We already had a nice clean shot of NVIDIA’s upcoming SHIELD tablet, but the latest leak courtesy of VideoCardz.com strips away any remaining mystery surrounding the “newest member of the SHIELD family” just days before NVIDIA’s scheduled July 22nd announcement.
The spec highlight reel for the SHIELD tablet includes:
- Tegra K1 Processor (192 core Kepler GPU, 2.2 GHz Quad Core A15 CPU)
- 2GB RAM
- 8-inch Full HD IPS display (1920×1200)
- Front facing stereo speakers and dual bass reflex port
- 4K Ultra-HD ready
- Micro SD slot
- Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, dual-band a/b/g/n WiFI
- Integrated Stylus
- 19.75 WHr battery (up to 10-hours HD video playback)
All of this will run you $299 for the 16GB WiFi model or $399 for the 32GB LTE model. You are also probably going to want to pick up the new SHIELD Wireless Controller for $59 and perhaps the SHIELD cover for $39. If you total the base model up with the controller and the cover you will come to $397, which as chance would have it is the retail value of the prize for the contest that NVIDIA is running right now, so you may want to try your luck there if you aren’t going to have the cash together for a SHIELD tablet next week.
I wouldn’t blame you if you dismissed the SHIELD when it first launched last year as it was fantastic hardware, but the software was a bit lacking. That is far from the case today.
Back in October NVIDIA launched a massive update to the software that brought along with it a couple features that completely changed the SHIELD experience.
Gamepad Mapper was perhaps the most significant of these as it solved the issue of games that didn’t support a controller. Now you can easily map the on screen controls onto your hardware controls, and better yet, in many cases you don’t even have to because there is an ever-growing library of games that others have already mapped the controls for and you can simply download their work.
For PC gamers the GameStream feature was always one of the most compelling aspects as it brought many of your favorite titles from the PC to your SHIELD. I’ve played hours of Borderlands 2, Assassin’s Creed 4 and Tomb Raider among others on the SHIELD, and the frame rate and responsiveness are basically flawless on my home network. In April they enabled Remote Play so you can enjoy these games anywhere that you have a high-speed connection (Yes, LTE works fine), and while it isn’t always the equal of my home connection, it is consistently playable.
The NVIDIA SHIELD tablet will naturally support all of these software features and given the updated internals will no doubt run them even better than its predecessor.
Given the specs, this price point seems quite reasonable and, unlike the original SHIELD, the tablet isn’t pigeonholed into only serving as your gaming device.
Do you find the idea of a SHIELD tablet to be more compelling than the original hardware, and most importantly for NVIDIA, would you consider making this your next tablet?