January 7th 2013 12:47 am

final rating

reviewed on
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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Game library Not a huge list of Android games but the fact that you can stream PC games AND play numerous titles via emulation, I think it deserves more credit. great!
  • Graphics No comments good
  • Battery life No comments good
  • Portability (size / weight) No comments good
  • Durability No comments great!
Detailed review
Screen/AudioThe screen may only be 720p, but it looks pretty good, especially considering how close you are to the screen. The hinge is solid and adjusts to any angle I want up to 180 degrees. I have not tested PC streaming since I do not have a GTX650 or better card at the moment. The speakers get pretty loud and sound great, especially coming from such a small device. nVidia did an excellent job in the audio department. I have to agree with the majority of reviewers out there that the Shield sounds great.

My only complaint really would be the weight. However it is not a huge detriment considering I usually play with my arms resting on a table or on the arms of a chair. The battery seems to drain pretty quickly when playing Tegra optimized games. Not so much with other games and emulators.

Gaming Library
Speaking of emulators - holy crap this thing plays them really well. There are free emulators that can easily load and play with intuitive controls on the Shield - RetroArch and SuperN64 work perfectly. You can even map the buttons with SuperN64. Everyone dogs on the Shield for not having a huge library (which is true) and give it bad marks. But if you consider the hundreds of SNES, NES, N64, PS1, Gameboy, Genesis, etc. games that work via emulation - this thing has a bigger library than most gaming handhelds.

I love playing video games, especially on the Xbox 360. While this may not have the same thumbstick layout (probably in order to have the screen close flusher to the controller) as the Xbox, I feel right at home when playing. You can even use a mini HDMI cable and output the display to a TV, however I did experience a little bit of lag since the screen is outputting what was JUST displayed on the Shield's screen. I didn't even turn on my Xbox in the first 10 days since having the Shield.

If you love video games and use the Android platform, this is the way to go. The complaints I hear about are mostly towards things that don't matter like "I can't type easy on this." Well, this isn't for typing, this is for gaming. And when I have to type it's really not a big deal. Plus it has a microphone input for when you want to do things by voice, making it even easier to use. Doesn't have a front facing camera, which would have been nice for video calls, but I can live since I have a phone with one and it's always on me.

For $300 you are getting Tegra 4 and a badass little set up. I wouldn't use this as a "tablet" but only as a media machine. I can put movies on the SD card and output it to my larger TVs in the house, or listen to music with better speakers than what my phone has. If you have $300 and love to game, this really is a no brainer. It's still cheaper than some other tablets on the market with older hardware.
review history
Updated detailed review