Nvidia news and rumors are always exciting, even here in the Android space. The company best known for its graphics cards earned a lot of positive vibes in our neck of the woods with the Shield (Portable), Shield Tablets, and of course, the Shield TV. Because of this good reputation, whenever news about a new Shield product emerge, people (read: me) get excited. XDA found in some digging that Nvidia could possibly be working on a 2-in-1 tablet.
Codenamed "mystique," this theoretical device appeared in the Shield Experience Software sometime last year, but it was found again in the recent versions 7.2 and 7.2.3. In it, there are references to a desktop switcher mode for Android, likely named Nvidia Desktop Experience (NvDtExp). It contains three UI modes, Dynamic, Tablet, and Desktop, but what the differences are exactly is unknown. Furthermore, the code references start menu visibility and some kind of mouse hover for the desktop UI.
Other references in this so-called Nvidia Desktop Experience include an option to set the Android UI mode at boot, automatically launch Desktop mode if a keyboard is connected, and support for certain button combinations to do things like show the status bar or toggle full-screen.
As you might have guessed, it's highly unlikely that this has anything to do with the Shield Portable and Tablets of old, since Nvidia no longer supports them, nor would any of this be really at all useful on the Shield TV. That's where "mystique" comes in. XDA reports that source code from last year points to "mystique" having a 13.5" 3000x2000 display from Panasonic, meaning that it could be some kind of 2-in-1 laptop since a display that size makes for a very big tablet. That, however, is speculation.
There was a time where Nvidia was working on "mystique" with the Tegra X2 SoC, too, which is used for automotive and AI purposes. Nvidia declined to comment on all of this, instead noting:
"It’s fairly standard practice for various concept codenames to appear in codebases. Those references remain even when it becomes unlikely that the concept ever goes into production. We can’t comment on which codenames refer to product concepts that are active vs which ones are inactive, as it can be fluid. However, I can confirm that none of the codenames below refer to products that have launched publicly."
According to CEO Jensen Huang, Nvidia has no interest in "[taking] somebody else's market share" and instead would like to create new markets. How a powerful Android-based 2-in-1 laptop fits into that is anyone's guess.