The NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet Reviewby Joshua Ho on July 29, 2014 9:00 AM EST
While this device is targeted towards gaming, as a tablet it also needs a great display. In order to better test this, we turn to our custom workflow in CalMAN 5 to get a better idea of how good the display is. To start, we’ll look at the basics and move on from there. All of these tests were done with sRGB as it provides the best results.
Unfortunately, it seems that the display is a bit dim compared to the competition. It’s still well within spec and plenty bright for indoor usage, but outdoors it won’t be as easy to read. Contrast is definitely up to par though, and as far as I can tell in normal usage image-dependent dimming is disabled, so the display has a relatively high native contrast.
In the grayscale test, NVIDIA has done a relatively good job in keeping a balanced white point, although error ends up a bit high relative to what we’ve seen recently. It’s definitely acceptable for most users, at any rate. It's important to note here that the grayscale accuracy error average is not just a measurement of RGB color balance, as vision also depends upon the luminance aspect to be correct.
The saturation test is where things start to fall apart. Unfortunately, it’s quite clear that the backlight used in this device just doesn’t have pure enough wavelengths for red and blue, and the result is that the gamut is well below sRGB, around what we see for the iPhone 4/4s and iPad mini line. This may be an attempt to improve power consumption, but I suspect that most are willing to forgo some battery life for a higher quality display. NVIDIA’s sRGB calibration is good up to the 80% saturation mark, but everything else past that point will have the same color, so it’s clear that NVIDIA’s display calibration tries to make do with what it has.
As expected, the ColorChecker shows the results of the poor gamut and some issues present in the grayscale. Error ends up relatively high. The display is still decent, but relative to the competition it doesn’t stack up very well.