The life of the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet has had some ups and downs. Josh reviewed it last year, and at the time he found that NVIDIA's tech for game streaming offered an interesting value proposition. Unfortunately, NVIDIA was forced to issue a total recall on the tablets due to overheating concerns earlier this year, and while they shipped replacement devices to consumers, the SHIELD Tablet ended up being removed from sale. This was quite unfortunate, and it left a gap in the Android tablet market that I really haven't seen any vendor fill.

Today NVIDIA is re-introducing the SHIELD Tablet with a new name. It's now called the SHIELD Tablet K1, something I hope implies we will soon see a SHIELD Tablet X1.

While the name is new, we're looking at the exact same tablet that launched last year. I've put the specs in the chart below as a refresher.

  NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet K1
SoC NVIDIA Tegra K1 (2.2 GHz 4x Cortex A15r3, Kepler 1 SMX GPU)
RAM 2 GB DDR3L-1866
NAND 16GB NAND + microSD
Display 8” 1920x1200 IPS LCD
Camera 5MP rear camera, 1.4 µm pixels, 1/4" CMOS size. 5MP FFC
Diameter / Mass 221 x 126 x 9.2mm, 390 grams
Battery 5197 mAh, 3.8V chemistry (19.75 Whr)
OS Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
Other Connectivity 2x2 802.11a/b/g/n + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GLONASS, Mini-HDMI 1.4a
Accessories SHIELD DirectStylus 2 - $19.99
SHIELD Controller - $59.99
SHIELD Tablet K1 Cover - $39.99
Price $199

The NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet K1 still has NVIDIA's Tegra K1 SoC, with four Cortex A15 cores and the incredibly fast single SMX Kepler GPU. The SoC is paired with 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 16GB of NAND, with the original 32GB model being dropped. There's still microSD expansion for storing media, and with Android Marshmallow expandable storage will lose much of its third class status on Android which will be helpful.

Of course, the biggest change here beyond the fact that the SHIELD Tablet is being put back on sale is its new price. At $199 it's $100 cheaper than when it first launched, and it makes it one of the only good tablets that you can actually get at that price point with the Nexus 7 having been gone for some time now. NVIDIA's optional accessories are all available as well, and if you plan to use the gaming features of the SHIELD Tablet K1 I would definitely factor the price of the controller into your cost consideration. In any case, it's good to see the SHIELD Tablet K1 back on sale, and at $199 I think it's definitely worth considering if you're looking for a tablet at that price.

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  • Yojimbo - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    When the X1 was announced and people asked Jensen Huang about the Denver part, he said it was always the intention for the next iteration to be a 16nm part. So Denver was still presumably alive as of 8 months ago. Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    Wikipedia is only as accurate as the citations. Reply
  • lucam - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    So this version of maxwell with GPGPU would be much different from current one? Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    The Shield 2 showed up in the South Korean equivalent of the FCC database (the US version a common source of early product leaks) last month; leading to speculation that it would be out in a few more months. Reply
  • hans_ober - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    No doubt, it was inconsistent, but A15s are old for end 2015. The fact that it's so cheap and the A15s run well at high clocks without throttling actually makes up. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    Denver posted good benchmarks, but it would choke when anything with more spaghetti code was thrown at it. Probably because of the binary translation bottleneck point. Not sure that it would be better in games. Reply
  • lucam - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    For games what does count is the GPU I believe... Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    So, android M fixes the SD card woes, but the tablet comes with 5.1.1. Any word on when it would get 6.0? Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    And also, why no charger? Why is that a separate purchase? Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    Because USB cables/chargers are getting to the point where most people already have a junk drawer filled with them and don't need any more; at which point it becomes and added cost/source of additional ewaste to add them to the bundle. Reply

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