Released in June 2013, the Nvidia Shield is an Android based premium portable gaming device from the legendary gaming graphics card manufacturer Nvidia. Although at first glance, the Shield might look like a screen stuck on an Xbox style gamepad, a lot is going on underneath that simple exterior.
The Nvidia Shield sports a flip up 5-inch HD touch screen (720p) on top of the physical gamepad, and you have the option of controlling the device either by using the touch screen, or via the gamepad. While the Shield’s HD screen allows for an impressive display, making the games look splendid, the 1.9 GHz quad core processor, 72-Core Nvidia GeForce graphics processor backs it up with a powerful performance.
Android users will find themselves familiar with the look and feel of the Shield’s operating system as it runs on Android’s Jelly Bean version (4.2.1). A huge catalogue of games is available for download from Android’s Google Play store, or from Nvidia’s own Tegrazone store (some free, others paid), although not all games are compatible with the gamepad. But worry not for these games are playable via the Shield’s touch screen. At the moment, only a couple of hundred games are compatible with the gamepad, with Riptide GP 2 looking particularly impressive but the number continues to soar as Yantrick types this review.
An attractive feature of the Shield is the option to connect the device to your HDTV via a Mini HDMI output at the back, and using the HDTV as the display. Another unique and impressive feature is its ability to stream and play games from your PC to the device over Wi-Fi, given both devices are connected to the same network. However, be aware that your PC needs to be equipped with an Nvidia GTX 650 or higher video card to utilise this awesome feature.
A device with the capabilities of the Shield requires serious juice. Sporting an immense 7350mAh battery (compared to 2600mAh battery on the Galaxy S4), the Shield is capable of 5-6 hours of intense, graphics heavy gaming / videos and 10 hours of casual gaming, internet browsing, music, and videos.
The handheld gaming scene has traditionally been the playground of Nintendo’s Gameboy and Sony’s PSP. But with the Nvidia Shield priced approximately at Rs 31,000, things may be changing soon for good.
Yantrick’s Verdict: This high-quality device with killer specs and stellar performance is here to stay.