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NVIDIA launches Tegra K1-powered Shield tablet, starting at $299
Following an exhaustive leak last week, NVIDIA has today made official the new Shield tablet, an 8-inch device powered by the Tegra K1 processor, targeted primarily at gamers.
The Shield tablet follows the Shield handheld console, released at CES last year, and packs some of the same gaming features, including GameStream technology, which works with select NVIDIA GPUs and, in limited beta, with NVIDIA’s cloud streaming service.
The Shield features an 8-inch Full HD IPS LCD display and comes with a built-in stylus that works with NVIDIA’s new DirectStylus 2 tech, which includes “a new capability where pigment and paint mix and bleed physically, in real time, and the palette is naturally illuminated in 3D as the user adjusts the light source.”
The Tegra K1 SoC features 192 Kepler-based GPU cores that support some desktop class graphics features, such as tessellation, and a quad-core Cortex A15 processor spinning at 2.2GHz, as well as 2GB of RAM. The device comes in two versions, one with Wi-Fi only and 16GB of built-in storage, and one with LTE and 32GB of storage. Both options feature an expansion card for up to 128GB of additional storage space.
The dual front speakers with dual bass reflex enclosure should provide a rich soundtrack to your gaming exploits. Speaking of which, NVIDIA boasts over 400 games that are optimized for the Shield at launch, though you will naturally be able to load up any app or game from the Play Store.
In addition to cloud streaming and local PC streaming, the NVIDIA Shield features Console Mode, which turns the device into a console that gamers can connect to a TV and control with the optional Shield controller accessory.
The NVIDIA Shield will become available for pre-order today and will begin shipping in North America on July 9, Europe on August 4, and in other regions this fall. The 16GB/Wi-Fi model will cost $299, while the 32GB/LTE model will go for $399. The optional Shield controller will retail for $59, and NVIDIA is also offering a case with a built-in stand for $39.
NVIDIA Launches World’s First Tablet Built for Gamers
SHIELD Family Expands as World’s Most Advanced Mobile Processor, 192-Core Tegra K1, Serves Up Unmatched Tablet Experience, Amazing Gaming
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — July 22, 2014 — NVIDIA today launched the newest members of the NVIDIA® SHIELDTM family — the SHIELD tablet and the SHIELD wireless controller.
Designed and built by NVIDIA, SHIELD Tablet is the ultimate tablet for gamers, delivering unparalleled gaming performance made possible by the world’s most powerful mobile processor, the NVIDIA Tegra® K1, and frequent software updates that bring new features and improved performance.
The SHIELD tablet is built for gaming, featuring a bright, 8-inch, full HD display, booming front- facing speakers with rich sound, and an optional cover that both protects the screen and can be used as a stand to support the device. To transform the tablet form factor into a serious gaming machine, NVIDIA has built the SHIELD wireless controller, which provides the precision, low latency and ergonomics that serious gamers demand.
The SHIELD tablet offers optional LTE for gamers to take their online gaming anywhere. And to ensure the device delivers the richest gaming experience, NVIDIA will provide regular, over-the- air software updates.
“If you’re a gamer and you use a tablet, the NVIDIA SHIELD tablet was created specifically for you,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer at NVIDIA. “The SHIELD tablet delivers unique gaming capabilities to keep even the most avid gamer deeply immersed, anywhere they play.”
As with the original member of the SHIELD family, the original SHIELD portable, the SHIELD tablet is the portal to compelling content that gamers will love, including over 400 SHIELD- optimized Android games, as well as the ability to wirelessly stream users’ PC gaming libraries.
The SHIELD tablet’s gaming capabilities are powered by its Tegra K1 mobile processor, with a 192-core GPU that taps into the same NVIDIA KeplerTM architecture that drives the most extreme gaming PCs.
String of World Firsts
The SHIELD tablet provides a range of firsts for a tablet:
- PC Streaming: First to stream games from a PC desktop or notebook, from anywhere in the home – using NVIDIA GameStreamTM technology to stream from systems powered by an NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 6xx series or greater GPU.
- Cloud Streaming: First to stream PC games from the cloud. Gamers can access the NVIDIA GRIDTM cloud gaming beta, available exclusively to SHIELD owners in Northern California, to instantly stream a library of high-quality PC games, and then save them in the cloud.
- Twitch and NVIDIA ShadowPlayTM: First to feature Twitch – the leading video platform and community for gamers – which is also integrated with ShadowPlay, an advanced game-capture tool that lets users save and stream their greatest gaming moments. Gamers can stream titles from the SHIELD tablet to friends and foes worldwide. SHIELD Tablet also includes a 5MP front camera to enhance the image of the gamer overlaid on the Twitch gamecast.
- Console Mode: First to feature NVIDIA Console Mode, which takes your tablet gameplay to your big screen TV. Console Mode transforms the device into a full living-room gaming and entertainment experience. Gamers can set up their SHIELD wireless controller, sit back on their couch and play Android games, browse the web and watch their favorite movies — all in native 1080p HD.
Controller for Serious Gamers, with Ultra-Low Latency Wi-Fi
The SHIELD wireless controller is the most advanced device of its kind, allowing gamers to boost performance with ultra-low latency Wi-Fi Direct connectivity with up to four wireless controllers to game along with friends. It is the first precision controller designed for both PC gaming and Android, and features a gaming headset jack, built-in touch pad, volume control and revolutionary voice command and search.
A stylus allows tablet experiences that touch-only tablets can’t match, and the NVIDIA DirectStylusTM 2 technology on the SHIELD tablet is a game-changer. Twice as responsive as its predecessor, DirectStylus 2 technology enables the first GPU-accelerated 3D painting experience, a new capability where pigment and paint mix and bleed physically, in real time, and the palette is naturally illuminated in 3D as the user adjusts the light source.
Aspiring artists can use DirectStylus 2 to capture the attitude of every stroke on the SHIELD tablet, take notes with the integrated apps and handwriting recognition, or get creative with the NVIDIA DabblerTM app’s hyper-realistic watercolor and 3D Paint oil painting.
Ensuring that every game, song and podcast sounds incredibly crisp and clear, NVIDIA PureAudioTM technology delivers dynamic sound through front-facing stereo speakers and a dual-ported bass-reflex enclosure.
The sturdy, optional SHIELD tablet cover does more than just protect the tablet. It offers a variety of flexible stand positions to make gaming and entertainment more enjoyable.
Preloaded with NVIDIA SHIELD Hub and Trine 2
The SHIELD tablet comes preloaded with the NVIDIA SHIELD Hub app, the center of the gamer’s SHIELD experience. The app offers one-touch access to over 400 SHIELD-optimized Android game titles, along with Google Play, where gamers can download thousands of apps, including Netflix, Pandora and more.
Also bundled is the popular Frostbyte game Trine 2: Complete Story. Originally a huge hit on PlayStation, Xbox and Steam, the game is now optimized for great gameplay and graphics on the Tegra K1 processor.
Pricing, Availability and Accessories
The SHIELD tablet comes with either Wi-Fi connectivity, or Wi-Fi and LTE. It’s available in 16- and 32GB, with MicroSD (up to 128GB), starting at $299. The SHIELD wireless controller retails for $59. The SHIELD tablet cover retails for $39.
The SHIELD tablet, wireless controller and tablet cover are now available for preorder in the United States, Canada and select European countries. Preorders in the United States are available at shield.nvidia.com, Amazon, Best Buy, Fry’s Electronics, GameStop, Micro Center, Newegg and Tiger Direct, and in Canada at Canada Computers, Memory Express, NCIX and ThinkGeek.