The life of the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet has had some ups and downs. Josh reviewed it last year, and at the time he found that NVIDIA's tech for game streaming offered an interesting value proposition. Unfortunately, NVIDIA was forced to issue a total recall on the tablets due to overheating concerns earlier this year, and while they shipped replacement devices to consumers, the SHIELD Tablet ended up being removed from sale. This was quite unfortunate, and it left a gap in the Android tablet market that I really haven't seen any vendor fill.

Today NVIDIA is re-introducing the SHIELD Tablet with a new name. It's now called the SHIELD Tablet K1, something I hope implies we will soon see a SHIELD Tablet X1.

While the name is new, we're looking at the exact same tablet that launched last year. I've put the specs in the chart below as a refresher.

SoC NVIDIA Tegra K1 (2.2 GHz 4x Cortex A15r3, Kepler 1 SMX GPU)
RAM 2 GB DDR3L-1866
NAND 16GB NAND + microSD
Display 8” 1920x1200 IPS LCD
Camera 5MP rear camera, 1.4 µm pixels, 1/4" CMOS size. 5MP FFC
Diameter / Mass 221 x 126 x 9.2mm, 390 grams
Battery 5197 mAh, 3.8V chemistry (19.75 Whr)
OS Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
Other Connectivity 2x2 802.11a/b/g/n + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GLONASS, Mini-HDMI 1.4a
Accessories SHIELD DirectStylus 2 - $19.99
SHIELD Controller - $59.99
SHIELD Tablet K1 Cover - $39.99
Price $199

The NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet K1 still has NVIDIA's Tegra K1 SoC, with four Cortex A15 cores and the incredibly fast single SMX Kepler GPU. The SoC is paired with 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 16GB of NAND, with the original 32GB model being dropped. There's still microSD expansion for storing media, and with Android Marshmallow expandable storage will lose much of its third class status on Android which will be helpful.

Of course, the biggest change here beyond the fact that the SHIELD Tablet is being put back on sale is its new price. At $199 it's $100 cheaper than when it first launched, and it makes it one of the only good tablets that you can actually get at that price point with the Nexus 7 having been gone for some time now. NVIDIA's optional accessories are all available as well, and if you plan to use the gaming features of the SHIELD Tablet K1 I would definitely factor the price of the controller into your cost consideration. In any case, it's good to see the SHIELD Tablet K1 back on sale, and at $199 I think it's definitely worth considering if you're looking for a tablet at that price.

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  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    True, but how many people have a 5.2v 2.1a charger lying around?
  • CrimsonFury - Thursday, November 26, 2015 - link

    This ^. I recently did some online research when shopping for tablet chargers, and finding 2amp ones with a decent price isn't easy, especially if you want one with more than 1x USB port.

    If you use a cheap charger with lower amp rating it will take forever to charge the tablet. Using the cheap 1 amp chargers that ship with most mobile phones it will take 16+ hours.
  • HighTech4US - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    Exactly right.

    We use a multi-USB 5 port charge station to charge our tablets, hot spot and external batteries.
  • syxbit - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    I wish more companies were more open regarding their roadmap. Apple is usually quite predictable (except this year there was no iPad Air 3).
    Google sometimes releases a Nexus tablet, sometimes doesn't...
    And now this. Is Nvidia going to release Shield Tablet X-1, (or X-2 early next year) ?
    It would be really helpful if companies were more open. I bought a cheapo $180 tablet a few months ago. I definitely would have waited for this. And I'd rather wait further for an X-1 tablet. If you're Apple, people will wait. But for Android, where there is a lot of choice, being open would increase their sales. I'd know when to wait, and when to buy.
  • lucam - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    Everything depends on the tablets sale around the world...there was a big drop in the last few years that's why we saw no many socs competition in this market...
  • FelixDraconis - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    If this is the exact same tablet, then won't it have the same overheating issues? Surely it isn't 'exactly' the same and has been fixed?

    I'd be curious what they did. Heat spreader, maybe. Or changed the throttling firmware?
  • fivefeet8 - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    What overheating issue? The recall was for overheating batteries which they replaced.
  • digiguy - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    "This was quite unfortunate, and it left a gap in the Android tablet market that I really haven't seen any vendor fill."
    What about the Acer Predator 8?
  • Tehk17 - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    Looks like a worthy replacement for my Tegra Note 7.
  • ruthan - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    What about 32 GB+ LTE model?

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