Nvidia is ready to put its money where its heart is, assuming that people want a gaming tablet with an optional gamepad.
Unveiled today, the Nvidia Shield Tablet is a C$329 device with a 1200p screen and the first consumer-ready Tegra K1 SoC, the ultra-fast gaming CPU/GPU combo revealed in January at CES. The Cortex-A15 based CPU runs four cores at 2.3Ghz each, with a fifth companion core running at a lower speed for less intensive activities. The GPU is based on the company’s extensible Kepler architecture, with 192 CUDA cores and support for the latest standards like OpenGL 4.4 and DirectX 12.
While the first Shield began its life as a small clamshell screen-gamepad hybrid, the company has learned a hard truth about such a form factor: most people just don’t want bulk. Over the course of the Shield’s brief life, Nvidia added a number of features, including game streaming from a local Kepler GPU-adorned PC and a limited subset of cloud-based games that enabled a whole new type of experience.
The Shield Tablet doesn’t do away with any of those things, but merely separates the screen from the controller, lowering the price and offering casual users a more approachable product.