The first edition of NVIDIA Shield was released back in 2013, and they were the first ones to combine both console quality gaming with mobile hardware. NVIDIA is now launching a newer model of the Shield tablet. NVIDIA is implementing a new cloud-based gaming GRID platform and this allowing the Shield gaming tablet to become portable. The cloud service is going to be free for only a limited period of time.
Design and Display
The design it sports resembles the standard look most tablets have, leaning towards a 2013 Nexus 7 design style. The only difference is that the NVIDIA Shield is a little thicker and heavier because of the K1 chipset it sports. The device is going to ship with a 16:10, 1920x1200 resolution IPS display.
The tablet's backside looks similar to the one of a modern smartphone, having soft material coating placed over a plastic body chassis, and the “Shield” logo etched in the middle of the tablet. Functionality buttons such as the power button and volume control are placed on both the sides of the device alongside the microSD slot.Because the tablet comes equipped with the powerful 2.2 GHz Tegra K1 chipset, two air vents had to be installed on the device to prevent over heating. The two vents are installed on both the tablets ends.
The NVIDIA Shield is intended for portable gaming, and for that reason NVIDIA has equipped the tablet with their latest Tegra K1 chipset. This powerful chipset allows the tablet to run games that perform similar to the way they would perform on gaming consoles such as Xbox 360, Wii U Platforms and PlayStation 3. The tablet ships with the fantasy game “Trine 2” pre-installed on it, giving its user a taste of what’s to come. The NVIDIA Tegra K1 chipsets has the same graphical power an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 has.
The problem is that there are not too many Google Play games that allow the tablet to show it’s true power. NVIDIA will surely provide more exclusive games along the way, but until then, there aren’t that many options.
The controller is needed to fully enjoy the gaming capabilities the tablet can offer to its user. Even though the Shield is intended for games, the controller is sold separately and it does not come in a bundle. The controller has the same functionalities a PS4 or Xbox One controller has. It even has some extra features like volume controls and a microphone.
Memory and Battery
There are two versions of the devices, the 16GB one and 32GB one that is LTE-enabled. The memory can also be expanded using a microSD card. The battery life is a problem though, since the tablet runs games like Trine 2, the Tegra K1 processor uses a lot of juice. The battery life will last only three hours while playing Trine 2, but NVIDIA has added some battery management option to lengthen the battery life.
Since the intended purpose for the Shield tablet is gaming, the device isn’t equipped with a powerful camera. The device ships with a 5MP camera that has no LED flash, and the picture quality is not very impressive. It does its job, but nothing out of the ordinary.
The first mistake NVIDIA has made is that they did not bundle their controller with the tablet, but the tablet’s hardware power is unparalleled, overshadowing its competitions without any effort in the hardware department. The game it comes pre-installed with, Trine 2 presents perfectly the capabilities of the tablet.
Even if the game has such powerful components, it’s not worth nothing when there are not that many tablet games that can truly use the device’s power. NVIDIA is working hard on fixing this problem by securing game exclusives, and in the future developers might release games with graphics that might actually require a Tegra K1 chipset. NVIDIA is fully committed to their Shield tablet and that means exclusive software is surely going to come, and it’s surely going to receive game support as the time goes. The NVIDIA Shield tablet can be found priced less $249.00.