While that makes it a bit more expensive than an entry-level Kindle Fire HDX or Google Nexus tablet, the Shield Tablet is designed for video games, and it has a few features other tablets lack including the ability to stream games from your PC to your tablet over the internet.
As expected, the tablet features an 8 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixel IPS display, a 2.2 GHz Tegra K1 quad-core processor with 192-core graphics, 2GB of RAM, 5MP front and rear cameras, a 10 hour battery, and support for pressure-sensitive input with NVIDIA’s DirectStylus 2 device.
A WiFi-only model with 16GB of storage sells for $299 while there’s also a $399 model with 32GB of storage and 4G LTE wireless support.
Both versions feature HDMI output, front-facing stereo speakers, and microSD card readers for up to 128GB of removable storage.
Don’t like the idea of playing PC (or even Android) games using on-screen controls? NVIDIA’s Shield Wireless Controller is a $60 accessory that lets you play games without touching the tablet. Connect your Shield tablet to a TV via an HDMI cable and fire up the wireless controller and you can play PC games on the big screen without moving your desktop computer to the living room.
While most wireless controllers of this type use Bluetooth, the Shield controller uses WiFi Direct for lower-latency performance. You can connect up to 4 controllers to a single Shield tablet. The controller also has a headset jack and built-in mic for use with voice commands, searches, and more.
The controller is designed to work with NVIDIA’s Shield family of devices — and that includes the original Shield portable handheld device. Sure, the first-generation Shield has a built-in game controller. But NVIDIA will roll out a software update on July 29th adding support for the new wireless controller.
That will let you set your Shield next to a TV and game from the couch without running an HDMI cable across the room.
The Shield tablet and wireless controller are available for pre-order now and they should begin to ship in the US and Canada on July 29th.