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NVIDIA Shield Tablet

NVIDIA Shield Tablet

from  $599+
product image
86 Engadget Score
An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.
86

An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

NVIDIA’s second-generation Shield is more powerful, more versatile and more accessible than its predecessor. It’s not only the best Android gaming device on the market, but also a fine tablet, too.

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Pros
  • Fast, powerful and built for gamers
  • NVIDIA GameStream still impresses
  • A solid tablet in its own right
Cons
  • Controller not included
  • Mediocre camera
  • Mushy power button
  • Limited (but expandable) storage space
86 Engadget Score
An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.
86

An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

86
 

User Reviews

90
jordibo
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
90
dobs87
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
80
ScottMcElroy
This tablet has proven to be pretty great. There have been a few hiccups on...read more
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Score Breakdown

 
89
Average user Score
 
90
jordibo
06.15.15
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
 
90
dobs87
02.17.15
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
 
80
ScottMcElroy
12.31.14
This tablet has proven to be pretty great. There have been a few hiccups on the way, but they have all been mostly overcome and the price and performance are still compelling. Would buy again.SD Issues: With Android 4.4 (kitkat) I had frequent freezes when trying to use the SD card much. Sometimes it would recover from these frozen states after a couple minutes, but would often reboot. After the upgrade to Android 5.0 (lollipop) the problems have gone away.Lollipop upgrade issues: After the initial lollipop upgrade the OS UI ran extremely slow. Once in an app things would run ok, but using Android menus and switching apps was painful. After a factory reset the problems have disappeared and lollipop is mostly a buttery smooth experience, even faster than kitkat was. This is a problem many have documented elsewhere. Factory resets have mostly fixed any performance issues from reports I have read and is where I got the idea to try that. It was a little inconvenient, but Google has made the restore process much easier.Cons: A little heavy/hefty. Occasional rough edges on software features. The aforementioned issues are some examples, but there are other rough edges with the included nvidia apps like Shield Hub. Bugs and crashes are still a bit more common then you would hope. Battery life could be better. Plastic edges feel a little cheap. Controller mappings for the touch-only Minecraft Pocket Edition are terrible. This is mostly the fault of the Minecraft developers but is annoying.Pros: Super fast. Inexpensive. Great gaming tablet. Great screen. The companion controller is definitely the best android controller I have seen. Also works great with bluetooth controllers like the Amazon Fire TV game controller. After lollipop upgrade, storage expansion through the SD slot works well. Front facing speakers work great and get pretty loud (though also get a little tinny at higher volume).Nvidia made a wise decision and delivered Android in much the same way as Motorola has recently: unmolested, with a few extra goodies. This is regular stock AOSP. Just like a Nexus or Google Play device, with a few Nvidia apps and features thrown in. Nothing removed or replaced from regular android, only added. Also, a free game (Trine 2).Shield hub mostly just links to the play store but is a nice curated list of games designed to work well with the tablet and controller. Haven't used game streaming, but there is still a good selection of quality android games that work great with the controller. Comes with tools to convert to map touch and even accelerometer input to controller input so touch-only games can often be fully functional controller games. Included stylus is quite precise and the tablet has a number of cool features around it beyond the obvious drawing apps. Lasso mode allows you to crop and annotate parts of the screens. This makes sharing expressive screenshots painless. The tablet also includes a stylus only mode and can display a customize-able launcher when the stylus is removed.Game streaming seems cool, but haven't used it. Bought this for standard tablet use and to explore games available on android natively.This tablet feels targeted at PC gamers and the technically inclined. Easy to get into developer mode. Very few restrictions. Lots of tweaks and customization options. After using this device I see the real threat to windows among PC-type gamers probably isn't SteamOS, or Ubuntu, but Android with the help of tablets like this one, various android game consoles, and other places we'll see android go in the future.With a more realistic gaming resolution, smaller/lighter body, and nearly identical processor to the Nexus 9, this is an inexpensive alternative and arguably a better choice for portable gaming. This is the best android gaming has to offer right now, and at a price that would be attractive even without the monstrous GPU performance.I was able to overcome the few small issues I've had with the tablet and it has otherwise exceeded my expectations, so it earns all 8/10. Bravo, Nvidia. I did not think one of your first stabs at a "regular" android tablet and mass market consumer electronic device would be so competent. I will enjoy my shield and hope nvidia and others keep pushing android devices and gaming forward.P.S., I suggest to check for buy it at low price at: seebestdeals.com/?p=1801Hope it helps.
 
80
jpwhiteside
12.06.14
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - Engadget
 
90
pseudomind
11.11.14
Before I go any further, let me say that this is my first tablet.I have been waiting on the fence for some number of years until this thing came around. For me the following things made it the best choice currently available:Very fast processor with what is probably the fastest GPU currently available with any ARM processor. (This will make the device future-proof to some degree)Nice sized display with a decent resolution (8" @ 1920x1200). While the screen doesn't have a higher resolution like some of the current gen models, I should mention that the choice to use a comparably lower resolution screen was so that the GPU would be powerful enough to play games at their full speed at the native resolution of the display.Availability of a quality companion wireless game controller that is probably the best for any current android system. I should mention that the tablet plays Portal amazingly and also that this tablet can emulat PSX and N64 games AMAZINGLY well.Expandable storage (via micro-sdxc (up to 128GB additional))Can be connected to a TV or external display (mini-hdmi connection) and operate at up to 4K resolutions on external displays.Unlocked 4G micro-sim slot included.It has a very reasonable price ($400 for the 32GB LTE model)Now for the big question... what do I do with it.It's a jukebox while I am at work (its storage capacity shines here)Finds use as a mobile internet source when I am on the go (I found a $10/mo 1GB pay-as-you-go data plan for it).Browsing the internet.Playing tablet-style games (especially when travelling via airplane)Playing games on the TV (such as Portal)Emulating classing video game systems that I grew up with (NES, N64, PSX, etc)Streaming video from Netflix and CrunchyrollIf I could change a few things about this tablet I would do the following: increase the screen size to ~9" (to make it better for reading comics), improve the lock/unlock button to make it simpler to push, and finally increase the battery life by any amount possible. I would absolutely recommend this tablet to anybody and everybody.
 
90
AlfyTheGayDino
08.18.14
This tablet is amazing. Easily the best tablet on the market right now. However the battery life is down right terrible. This is the one thing I wish nvidia would change.
 
100
suigintou
07.31.14
With what it is, I can see why people can mistake its identity in the tech world but with a $500 tablet like list of features and a great display for $300 you can't beat this awesome tablet