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NVIDIA Expands the SHIELD Family with the SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Wireless Controller

Category: Laptops / Tablets
Posted: 06:49AM

With NVIDIA's interative tweet-based text adventure Ultimate Quest culminating today, the company's mysterious new product has been unveiled – the NVIDIA SHIELD tablet. Billed as the "world's first tablet built for gamers," the SHIELD tablet is a technical marvel and certainly packs a punch. That punch starts with a 192-core NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor, providing performance levels well beyond any other tablet currently on the market, including support for OpenGL ES 3.1, Android Extension Pack (AEP), OpenGL 4.4, DirectX 12, Tesselation, and CUDA 6.0. If you want to know what the means in the real world, go back and watch Unreal Engine 4 "Rivalry" Demo running on a Tegra K1 chip.

The SHIELD tablet measures in at 8.8 x 5.0 x 3.6 inches (HxWxD) and 13.7 ounces, and features an 8-inch IPS LCD with a resolution of 1920x1200. It features two front-facing stereo speakers, front and back 5MP HDR cameras, 802.11a/b/g/n 2x2 MIMO (2.4GHz and 5GHz) WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS and GLONASS, a nine-axis motion sensor (g-sensor, compass, gyroscope), a Mini HDMI 1.4a port, a micro-USB 2.0 port, and a 3.5mm stero headphone jack with microphone support. The tablet comes in two flavors: a 16GB WiFi-only version and a 32GB WiFi+LTE version. Don't worry about the smaller space if you're interested in WiFi-only though, as either version supports up to an additional 128GB via a Micro SD card. In addition, a DirectStylus 2 is included in a holster, which is not only twice as responsive as its predecessor, but also "enables the first GPU-accelerated 3D painting experience." The included NVIDIA Dabbler app allows hyper-realistic watercolor and 3D paint oil painting where "pigment and paint mix and bleed physically, in real time, and the palette is naturally illuminated in 3D as the user adjusts the light source."

Like the SHIELD portable, the SHIELD tablet supports PC GameStreaming from systems running an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 600 series card or greater, cloud streaming via NVIDIA GRID, NVIDIA ShadowPlay with Twitch gamecast support, and Console Mode. To fully enjoy the latter, you'd need a wireless controller (up to four are supported simultaneously), so NVIDIA has you covered there as well. The new SHIELD wireless controller, launching alongside the SHIELD tablet, is an ultra-responsive WiFi controller, providing half the latency of a Bluetooth controller and eight times the data rate. The controller features your standard dual-analog sticks, D-pad, A/B/X/Y face buttons, left/right analog triggers, and left/right bumpers, along with volume controls, Android Home and Back buttons, a Start button, an NVIDIA power/multi-function button, and even a capacitive multi-touch touch pad with button (the silver triangular section below the dual-analog sticks. The controller uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and Micro-USB 2.0 for charging or wired gameplay. It also features a built-in 3.5mm stereo headphone jack and microphone, which even allows for voice commands when holding the Home button, such as telling it to "Launch Half-Life 2." If you already own a SHIELD portable, thankfully that will be updated to support this new SHIELD wireless controller.

And now the info you've been waiting for - pricing and availability. The 16GB WiFi-only SHIELD tablet is priced at $299, while the 32GB WiFi+LTE SHIELD tablet is priced at $399. Both come pre-loaded with Frostbyte's gorgeous 2.5D puzzle platformer Trine 2: Complete Story. The SHIELD wireless controller is available separately at a price of $59. In addition, there's a SHIELD cover priced at $39, which doubles as a stand. The SHIELD tablet and its accessories will launch in the United States and Canada on July 29, in Europe on August 14, and in other unspecified regions Fall 2014. Pre-ordering is now open in the US, Canada, and select European countries at shield.nvidia.com and select retailers.

People who own a SHIELD portable tend to love it, but it's certainly a niche device. The SHIELD tablet has many of the same great features, but with the most powerful mobile chip in the market and a more acceptable form factor. Coupled with the SHIELD wireless controller, it looks like NVIDIA may have a huge winner on its hands.

Source: Press Release

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