We preview the Nvidia Shield Tablet today. The tablet market is becoming a diverse and complex one. From top to bottom you will find many brands and many more products to choose from. The really sexy tablets are expensive though, expect starting prices of 350 EUR for a decent model, even running up-to 600 EUR easily for the more high-end gear.
Nvidia today announces the Nvidia Shield Tablet, an 8 inches (1920x1200) tablet empowered by a TegraSoC. It will launch in the USA first, followed in the EU a few weeks later. Here at Guru3D.com we think that basically this what the Nvidia shield launch should have been in the first place, instead of a hand-held a nice tablet that oozes functionality and features. By releasing the 8" Shield Tablet, Nvidia really takes a nice step into Tablet gaming. Armed with a Tegra K1 SoC it will drive the tablet towards good battery life, but most of all brings PC style gaming into your hands.
The SHIELD tablet provides a range of firsts for a tablet:
PC Streaming: First to stream games from a PC desktop or notebook, from anywhere in the home – using NVIDIA GameStream™ technology to stream from systems powered by an NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 6xx series or greater GPU.
Cloud Streaming: First to stream PC games from the cloud. Gamers can access the NVIDIA GRID™ cloud gaming beta, available exclusively to SHIELD owners in Northern California, to instantly stream a library of high-quality PC games, and then save them in the cloud.
Twitch and NVIDIA ShadowPlay™: First to feature Twitch – the leading video platform and community for gamers – which is also integrated with ShadowPlay, an advanced game-capture tool that lets users save and stream their greatest gaming moments. Gamers can stream titles from the SHIELD tablet to friends and foes worldwide. SHIELD Tablet also includes a 5MP front camera to enhance the image of the gamer overlaid on the Twitch gamecast.
Console Mode: First to feature NVIDIA Console Mode, which takes your tablet gameplay to your big screen TV. Console Mode transforms the device into a full living-room gaming and entertainment experience. Gamers can set up their SHIELD wireless controller, sit back on their couch and play Android games, browse the web and watch their favorite movies — all in native 1080p HD.
The SHIELD tablet is made with gaming in mind, featuring a 8-inch, full HD display, front-facing speakers with rich sound, and an optional cover that both protects the screen and can be used as a stand to support the device. To transform the tablet form factor into a serious gaming machine, NVIDIA has built the SHIELD wireless controller, which provides the precision, low latency and ergonomics that serious gamers demand.
Nvidia will release three products actually. The Tegra K1 based 8" Shield Tablet, a wireless controller and a stand. These will be sold separately:
Nvidia Shield tablet 8" 299 USD
Wireless Shiled Controller 59 USD
Stand / cover 39 USD
Interesting to see is that nvidia is going to sell this product themselves through selected distributors. This means that you will not see tablets sold by board partners like EVGA, Plait, Gigabyte, ASUS, MSI and so on.
With 192 Shader cores the Tegra K1 can actually render games fairly well on the tablet. But being Nvidia based, you can stream games from your PC towards the tablet as well. So hook up the Tablet towards your FullHD telly, purchase a Nvidia Shield controller and you can play PC games, streamed from your couch. And sure, we know that wireless controller and a 5 meter HDMI cable can achive that as well, but still it's nice.
The 8" NVIDIA Shield tablet has a Tegra K1 processor (192 Shader cores is based on a 2.2 GHz quad core ARM A15 CPU on that SoC. It comes with a7.9 inch, 1920x1200 Full HD display. The Tablet has only 2GB RAM memory though. The tablet is based on Android 4.4.
Last week we had a hands-on experience with the device, and it is pretty cool. Unfortunately we did not yet receive our review sample, but we have been able to photograph a couple of benchmarks we ran.
Nvidia shield controller
Some benchmarks we ran on an on-hands experience :
There will be close to 30 proper game titles running on the Tegra K1 based Shield Tablet - Here the classic War Thunder with the Shield Tablet connected to a 1080P monitor, looked and played pretty good. Extremely low quality textures though. other titles are Portal, Half Life is brought to Android as well as Trine II, Pure Chess and Anomaly 2.
A BaseMark X score of 36824 points, not bad !
Check that out 32 FPS in 1080P Manhattan off-screen. That's what, 3x the perf of the Samsung Galaxy TabPro I have.
The SHIELD tablet comes with either Wi-Fi connectivity, or Wi-Fi and LTE. It’s available in 16- and 32GB, with MicroSD (up to 128GB), starting at $299. The SHIELD wireless controller retails for $59. The SHIELD tablet cover retails for $39.
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