Nvidia’s Shield Tablet K1 is (mostly) the same tab with a new low price

17 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Nvidia introduces the Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 for $199.

What if you’re a gamer at heart and want a tablet? Nvidia is staying in the tablet market after being hit with a recall of its Shield Tablet, relaunching the device under a new name and at a lower price.

The original Shield Tablet was recalled in late July for posing a fire hazard due to overheating batteries, and the product was out of stock on Nvidia’s website shortly after. So, even though many of the games I play are not themselves Free Software, I do try to focus my gaming on platforms that are, at least, themselves open (to some degree).

While it’s not uncommon for smartphone manufacturers to shift around a few innards and revamp a product, Nvidia hasn’t gone down that road with their mobile offerings… until now. What this means, in practice, is that I tend to not use platforms like the Xbox or the WiiU, and instead focus on Linux-powered desktops, SteamOS-powered consoles (which are finally starting to ship) and Android-powered handhelds. Like the previous version, the Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 will sport the Tegra K1 processor, so you won’t be hurting for power with the chip and 2GB of RAM.

A truly amazing hand-held gaming system (which doubles as an 8-inch Android tablet) that quickly became my primary gaming device… and remains so to this day. It is essentially a wireless (communicating over Wi-Fi for low latency) game controller that bears some resemblance to the Xbox controller in general layout. That’s not to say there aren’t great games here (including emulators and some seriously high-quality titles like Portal and some Grand Theft Auto games)… but there are some noteworthy titles missing. There are others, but, as my daughter pointed out to me, “if there’s no Minecraft… what’s the point?” My four-and-a-half-year-old daughter’s harsh words haven’t kept us from enjoying the heck out of the Shield TV… but she does make a good point. It’s an amazing gaming console (and video streamer) at a stellar price-point – cheaper than any other high-quality console on the market (including the new SteamOS-powered machines).

And while the catalogue of games is less than what I had hoped for, it seems to be improving quickly – with already enough high-quality titles to consider the Shield TV to be an excellent gaming console. Though if Google could see fit to allow me to install non-TV approved apps/games on Android TV – games that would, often, likely work great – that would make me smile.

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