When you open the box for the NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1, you're presented with just the tablet and nothing else. No charger, no microUSB cable and no built-in stylus. NVIDIA told us the exclusions were part of the company's efforts to cut costs: most consumers already have a tablet or phone charger lying around the house. Leaving it out of the K1's box allows them to slash a few dollars from the total price. It's not a bad move, but it could catch a few unsuspecting consumers off guard. What about the Stylus? NVIDIA says the new tablet is still compatible with the ShieldDirect Stylus 2, but it's now only available as an accessory. I spent some time with the K1 and confirmed, it works exactly as it does on the original tablet -- but there's no longer a slot in the Shield's chassis to hold the pen.
Folks who already own a Shield tablet don't have any reason to upgrade to the K1, but new buyers may want to take a look. It's more than just a gaming device, it's a competitive tablet in its own right -- and still lives up to every word we wrote about the original last year. Well, almost every word: the K1 is available only in a single configuration: a WiFi model with 16GB of internal storage (expandable to 128GB via MicroSD). If you need a slate with LTE, look elsewhere.