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HEXUS.TalkingShop: NVIDIA, Tegra and the Zune HD

by Scott Bicheno on 4 December 2009, 13:37


Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qau7j

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NVIDIA's big gamble

Graphics chip giant NVIDIA has made it clear that it thinks its future lies in the direction of the system on chip (SoC) market. Accordingly, it has invested huge sums of money in Tegra, an SOC that combines its graphics know-how with an ARM CPU core to produce a low-power chip it hopes to sell to the makers of hand-held devices and mini-notebooks.

The first consumer devices we're seeing running on Tegra, however, are personal media players like Microsoft's Zune HD and Samsung's YPM1.

As you would expect, NVIDIA is keen to show-off these devices and demonstrate all the functionality that's enabled by Tegra. So we invited corporate communications manager Bea Longwoth into the HEXUS.tv studios, armed with the two devices, to tell us all about them.

In this first part of our interview, Longworth talks to Scott and Sylvie - who being US-based has also got hold of a Zune HD - and we ask her what she thinks are the positives and negatives of Microsoft's latest attempt to take on Apple. We also get Sylvie's perspective, including a look at the way you interact with it on your PC.


HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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Bea fom Nvidia should come onto the Hexus.channel more often. :embarrassed:
The room looks like a set for a blue shoot :D
I've owned a Zune HD I imported from The States for a few months now and while I kinda wish I got an iTouch for the apps, I prefer just about everything else about the device. Obviously the app issue will resolve itself over time, especially once it's more globally available (without paying £30 import duty!).

As said in the video, the screen is awesome, the sound quality is crisp and the touch sensitivity is insane. I'm not sure if anyone else here understands how capacitive screens work but basically they detect your fingers electrical field, much the same way as Wacom graphics tablets etc. Theoretically, these devices can detect a finger that's not actually touching the screen, some Iiyama monitors (probably others, I've only personally used Iiyama multitouch screens) actually can. Either way, the Zune HD isn't /quite/ that sensetive, but I haven't yet been able to touch the screen gently enough that it fails to detect the touch. So yeah. It's good.

Sound quality is crisp and clear, but being a basshead I preferred the sound on my old Samsung P2, as its bass was louder, clearer and it could play tones that, frankly, the Zune can't reach.

As far as games go, the 3D graphics are pretty sweet for a device its size and battery life when running the GPU is pretty good too. My only gripe is that the 3D hardware isn't currently accessible through the XNA development suite, so actually making 3D games is out of developers bounds.

Erp. I think I wrote a tad more than I expected to. Zune HD gets two thumbs up from me.

Oh yeah. The SDK runs on Windows. While I respect that it's their device, I think Apple making their SDK only run on Mac OS is foolish, it cuts a huge number of possible developers from their market. Not that it stopped them becoming the premier app provider in the world… Ah well. Hopefully with the nice easy XNA Framework the Zune will get some community love too. *crosses fingers*
I'm rocking the Helicopter game on my now 3 yr old Zune 30, along with the addictive Hexic HD - who needs 3D ?:D