Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 Review

Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 Review

Review Conclusion: The Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 offers cool gaming features such as Gamestream, but is also great for surfing and videos. In the test we like the – measured by price – good equipment and the chic additional features. The Android tablet shows weaknesses in battery life.

The hardware basis of the shield tablet is the new Tegra-K1-SoC (System-on-a-Chip), which combines four computing cores with 2.2 GHz clock frequency each and a so-called Companion Core with 1.0 GHz. For graphics output, it also features a Kepler GPU with 192 cores (CUDA cores) clocked to 900 MHz, which also accelerates demanding games with ease. 2 GB of RAM, 16 GByte integrated flash memory, a microSD slot, an HDMI port and the 8-inch 16:10 display (1,920 x 1,200 pixels) complete the most important features. As an operating system, Nvidia is running a version of Android 6.0, which is enhanced with specific applications such as the Gamestream function or a special app marketplace for games.

Nvidia Shield Tablet K1: More than just a tablet PC

At the time of the test, the Shield tablet, which costs around 200 euros, was ranked 25th in our top tablet PC list and prevailed over many significantly more expensive models. For reasons of comparability with other tablet PCs, the exciting but Nvidia-specific gaming features are only partially included in the evaluation.

Nvidia Shield Tablet K1: Bright Display

The 8-inch mirroring IPS panel shows only one great weakness in the test: while the high resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels (pixel density: 283 ppi), which enables lossless playback of Full HD videos and the brightness of a maximum of 371 candela per m² upper average, the chessboard contrast of 112:1 is only mediocre.

Nvidia Shield Tablet K1: Cool Accessories

Besides the high performance hardware Shield offers some additional features. A striking feature is the active stylus (optional), which Nvidia calls DirectStylus 2. In the practical test, the stylus proves to be flexible and can be used very well in corresponding applications. For this purpose, the manufacturer installs an in-house drawing and painting app called Dabbler, which also demonstrates the pen’s pressure sensitivity nicely. However, these features also offer other tablet manufacturers out-of-the-box. The two loudspeakers to the left and right of the display deserve special praise. They provide surprisingly good sound for movies and games. Our test kit also includes a wireless game controller and a magnetic cover to protect the display. However, both are also optional and are not included in the standard scope of delivery.

Nvidia Shield Tablet K1: Only average mobile

Satisfactory mobility also denies a top position in the best-performing list. This is partly due to the relatively high weight of 360 grams. The thickness of one centimeter does not match the leading group around the iPad mini and the Sony Xperia Tablet Z2 (each 0.7 cm). Since the battery life of 5:53 hours (video) and 6:32 hours (office) does not inspire, the device only scores 71.8 out of a possible 100 points in this category.

Nvidia Shield Tablet K1: The tablet for gamers

Tablet PCs for players are not new. However, devices like the Archos Gamepad 2 or the Snakebyte Vyper 7 couldn’t convince at all. Quite different with the Nvidia Shield, to which we pronounce the predicate “first seriously recommendable gamer tablet”. The reason for this is not the Android environment itself. Although it offers some nice games like the chic tablet version of Skylanders Trap Team, it doesn’t match classic PC gaming. The real highlight of the tablet is called Gamestream. With this feature, players will have a wide range of expansion options at their fingertips. You can stream your PC games directly onto the tablets and play them at home within the WLAN. You can also clone and play the signal on a TV set. This requires an HDMI connection between the tablet and the TV.

Shield relies on the performance of a PC or laptop equipped with a GeForce GTX graphics card. A GTX 650 is the minimum on the computer, while a model of the GeForce-700M, 800M or 900M series should be installed on the notebook. It also supports a few models from the older GeForce-600M series.

Nvidia Shield Tablet K1: Gamestream in the Check

In the field test we liked Gamestream very much. The PC-to-tablet module works perfectly in the WLAN, is largely free of layers and is very easy to set up. Thanks to the optional controller and the support of Bluetooth versions of mouse and keyboard, a good alternative to the touch screen is available. Cloning to a Philips TV has also worked fine.

The Sad End of Nokia

With Nokia mobile phones, Microsoft wanted to take the lead in the smartphone war. But the equipment remained in the shop. Now thousands of employees had to vacate their desks. For Microsoft, it is an end with horror.

With the brightly coloured Nokia mobile phones everything should become better. When Microsoft took over the Finnish traditional manufacturer last year, it was a challenge for Apple and Samsung to dominate the smartphone market at will. But the takeover of Nokia’s mobile phone division became a monumental flop for Microsoft. The devices are on the shelves like lead, the mobile operating system Windows Phone is still struggling with puny market shares and many renowned manufacturers such as LG, Sony or Samsung turned their backs on Microsoft.

Now Microsoft boss Satya Nadella finally pulled the plug: The Windows giant writes the enormous amount of 7.6 billion dollars (converted 6.9 billion euro) on the Nokia deal. That is twice as much as the original purchase price of $3.8 billion. In addition, 7800 employees lose their jobs. This conversion will cost up to another 850 million dollars. All in all, the Nokia deal opens up a hole of almost 9.5 billion dollars in the company’s coffers.

Billion errors with consequences

Microsoft had big plans: The idea behind the Nokia deal was that you could be as successful with software and hardware from a single source as Apple was with your iPhone. There, the sale of equipment and software is mutually beneficial.

However, Microsoft did not achieve the sales surge it had hoped for. Smartphones with Google’s Android mobile operating system have a market share of up to 80 percent. Apple comes to around 15 percent and is highly profitable. 89 percent of all worldwide smartphone profits end up in Cupertino. Microsoft’s Lumia smartphones, on the other hand, account for only a few percent of the market, although sales have increased recently – but primarily in the low-cost, unprofitable segment. Even at peak times, the devices never sold as well as Nokia would have needed.

The dismissal of 7800 employees and the write-off of billions of euros is the temporary end of a serious billion-dollar mistake. A year ago, Microsoft had already announced the reduction of around 18,000 jobs, which had hit former Nokia employees hard. According to original announcements, more than 30,000 Nokia employees should switch to Microsoft at the time of the acquisition. Finnish Finance Minister Alexander Stubb warned in an initial reaction that the restructuring could have an impact on the state budget.

Microsoft continues to build smartphones

However, Microsoft does not want to withdraw completely from the smartphone business: CEO Satya Nadella emphasizes that Microsoft will continue to offer smartphones. However, he announced a much smaller range of models and said in euphemistic business speech:”In the short term, we will offer a more efficient and focused portfolio of mobile phones and retain the capacity to reinvent ourselves in the mobility sector in the long term. In the future, the focus will be on three areas: the low-end market, where some successes have recently been celebrated, the business sector and high-priced flagship models.

At the same time, Nadella explained that Microsoft no longer wants to operate its own mobile phone business. The mobile phones are probably only developed by Microsoft and built by other manufacturers. Google has a similar approach to its Nexus devices. Microsoft clearly acknowledged that the outlook for the devices was below expectations. The division was recently merged with the Windows area. The former Nokia boss Stephen Elop was also sung. He had gone from Microsoft to Nokia, made the deal with his former employer and then took over the management of the merged appliance division.

The takeover of Nokia mobile phones was still being negotiated under the long-standing head of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer. He wanted to position Microsoft at any price as a successful device manufacturer. However, his successor, Nadella, made no secret of his opposition to the Nokia takeover – and has adopted a completely different strategy since he took office. He opened his own software for other systems – including the office software Office365 and the clouds storage OneDrive – and also offers the programs for iOS and Android. In addition, it is concentrating much more strongly on the cloud business. Nevertheless, he will not get around forging new partnerships with other manufacturers if he wants to pull the rudder around in the mobile sector in the long term.

The end of an era

For Nokia, recent events are virtually the end of a spectacular descent from world market leader in mobile phones to insignificance. In the era of modern smartphones, the traditional Finnish company had lost its connection to the competition with the launch of the iPhone.

A course setting at the beginning of 2011 could have been decisive: When the development of a new operating system took a long time, Elop opted for Microsoft’s Windows Phone instead of Google’s Android. Next year Nokia plans to make a smartphone comeback. But perhaps it is already too late for that.