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Nvidia Shield 8” Android Gaming Tablet

By NAG3LT26-07-2014

Nvidia has announced a new Shield device – 8" Android based gaming tablet. The last year's Shield has been rebranded as Shield Portable.

The tablet has 1920x1200 IPS display, which gives it a good 283 ppi density. The SoC of the tablet is Nvidia's latest Tegra K1 (32-bit version) with four 2.2 GHz ARM Cortex A15 CPU cores (and additional low power core) and 192 Kepler GPU shader processors. Nvidia claims that it should provide 2-4 times graphical performance of iPad Air or latest Galaxy Tab Pro depending on a task. If these performance claims are true, Tegra K1 should be close to Intel HD 4000 in performance – low for PC, but impressive for a tablet. Shield comes with 2 GB of DDR3L-1866 RAM, which is average for modern tablets.

The other specifications of the tablet seem very good as well. The tablet is 9.2 mm thick and weights 390 grams. It has two front facing speakers, which is very good for sound quality. Both the front and rear cameras are 5 MP, although the front one lacks auto-focus. The high quality front camera is intended for Twitch streaming, which is supported in Shield tablet from get-go. The 19.75 Wh battery should provide 10 hours of HD Video playback and 4-6 hours of 3D Android gaming. There will be two versions of Shield tablet – Wi-Fi only 16 GB, which will launch first and 32 GB with LTE modem which will launch about a month after it. Shield supports microSDXC cards, so currently the storage for media and games supporting SD cards can be expanded by 128 GB. The tablet also includes a DirectStylus 2, which is a passive fine tip capacitive stylus. Unlike Galaxy Note tablets, Shield has no active digitiser for stylus, but instead uses more processing power to recognise the difference between palm, finger and stylus. Finally, there is a mini-HDMI 1.4a port, allowing an effortless TV connectivity.

On the software side, Shield tablet supports everything its portable predecessor did and more. Shield runs the latest version of Android with minimal changes and will be updated quickly. GameStream allows streaming from PC to Shield over local network or internet through Wi-Fi. With LTE version it is also possible to stream over mobile internet, if your data limit is high enough. The new feature in tablet is integrated Twitch streaming using ShadowPlay. The console mode is supported as well for TV connection. With the front facing camera, the streaming of both the gameplay and the player with commentary is supported. Trine 2: Complete Story is bundled with the tablet and uses the same assets as PS3 version.

Nvidia also offers new Shield gamepads as an additional purchase. Shield Controller connects to tablet via Wi-Fi Direct instead of Bluetooth and 4 gamepads can be connected to a single tablet simultaneously. The controller itself is similar to Shield Portable and has some Shield-specific commands as well. There is an audio port for a headset and a small touchpad for Android navigation.

Shield tablet (16 GB version) is set for July 29th release in US and August 14th in EU. Wi-Fi version will cost $299/€300/£240, LTE version is more expensive at $399/€380/£300. Tablet cover with magnetic connection costs $39/€30/£25 and the gamepad's price is $60/€60/£50. Overall, Shield tablet seems quite good for its price and unlike the portable version is much more useful for tasks other than gaming.

Comments (2)
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Posts: 267

So far it looks promising on paper, but the reviews after actual release will be important to see if there are any additional issues.

Posts: 596

Yup, do want :D