NVIDIA’s Shield gaming tablet has only been in the market for about seven months, but its successor is already looming on the horizon. Reported to contain the Tegra X1 chipset, an upgrade from the current K1 chip , the next generation of the Shield tablet will likely improve upon its predecessor by most metrics.
The current Shield boasts a 2.2GHz quad-core Tegra K1, which has been no slouch in the performance department. Indeed, the Shield is one of the best-reviewed smallish Android tablets of the past year, with some likening it to a HGC-abusing Nexus 7.
The X1, however, will feature eight cores, 64-bit architecture, and will utilize the new Maxwell GPU. Early tests show the X1 as 40% more powerful than the K1. We’re hoping the second-generation tablet will have battery capacity to match the beefed up processor.
As far as other specs the first generation Shield has 2GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of storage (depending on the model being WiFi-only or LTE-enabled), an SD card slot, 5MP front and rear cameras, dual-band wireless N, and a 1200p IPS screen at 294 ppi.
Though mobile devices continue to out-pixel one another, it will be interesting to see if NVIDIA, in constructing a tablet aimed at gamers, takes the bait and improves the Shield to a 2K screen or higher, considering its current resolution is in the sweet spot for the gaming community; higher ppi means potentially dropped frames – verboten to the gaming world.
Also, an upgrade to the wireless AC protocol might be in the works, but it seems not every device manufacturer is yet on board with the perceived need of AC at this juncture.
As for other specs for the “Shield 2,” it’s all conjecture. LTE connectivity might come right out of the gate, and we can surely expect Android 5.0 Lollipop – if not the freshly leaked 5.1 – to come standard.
NVIDIA has a conference on March 17, where an announcement is likely, and we’ll bring you those details as soon as they come.