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Wednesday, 14 May 2014 07:57

Nvidia working on Shield Tablet

Written by Fuad Abazovic



Tegra K1 inside

We got some fresh information about Nvidia’s Tegra plans. The company is working on a new tablet based on the Tegra K1 processor. This is nothing new and could be easily predicted, but this time we have confirmation that the project is known as Shield tablet.

Alongside the Tegra K1, or TK1 as Nvidia refers to this chip internally, you can bet that there is 5GHz WiFi support in the latest tablet. Last time we heard talk of a Tegra Note 7 successor we were told that there would be an 8-inch version, but we cannot confirm whether or not the Shield tablet is an 8-incher.

Nvidia Mocha tablet getting Shield branding?


We already wrote about the Mocha 8-inch tablet powered by a 2.1GHz TK1 chip, 2GB of memory, 7.9-inch 2048x1536 resolution screen and 16GB of storage. We can only hope that this will be the specification of Shield tablet. In case you didn’t notice, the 7.9-inch 2048x1536 resolution is what you get from Apple in the iPad mini and it is no coincidence that Nvidia chose this form factor and this resolution. If it works for Apple it should work for Nvidia, too.

Since Nvidia managed to excite quite a few fans with the Shield gaming console, it was just a matter of time before it offered a Shield tablet. We know that Tegra Note 7 was lacking 5GHz WiFi, something that Nvidia requires for Gamestream technology and with the new Shield tablet this problem has been addressed.

A Shield tablet with Gamestream support will give Nvidia what it needs - clear differentiation from hundreds of Android tablets available today. This was not the case with the Tegra Note 7, although it ships with a neat stylus which is not common on affordable Android tablets.

Second screen for gamers


With a Shield tablet Nvidia can target a niche audience that would like the ability to play some PC games via Gamestream on their beloved tablet. People complained about the resolution of the Tegra Note 7 and with the larger version Nvidia will definitely increase the resolution to 1080p or more. However, a 1920x1080 or 2048x1535 tablet won’t cost $199, it will be a bit pricier than the Tegra Note 7. It will be based on a more elaborate SoC, it needs more RAM, more storage and of course a pricier screen.

The LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition tablet is currently selling for $349 which can give you an idea of the price. Nvidia’s 8-inch gaming specced tablet will probably cost between $299 and $349. Apple charges $399 for the iPad Mini with Retina. We can only speculate, but this is just something that makes sense to us considering to approximate BOM and Nvidia’s traditional margin in this space.

We expect to see the new Shield tablet in the next few months, probably around Google I/O if not at Google I/O which takes place in the last week of June.

 

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