This was bound to happen: witnessing the debut of a quad core tablet based on Nvidia chipset. I’m taking about the ZTE T98, a Nvidia Tegra 3-based slate with a 7 inch display and Kal-el technology on board. As you might remember, according to a recent Nvidia announcement, the 4 cores will actually be 5.

Last I heard, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer 2 was supposed to be the first quad core tablet, but now here comes this ZTE unit stunning us. Shown as the PT/Expo Comm in China, this Tegra 3 model uses a 1.3GHz CPU of the quad core kind, a 7 inch display with impressive resolution and Android 3.2 Honeycomb. There’s also 1GB of RAM on board, 16GB of internal memory and a 3G modem.

A 4000 mAh battery will power the device, that also packs the generic 5MP cam at the back and 2MP cam upfront. ZTE T98 supports a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and measures a pretty hefty 11.5mm in thickness. This is also another premiere: the first ZTE tablet with Honeycomb and if you’re wondering, we have no idea about the availability and the price just yet, but this is a supposed to be a budget slate, I know that much.