Nvidia has launched a new Shield Tablet, but those hoping for a next-generation device will be disappointed to find the existing model with features removed and a cut-down price tag to match.
Born from Project Shield, Nvidia's attempt to break into the hand-held gaming market, the Shield Tablet is a relatively standard Android tablet. Featuring Nvidia's Tegra K1 system-on-chip processor, the device has a natural emphasis on gaming - including its ability to stream game content from a desktop or laptop equipped with the company's latest graphics cards - but is also usable as a general-purpose tablet, and includes a built-in stylus for more artistic projects.
The freshly-launched Shield Tablet K1, though, isn't the next-generation launch for which Nvidia's fans may have hoped. Rather than a more powerful device featuring a higher-resolution screen or improved process, Nvidia has taken the existing Shield Tablet design and cut down the features somewhat - starting with the stylus, which has been resigned to the dustbin of history. Gone, too, is the bundled charger: the Shield Tablet K1 is now supplied completely free from accessories, although can naturally be charged from any USB mains adapter through a standard micro-USB cable. Finally, the option of a 32GB model has been taken off the table: there is now a single Shield Tablet K1 featuring 16GB of storage, expandable via micro-SD.
Nvidia hasn't cut all these corners for no reason, though: the biggest selling point the redesigned tablet offers is a £149.99 retail price in the UK, a snip for a tablet with eight-inch Full HD display, 2GB of RAM, powerful processor, and - hopefully - no more battery issues
. At that, the company may well capture some of the lucrative Christmas gadget trade - though if it's not followed by a Shield Tablet 2 in the first half of next year it'd be a real surprise.
The Shield Tablet K1 is on-sale from today via the usual outlets.