the first quarter of 2014.
An Nvidia spokesperson said that the company does not comment on rumours or speculation.
But one thing giving some credence to the notion that Nvidia would consider building its own tablet products is that the company has already ventured into the waters of self-branding a consumer device with the aforementioned Shield .
Nvidia recently began shipping its handheld gaming device, marking a big step for a company that has traditionally steered clear of directly competing with its OEM partners with finished products of its own. For more on that device, check out our full Nvidia Shield review.
Of course, an Android tablet is a different animal than a uniquely put-together gaming device like the Shield. An Nvidia-built line of tablets would go up directly against products sold by key Nvidia OEM partners, potentially resulting in some backlash against the graphics chip maker.
On the other hand, the lines of competition are shifting across the industry and turf formerly off-limits to various companies is opening up, particularly in the wide-open tablet space. Apple aside, the recent moves by software-focused firms like Microsoft and Google to self-brand their own hardware products running their own operating systems have sent a clear signal that the old rules dictating who gets to build what may be obsolete.
Another thing to consider is that Nvidia unveiled Project Shield at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Purely speculating, the chip maker may be sizing up next year's CES as an ideal stage for launching a new Nvidia-branded consumer product, which would jibe with Fudzilla's pinpointing of early 2014 as the timeframe for the rumoured high-end tablet.