Nvidia follows up Shield with 8-inch Shield Tablet for gamers, Tegra K1 and 192-core GPU
Nvidia has had one stab at making an Android-based portable games machine, the Shield, but decided not to release it outside of the US or Canada. Instead, its follow-up is a more universal device that also features the best gaming experience possible, but also offering a full-functioning Android tablet.
The Nvidia Shield Tablet has an 8-inch Full HD (1920 x 1200) IPS LCD screen and is the first from the company to utilise its PC-rivalling Tegra K1 processor, with its 192-core Kepler GPU. There's also 2GB of RAM on board.
It comes with stereo front-facing speakers with a Dual bass reflex port, is superthin and is capable of outputting 4K video through the mini HDMI output.
The Shield Tablet has two 5-megapixel cameras, front and rear, and comes in Wi-Fi-only or LTE (4G) and Wi-Fi options. They feature storage capacities of 16GB and 32GB respectively. Both can be expanded by up to a further 128GB through microSD.
An Nvidia DirectStylus 2 passive stylus is included too and battery life is quoted as up to 10 hours for HD video playback, around 2-4 hours for gaming depending on the game.
For gamers the tablet itself is only half the story, however. There is also a dedicated Nvidia Shield wireless controller that uses Wi-Fi Direct technology for connection rather than Bluetooth for fast data transfer rates and lower latency.
While Bluetooth controllers are decent for Android gaming with conventional apps, PC quality games require faster response time. The Nvidia Shield wireless controller quotes a latency of 10ms in preference to the 20ms of Bluetooth equivalents.
The controller also has a built-in stereo headphone jack and microphone for multiplayer gaming, a touchpad for use with mouse-related action (when the right thumbstick is needed for a different function) and it is rechargeable. It will work with both the tablet and the previous Shield portable.
As it has an in-built microphone, the controller works with voice-control features such as Google's own.
Bundled with the tablet comes Trine 2, which really shows off its graphical potential, and it is the first Android device that is capable of live streaming footage, both in-game and through the front camera, to Twitch. Plus, like with the previous Shield, it is capable of streaming 120 plus PC games from a desktop PC, even over a 4G connection; including Titanfall.
The Shield Tablet will cost $299 for the Wi-Fi-only model, $399 for the LTE. The Shield controller will cost $59 and must be bought separately. Up to four can be connected to the tablet at once for multiplayer gaming. The tablet does not come with a controller in the box.
There is also a Shield cover that doubles as a desktop stand for $39.
The one UK price we have confirmed so far is £229 for the Wi-Fi-only tablet.
It is now available for pre-order in the States, where it will ship in the next couple of weeks. It will be available in the UK and Europe from mid-August and will roll out to other regions in the autumn.