The perfect tablet for gaming for mobility

Weight: 390g | Dimensions: 221 x 126 x 9.2 mm | OS: Android 5.0 | Screen size:8-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1200 | CPU: quad-core 2.2GHz | RAM: 2GB |Storage: 16GB | Battery: 19.75 Wh | Rear camera: 5MP | Front camera: 5MP

+ves                                                       -neg

Top Specs                                             Could have been more portable

Nice Price                                             Comes with a controller which is heavy

If you’re looking for a new tablet with top notch gaming performance the Shield Tablet is easily the best contender today.

If may not look like the iPad, or have the array of features of the Samsungs and Sonys have, but the Shield focuses on its gaming core very well.

The controller is an optional extra, which is slightly annoying, but considering the price of the tablet has now dropped buying it is not to much of a problem.

At eight inches, the Shield Tablet features a gorgeous 1,920 x 1,200 display, which shares the same resolution as Google’s flagship Nexus 7 tablet. At 13.1 ounces, the Shield Tablet is about three ounces heavier than the Nexus 7 but still a lot lighter than the original’s 1 lb. 4.7 ounces.

Part of the weight increase with the Shield Tablet over the Nexus 7 is due to the extra inch that you’re getting from the screen, but also because the Shield Tablet is passively cooled and has an extra thermal shield built inside to dissipate heat. It’s a little heavier than we’d like, but isn’t likely to cause any wrist problems

On the back of the Shield is an anti-slip surface and a 5MP camera, and on the front of the tablet we have a front-facing 5MP camera and two front-facing speakers. While the speakers are not going to blow away dedicated Bluetooth speakers, they sound excellent for a tablet. In addition to the speakers, the Shield Tablet has a 3.5mm headphone jack up at the top.

In terms of battery life, Nvidia is claiming you’ll get 10 hours watching/surfing the web and about five hours from gaming with its 19.75 Wh battery. This is up 3.75 Wh up from Google’s Nexus 7 equivalent and from our experiential tests, we found those figures to be fairly accurate if not a best case scenario. It will pretty much last you all day, but you’ll still want to let it sip juice every night.

Of course if you’re going to game with it, you’re going to need Nvidia’s new wireless Shield Controller. Sold separately for $59.99/£49.99 (about AU$63), the 11.2-ounce Shield Controller maintains the same button layout as the original Shield controller, but feels a lot lighter and more comfortable to hold. While most Android game controllers operate over Bluetooth, Nvidia opted to go with Wi-Fi Direct stating that it offers 2x faster response time and more bandwidth.

The extra bandwidth allows you to plug in a 3.5mm headphone into the controller and also allows you to link up to four controllers to the device, which is an appreciated feature when you hook up the tablet to your HDTV via the Shield Tablet’s Console Mode. Other unique features of the controller include capacitive touch buttons for Android’s home, back, and play buttons.

There’s also a big green Nvidia button that launches Shield Hub. The controller also has a small triangle shaped clickable touch pad which allows you to navigate your tablet from afar. A quibble we had with it is that we wish the trackpad was more square, to at least mimic the dimensions of the tablet as the triangle shape was a little awkward to interface with.

OUR VERDICT

The Nvidia Shield tablet isn’t as portable as its predecessor, but it’s the tablet the gamers deserve.

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