The new incarnation of the NVIDIA SHIELD has arrived but it comes in a different form factor, albeit an exciting one for gamers.
The SHIELD tablet and the SHIELD wireless controller combine to take mobile gaming to another level. Together, they sport and leverage a variety of NVIDIA technologies, such as SHIELD, NVIDIA Tegra K1, DirectStylus 2, ShadowPlay, GameStream, and GRID cloud gaming.
Let’s talk about the SHIELD tablet first. Designed and built by NVIDIA, it is a high-performance tablet powered by the NVIDIA Tegra K1 advanced mobile processor and supplemented by regular, over-the-air software upgrades that bring new capabilities and levels of performance.
Built specifically for gamers, it features a bright, eight-inch, full HD display, booming front-facing speakers with rich sound, and an optional cover that both protects the screen and can be used as a kick-stand to prop up the device at the best viewing angle.
Partnering the SHIELD tablet is the SHIELD wireless controller, which provides the precision, low latency and ergonomics that serious gamers demand. The SHIELD tablet also offers optional LTE for gamers to take their online gaming.
“If you’re a gamer and you use a tablet, the NVIDIA SHIELD tablet was created specifically for you. It delivers exceptional tablet performance and unique gaming capabilities to keep even the most avid gamers deeply immersed, anywhere they play,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of NVIDIA
Aspiring artists can use DirectStylus 2 to capture the attitude of every stroke on the SHIELD tablet, take notes with the integrated apps and handwriting recognition, or get creative with the NVIDIA Dabbler app’s hyper-realistic watercolor and 3D Paint oil painting (see above).
Also bundled is the popular Frostbyte game Trine 2: Complete Story, which is now optimised for great gameplay and graphics on the Tegra K1 processor.
The SHIELD tablet also offers full access to Google Play, where gamers can download thousands of apps, including Netflix and Pandora.
The good and not-so-good news
The good news is that the SHIELD tablet comes with either Wi-Fi connectivity, or Wi-Fi and LTE and is available in 16- and 32GB, with MicroSD support (up to 128GB), starting at US$299. The SHIELD wireless controller retails for US$59 while the SHIELD tablet cover retails for US$39.
The not-so-good news is that like its predecessor, the SHIELD tablet, wireless controller and tablet cover are only available for pre-order in the US, Canada and selected European countries.
This means that those of us who are keen to snag a set will have to get one in those countries or call in a favour from our friends there.
Of course, there’s still the original NVIDIA SHIELD which NVIDIA will continue to sell and this is available in Hong Kong.