Nvidia, the desktop graphics chip and graphics card maker, unveiled Nvidia Shield, a portable gaming device, quite a while ago. But it failed to get as much attention as it desired. But that didn’t mean the company was giving up. At the beginning of this year, Nvidia showed off Tegra K1 and its power in a tablet device. Now, the company is officially unveiling what it’s calling Nvidia Shield Tablet, the ultimate gaming tablet with desktop-level gaming performance that can extend to a full-form gaming setup with optional Nvidia Shield Controller and kickstand.
So what does Nvidia Shield Tablet has under the hoods and why this is perhaps the best portable Android gaming setup you can buy? Let’s dive into that.
The new Nvidia Shield Tablet is an 8-inch monster with 1920 x 1200 pixels native HD resolution with two front-facing speakers. You can buy the optional cover accessory which can be used as a kickstand. And why would you want a kickstand? Well, that’s because another optional accessory, a Shield wireless controller, is available for some extra money which has low latency Wi-Fi connectivity. Nvidia claims that the controller has about the same lag time as that of Xbox 360 controller. So when you pair up the Shield Tablet with Shield controller, you will want the tablet to have a kickstand.
The Shield Tablet is a Wi-Fi-only device, but Nvidia says an LTE option will be coming later this year. The Wi-Fi only version will be hitting stores on July 29 starting at $299 for 16 GB version, and $399 for 32 GB version. Luckily though, both versions have microSD expansion slot which you can use to add up to 128 GB of additional storage capacity. And the Shield controller will be available separately for $59, while the Shield Tablet Cover, which includes the kickstand, will cost you $39.
Nvidia claims that the new Shield Tablet can outperform all the latest devices out there including the Apple iPad. That is mostly because of the Tegra K1 with Kepler inside of the Shield Tablet that supports all the same advanced graphics technologies for desktop graphics card, GeForce Titan. Those include support of DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4 and more. The trick here is, all those graphics power comes at relatively low energy, so you’ll be getting incredible gaming performance without sacrificing much of the battery power.
Nvidia’s Sheild Tablet also includes a built-in stylus called DirectStylus 2 tech. The previous Tegra K1 tablet also had a built-in stylus, but the new one got not only a new name but is also twice as responsive according to Nvidia. The first generation tablet’s styus had passive input mode. The new one has GPU-accelerated painting and active response.
Shield Tablet is capable of shooting 5 megapixel photos with its front-facing camera. It also has the power to output video to compatible monitors at 4K resolution. It also has 802.11n Wi-Fi and supports full 1080p HD video streaming from various sources including Netflix, Twitch (yes that’s a first!) and Hulu Plus. You can learn more of the features that Nvidia Shield Tablet offers over at TechCrunch article here.
So what do you think? Will Nvidia Shield Tablet, Shield Tablet Cover, and Shield Wireless Controller make the ultimate Android gaming setup one can hope for?