Last year at CES, Nvidia released the Shield, a hybrid of an Android device and a portable gaming console. While the idea behind the device was great, the Shield was not ergonomic and unsuitable for use if you wanted to perform more tablet like operations. Nvidia built upon their idea and the response they got from the market and came up with the Nvidia Shield Tablet – The Tablet For Gamers.
The Shield Tablet up front has an 8-inch IPS Full HD display flanked by two large front facing speaker grills that should provide a best of the class stereo audio experience, essential when indulging in games. The Shield Tablet runs on Nvidia’s powerful 2.2 GHz quad core Tegra K1 processor which has 192 Kepler-based GPU cores that support desktop class graphics features and is backed by 2GB RAM. In Nvidia’s own words,
“The SHIELD tablet’s NVIDIA® Tegra® K1 mobile processor taps into the same NVIDIA Kepler™ architecture that drives the world’s most extreme gaming PCs. With a custom engineered thermal system, SHIELD tablet harnesses the full power of Tegra K1’s extreme performance.”
If it was not clear already, the new tablet is a powerhouse built specifically with gaming and high performance in mind. The wifi only version of the tablet comes with 16GB built in storage whereas the LTE enabled variant packs 32GB. A microSD card slot allows expansion up to 128GB. The device features 5-megapixel cameras on both the front and back with an HDR mode and runs on Android KitKat. At launch, over 400 games optimised for the tablet will be available. Aside from that, it can run any application available on the Google Play store.
Among a plethora of exclusive features are the ability to stream PC games and even connect the tablet to a TV and use it as a console courtesy of the HDMI out port. The Shield Tablet also comes with a stylus that neatly slides into the device featuring the DirectStylus 2 technology.
The Shield Tablet was not the only device Nvidia announced, the company simultaneously revealed the Shield wireless controller. The 360-esque controller is promised my Nvidia to offer incredibly low latency and an ergonomic feel coupled with responsive buttons and triggers. The controller connects to the tablet using wifi direct and has a built in mic to utilise Google Now or other voice based commands.
For anyone looking for a good Android tablet that boasts some awesome power and the ability to play high end video games, the Shield Tablets seems like an ideal choice. The 16GB wifi only tablet is already up for pre-order and will retail for $299 whilst the 32GB LTE variant will cost $399. Shipping for the wifi only model begins July 9thin North America, August 4th in Europe and this fall for other regions.