Nvidia Shield Tablet – hardware and cover review

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Today I am going to look at the Nvidia Shield Tablet hardware in more detail. I will start by stating this is not built to the same standards as the Apple iPad. Nor is its 1080p screen as good as the iPad. But it is nonetheless a decent enough screen by far.

If you look at the photo above you can see on the screen side the right “front” loudspeaker. The stereo speakers are dual bass reflex port with built-in microphone. The sound from the left and right front speakers is reasonable and adds to the media enjoyment. You will notice sound also comes out of the side too, top right side slat. On the front screen side is also the 5mp front facing camera. The rear also has a 5mp front facing camera. I will cover off the cameras in another post, but needless to say the camera software included is more than expected. Going back to the right side, from the bottom right you can see the headphone jack, HDMI and then micro usb socket. You will notice the micro usb port has green paint on the top. The cable also has one side green, allowing for easier connecting.

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The rear is a soft plastic finish. Nothing special but easy to hold. It does show my fingerprints a little. On the rear you can see the 5mp rear camera and the stylus.

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The Nvidia Shield cover is a smart cover. It has two stick out bits that slot in to the gaps on the side of the tablet. The cover is held in place by magnets and can only be held one way around. It is a strong magnetic connection. The cover has a keyboard, and two upright modes. Opening the cover turns the tablet on and off.

On the top edge is the power and volume controls. I must admit I find the power button fiddly to use.
The top edge also house the micro SD slot and micro SIM card as well as the stylus.
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So overall the hardware is fine and to be honest I don’t miss my iPad, and at £239 for the 16 GB WiFi only model and £299 for the 32 GB LTE/WiFi it really is a great offering.

The full specs are as follows –

– Processor NVIDIA® Tegra® K1 192 core Kepler GPU, 2.2 GHz ARM Cortex A15 CPU with 2GB RAM
– Display 8-inch 1920×1200 multi-touch Full HD display
– Audio Front facing stereo speakers, dual bass reflex port with built-in microphone
– Storage 32 GB (WiFi+4G LTE) / 16 GB (WiFi-only)
– Wireless 802.11n 2×2 Mimo 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi
– Bluetooth 4.0 LE
– GPS / GLONASS
– Connectivity WiFi+4G LTE or WiFi-only
– Mini-HDMI output
– Micro-USB 2.0
– MicroSD storage slot
– 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack with microphone support
– SIM Card Micro-SIM
– Motion Sensors 3-axis gyro
– 3-axis accelerometer
– 3-axis compass
– Gaming Features SHIELD wireless controller compatible
– NVIDIA GameStream™
– NVIDIA ShadowPlay™
– GRID Cloud Gaming Beta
– Console Mode
– Gamepad Mapper
– Cameras Front: 5MP HDR; Back: 5MP auto focus HDR
– Video Features 4K Ultra-HD Ready
– Stylus DirectStylus 2 with 3D Paint (Included)
– Software Updates SHIELD software upgrades directly from NVIDIA
– Battery 19.75 Watt Hours
– Weight and Size Weight: 13.7oz / 390g
– Height: 8.8in / 221mm Width: 5.0in / 126mm Depth: 0.36in / 9.2mm
– Operating System Android KitKat OS (Android 5.0 Lollipop ready)
– Software Google Play™, NVIDIA SHIELD Hub, Trine 2: Complete Story, Multi language Handwriting Recognition, NVIDIA Dabbler™, JusWrite, Evernote, Adobe Reader, Camera Awesome

-Cellular Connectivity
North America: Unlocked (compatible with AT&T, please check bands supported)LTE, HSPA+, 3G, 2G, GSM, EDGE
-Outside-North America: Unlocked (please check bands supported)LTE, HSPA+, 3G, 2G, GSM, EDGE
Cellular Bands North America:LTE: Bands 2,4,5,7,17 (1900, 1700, 850, 2600, 700)
HSPA+: Bands 1,2,4,5 (2100, 1900, 1700, 850)

Outside-North America:LTE: Bands 1*,3,7,20 (2100/1800/2600/800)HSPA+: Bands 1,2,5,8 (2100/1900/850/900)
* In certain regions band 1 and voice support is enabled

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