The NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet Review
While I talked about this in the launch article, the SHIELD Tablet is very much the culmination of lessons learned from 2013. While the Tegra Note 7 was a decent tablet, it had to eke out a profit through hardware sales against competition that was willing to sell their tablets with no profit on hardware. While the SHIELD portable was a good portable gaming device, it was far too specialized to be anything but a gaming device. Without an established gaming ecosystem, NVIDIA struggled against established competitors.
As a result, NVIDIA is the first to launch a serious gaming tablet running Android. While gaming tablets have been done before, they’ve been few and far between. It’s always been technically possible to take a high end tablet and make it usable for gaming, but for the most part these attempts are marred by either the need for root or an application that requires extensive work on the part of the user to create proper control profiles for each game. In addition, the SoC in the tablet is often underequipped for intensive 3D gaming.
That’s where the SHIELD tablet comes in. With Tegra K1, a dedicated controller, 2×2 WiFi, and a huge amount of custom software, there’s definitely a lot of ground to cover. Once again, while the SHIELD tablet is a gaming device, it must also be a good tablet. To that end, NVIDIA has tried to differentiate this tablet with DirectStylus 2 and dual front facing speakers/bass reflex ports. To find out how this device does, read on for the full review.