Two months ago, we looked at the newest member of the SHIELD family, NVIDIA's SHIELD Tablet. This eight-inch beast is one of the first devices to feature NVIDIA's screaming fast Tegra K1 processor, which makes it not only a killer gaming tablet, but an all-around great digital sidekick for general use. I've used it for everything from Trine 2 gaming sessions on the TV (in Console Mode) to writing full reviews with an external keyboard, and it has been up to the task every time.
Are you looking for a powerful little tablet for yourself, or perhaps a Christmas present? Then you might want to mosey on over to Newegg, where EVGA's model of the NVIDIA Tegra Note 7 reference hardware is currently on sale. You can pick one up for just $129.99, an impressive $70 off of the retail price. Newegg is also offering free economy shipping via its "super Eggsaver" option. Sorry, international readers: though Newegg has stores in a handful of other countries, it looks like this deal is limited to the US.
One of the nicest things about NVIDIA's various bits of Android gaming hardware is that they get updated early and often. The SHIELD Portable is already running on the latest version of Android, but a new update (dated Tuesday, but apparently going out a little late) has fixed a few small issues with GameStream and other services. If you have a SHIELD, check your Settings menu - the 480.9MB update should be available as soon as you check it manually.
At the end of July we reviewed SHIELD Tablet (and loved it), but the big question on a lot of would-be users' minds was "when will the LTE model be coming out?" Well, we finally have our answer: soon. September 30th-soon, to be exact.
As you may remember, the LTE model is essentially identical to the Wi-Fi model, with the addition of LTE connectivity and increased storage – up to 32GB from 16GB.
There was an interesting little tidbit buried in the legal filings related to NVIDIA's patent suit against Qualcomm, which was just announced last week. The issue surrounds various GPU technologies that NVIDIA says Qualcomm is using without a license. More interesting than all that legal mumbo-jumbo is what NVIDIA had to say about an upcoming Tegra K1 device—the HTC Nexus 9. Yes, they actually said it.
If you were hoping that the litigious nature of the consumer electronics industry would fade out any time soon, well, keep on hoping. Today NVIDIA announced that it has initiated a suit against phone and tablet manufacturer Samsung and mobile chip supplier Qualcomm in the US District Court of Delaware for violating seven of its patents. The company is also petitioning the International Trade Commission to block shipments of Samsung devices using Adreno, Mali, or PowerVR graphical processing units.
The Shield Tablet is a great device, but it's about to get even better with update v1.1. The OTA (clocking in at a lean 84.1MB) is hitting devices as you read this, so owners would to well to check the update menu. NVIDIA doesn't usually stage these OTAs, so all Shield Tablets should have the update available.
So maybe you haven't picked up one of those fancy new Shield Tablets yet—no worries, the original Shield portable is getting a nice little update to release 82. The OS is still based on Android 4.4 KitKat, but this is the biggest update Shield has seen in a while. It should be available for download now.
If you act quick, you can get a nice deal on an tablet from Newegg, which is offering 10% off a bunch of Android slates. It's not clear how many devices are included, but the new Shield Tablet is one of them (that's $30 off). This deal ends tonight—July 31st. Update: Looks like Newegg just removed the Shield from the list of tablets you can use the code on. Other devices seem to still work fine.
It's no big secret that I'm a huge fan of NVIDIA's SHIELD. In fact, I believe I called it my favorite device from last year on a recent podcast, a claim that I readily stand behind. To me, it shows how versatile Android can be, despite the fact that the unit itself is essentially a one trick pony (it's damn good at that one trick, though).
Then there's NVIDIA's second foray into device design, the Tegra Note 7.