On July 29th of 2014, NVIDIA released a product that I am still using to this day. It is the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet. When it was released it was the ultimate tablet for gamers. It is now more than two years later and it is still the ultimate tablet and not just for gamers. It is the ultimate tablet. Period.
The NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet is an 8-inch tablet with a 1920×1200 LCD display. It comes with Tegra K1 processor that clocks in at 2.2 GHz. It also has 2 GB of memory and the base model comes with a 16 GB internal hard drive. Unlike many of the devices coming out now, it also has MicroSD card support.
At the time I was using a Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (yes, the Note 8.0 came out before the Note 7, it confuses us too). I used it for a lot of business related functions, web browsing, reading on the Kindle app, with the occasional game or movie. The Note 8.0 was a great device when I first got it but it gradually got slower and slower. It just wasn’t meeting my needs. I held on to it for a lot longer than I should have because of one feature, the stylus. When I saw the SHIELD Tablet came with a stylus, I was sold. I went out and ordered it the next day.
Now I know a lot of you are thinking that a stylus isn’t a big of a deal but to me it was. Like I said, I used the Galaxy Note 8.0 because I was able to take notes on it, that stylus came in very handy! I was even more surprised when the SHIELD Tablet came, that the stylus was actually much better than the one on the Note 8.0. It had a soft, chiseled tip that allowed for writing with various thicknesses and it felt more natural. The Tablet also came with a handwriting keyboard that was the most accurate, and fastest that I have ever used. It was reminiscent of Palm’s old Graffiti keyboard but it was more like an upgrade and not a copycat. And that was just the beginning of what the stylus could do!
The SHIELD Tablet comes with two speakers front facing speakers with amazing sound quality. Sometimes I will use my Tablet to watch videos or to play games. When I turn the sound up I am blown away by how good the quality of the audio is!
It wasn’t until recently that I signed up for the GeForce Now catalog. When I did, I did it so I could play games on my NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV, not the Tablet. GeForce Now is a service that NVIDIA provides for a small fee. It allows you to play high-end video games on some insanely powerful servers across the world and then stream them to your machine locally.
One night, I was playing one of my favorite games, ABZU, when my wife kicked me off the SHIELD TV. I was super close to the end and a bit bummed that I wasn’t going to be able to beat it. Then I had a moment of inspiration! I took my SHIELD Controller and paired it to the Tablet and then logged in to GeForce Now. I then started playing ABZU from where I had left off and was able to beat the game. Although it was a smaller screen, the Tablet was performing just as well as the full-blown console! I now play a lot more games on the Tablet and have am thoroughly enjoying it!
When it launched the SHIELD Tablet there were several great accessories released at the same time. You can get a SHIELD Controller for $60. There is also a magnetic cover that doubles as a stand for $40. And if you are prone to losing things there is also a replacement stylus for between $20 and $35. I would definitely recommend the controller and cover to anyone buying the SHIELD Tablet. The controller makes gaming much more enjoyable and is a great addition to the Tablet. The cover does a great job of protecting the screen and makes it comfortable to hold the tablet one-handed or to use it at an angle.
One year after it was initially released the SHIELD Tablet was re-released as the SHIELD Tablet K1. The K1 came with a slightly upgraded processor but remained pretty much the same. NVIDIA changed the speaker grills and switched them from plastic to rubber. The stated reason for the change was to give users a better grip. They also removed the stylus. I prefer the original SHIELD Tablet because of the stylus but the K1 is a great tablet for those that don’t need a stylus.
As I said earlier, the SHIELD Tablet is made for gamers, but it really is perfect for anyone who needs a good quality tablet. The build quality is sturdy, the screen is practically unscratchable, the software is updated regularly and the tablet is fast and responsive. There is no game it can’t play and no task it can’t complete. In fact, I dare you to find me another tablet that can play Witcher 3, ABZU, Dead Or Alive 5 or any of the other games you can do on the SHIELD Tablet!
I have owned several tablets but this is the first to have lasted for more than a year. Other tablets get boring or they don’t meet my needs. The NVIDIA Shield tablet meets my needs and is anything but boring. I look forward to using it and have no plans to trade it in. Unless NVIDIA comes out with a new SHIELD Tablet… When they do, you can bet I will be the first in line to get one!
Want a SHIELD Tablet for yourself? They are getting harder to find but deals are always popping up on Amazon. Check out the links below to get one for yourself!
Roy likes to dabble in all things Android and contributes everywhere he can. He owns the site rwilco12.com and its accompanying forum, he develops his own apps and ROM’s, is a Moderator and Recognized Developer on XDA-Developers.com and is the VP of Public Relations for AndroidFileHost.com.