Nvidia Shield Tablet Review

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“You don’t have to be a gamer to appreciate this tablet”

Nvidia is well known for their software and technology support services, which make a range of visual processes and PC functions more dynamic. Without becoming a high-volume tablet manufacturer, Nvidia is trying to figure out how to get their piece of the ever-expanding mobile device and tablet market.

Their first attempt at entering the mobile device marketplace was with Shield Portable, a handheld gaming console. The results were very mixed and the device never captured the attention of enough users, obviously not what Nvidia was hoping for.

However, the Shield Tablet is a fantastic indicator of how far Nvidia has advanced in their thinking and how they approach development projects. They kept the appearance of the Shield Tablet clean and sleek, which appeals almost universally to all users. The device has a USB slot, HDMI connection, and Micro SD slot, these features alone put it ahead of many other available tablets immediately.

Before I get sidetracked and going in too many directions, let’s have a look at a couple of the core elements to see if it fits some basic needs, then we will explore other features a bit further.

Price

The tablet sells for 299-$399 depending on how much memory you select. This price range is right in the middle of the road, there are many tablets considerably more expensive and many significantly less expensive.

Operating System

The Shield is on the Android platform and uses the current KitKat 4.4 release as an operating system, which is a solid performer. There have been some rumblings and rumors about Nvidia possibly changing operating systems to Android L once it is released, but I would not hold my breath. KitKat is a reliable operating system with a relatively standard structure and does not present any problems that would require a move.

So What Do We Know So Far?
So far, Shield Tablet looks like it could be worth a look. The operating system is stable and the tablet offers PC like functionality with an HDMI connection and USB port. The appearance of the tablet is impressive with a modern and sleek design, so no complaints there. As far as price, once I discovered everything the tablet has to offer, my opinion of the price went from acceptable to good value. This is where things get very interesting, very quickly…

Performance

Performance is the heart and soul of computer or mobile device we own. The Shield Tablet is truly exceptional in this area and in several tests has outperformed every other tablet it was being compared to. In fact, test results have shown it is 25%, to an astonishing 250%, faster than almost every other competing device.

The heart of the Shield Tablet is a Tegra K1 ultra-fast processor, which supports many of the advanced graphic features offered by the GeForce graphics card, such as HDR lighting and subsurface scattering. It also features a 192 core Kepler GPU, as well as a quad core 2.2 GHz ARM Cortex A15 CPU.

This combination gives the tablet enough power to not only play games but also enjoy lightning fast browsing and the ability to move through different applications easy and fast. However, when it comes to games, the tablet allows streaming games from another PC; you can also purchase games from the Google Play Store or use the Nvidia Cloud.

Additional Features:

  • Stylus with hidden stylus port
  • 2 GB RAM
  • LTE available
  • 11 a, b, g, n
  • Wi-Fi encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
  • Built-in microphone

Display

The Shield comes with a premium eight inch 1900 x 1200 HD Display with two front facing speakers, and the tablet cover operates as kickstand for easy viewing. The crystal clear display paired with Nvidia’s graphics delivery capability makes for an outstanding experience.

Camera

5MP Camera’s at the front and the back of the tablet make taking photos from every angle easy. It is nice to see a device that offers consistent photo quality regardless of which camera you use.

Battery Life

The Shield claims to have a battery life up to 10 hours while surfing the web and approximately five hours if you are playing games. It has a 19.75 Wh battery, which is a significant improvement over the Nexus 7.

Final Thoughts

PROS:
  • Excellent performance
  • HDMI and USB connections are versatility
  • Sleek and modern looking design
  • Front facing speakers with quality sound
CONS:
  • Gaming Controller is not included and costs another $60
  • Limited storage

The Shield Tablet makes an excellent mobile device even if you are not into gaming. In fact, the powerful performance features are excellent when you need to work with many different work related applications or even using it for viewing your favorite media. The HDMI capability along with USB port make this tablet flexible and give it a big leg up on most other tablets in the market.

9.4 Total Score
Excellent!

Display
9.5
Performance
9.5
Camera
8.5
Battery Life
9
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