8-inch tablet, Wi-Fi Direct controller, and Tegra K1
After many rumors of a new Shield device, Nvidia has revealed its new Shield Tablet. Powered by Android, the 8-inch gaming tablet succeeds Nvidia’s original Shield handheld gaming device, which is now dubbed the Shield Portable.
Introducing the Nvidia Shield Tablet
At the heart of the tablet is the company’s new top-tier mobile SoC, the Nvidia Tegra K1. The quad-core ARM chip features 192 CUDA cores with a 2.3GHz max clock speed. K1 supports a variety of APIs and features which include OpenGL ES 3.1, AEP, OpenGL 4.4, DX12, Tessellation, CUDA 6.0. Nvidia claims that the K1 can do all of this while consuming less than two watts of power.
Play the video above to see an Nvidia rep give us a demo of the Shield Tablet.
For the display, the Shield Tablet uses a 1900x1200-resolution IPS panel. In terms of content, Nvidia has created a new Shield hub which allows you to access your game library, purchase more games, or to launch other media apps. You’ll also be able to stream PC games through the hub. The Shield tablet will support both Nvidia GameStream (local PC streaming) and Nvidia Grid (remote PC streaming). In addition, Nvidia has partnered up with Twitch to allow you to stream your Shield gameplay sessions to the social gaming site.
Lots of users said they wanted a bigger screen on the Shield so Nvidia decided to detach the screen from the controller.
Of course, all of this wouldn’t sound the least bit appealing if you didn’t have a controller to game with (because playing real games with tablet controllers is just…eww.). Luckily, the Shield Tablet is not only compatible with Bluetooth controllers, but Nvidia is also making a new Wi-Fi Direct controller for the device. The company claims that the Wi-Fi Direct has 2x lower latency than Bluetooth and offers more bandwidth. What will this extra bandwidth allow you to do? For starters, you’ll be able to plug in a headphone into the controller. Secondly, you will be able to connect up to four Shield controllers to the tablet. This is ideal for when you plug the Shield Tablet into your HDTV via HDMI while in “Console Mode.”
While you could use the device as a console of sorts, it is first and foremost a tablet. If you’re out and about watching movies, Nvidia says you should be able to expect 10 hours of battery life. Five to six hours is what the company claims you should be able to get out of the device when gaming.
What’s interesting about the device is that unlike the first Shield which used fans for active cooling, the Shield Tablet is passively cooled. To get away with this, Nvidia installed a thermal shield (pun not intended) to dissipate more heat. This adds about a millimeter of thickness to the device, but fortunately the Shield Tablet isn’t unbearably thick to begin with.
The new Shield controller features a touchpad at the bottom and is much lighter and more comfortable to hold compared to the original Shield.
Other features of the device include two 5MP cameras (one on the front and one on the back), an included stylus, an SD card slot, and support for 4K output at 30FPS.
In terms of pricing, the Shield Tablet will come in two flavors. The 16GB version will retail for $299, whereas the 32GB LTE version will retail for $399. Unfortunately the controller will be sold separately and will retail for $59. In addition, there will also be a $39 Shield Tablet cover which can also act as a stand.
The Shield Tablet launches July 29th in the US and Canada, will release in Europe mid-August, and other regions in the fall.
Expect a full review of the tablet soon after we get one in. Are you intrigued about the Shield Tablet? Let us know in the comments below!
The Shield Tablet plus new Shield controller