Almost exactly last year, Nvidia stepped into the mobile gaming arena with a quirky yet promising device called Project Shield. It was, for all intents and purposes, a controller with a screen. While fairly well received for its streaming capabilities and powerful hardware, it never really caught on. Cut to one year later, and we have the Nvidia Shield Tablet, a successor to the line, in a more well known and popular form factor. The Nvidia Shield Tablet is the world’s first tablet designed for games, even though on the surface it looks like any other tablet. What really sets it apart is the hardware and exclusive tie-in features with other Nvidia products, plus remastered games. Interested? Read on about the Nvidia Shield Tablet, the world’s most powerful gaming tablet!
Nvidia Shield Tablet – Specs and Features
First things first (I’m the realest?), the Nvidia Shield Tablet is called the most powerful because of the Tegra K1 chip inside, successor to the Tegra 4 chip, which is still not a bad option among all the Snapdragon 800’s and such. The Tegra K1 runs 4 ARM Cortex-A15 cores just like its predecessor, but the bulk of the power comes from the 192 core Kepler based GPU, the same micro-architecture used on the GeForce 700 series graphics cards. This means that it supports standards and technologies usually reserved for full size computers and consoles, and in fact, benchmarks show that it blows away every tablet in the market (yes, that includes iPads) and can run the Unreal Engine 4 demo without breaking a sweat. And that’s not all, it can stream games to your television via HDMI, at upto 4K UHD resolution, if your television supports it, of course. Similar to Project Shield, there’s also Nvidia’s GameStream technology, which lets you stream games from a computer equipped with a compatible GeForce GTX card. Here’s the full specsheet:
As mentioned above, there’s currently a library of 16 titles available that are remastered for the tablet, which include classics like Portal, Half-Life 2 and Trine 2. And that’s not all, apps like Hulu Plus, Netflix, Evernote and Nvidia’s own Dabbler, a hardware accelerated image editing app come pre-installed. There’s also handwriting recognition by way of the built in stylus, and an option for 4G LTE. Any compatible Bluetooth controller can be used to game, but there’s a specific and rather nice controller designed for the tablet (to be sold separately) that uses WiFi Direct and includes headset ports. With super powerful innards, a great full HD screen, so many ways to play and multiple features, battery life is definitely a concern, but Nvidia claims that the Shield tablet will be able to run for 10 hours while playing video, and about 3-4 hours playing games, which is actually pretty decent.
So all this sounds pretty pricey right? It actually isn’t! The Nvidia Shield Tablet will retail at $299 for the 16 GB WiFi version, and $399 for the 32 GB 4G LTE version. The Shield Controller will retail for $59. All of this will be available in the US and Canada by the end of the month, by August 14th in Europe and sometime in the Fall everywhere else. The future for gaming, or at least mobile gaming, is looking pretty bright indeed! Could this be the bridge between console/PC gaming and mobile gaming? Do let us know what you think in the comments section below!