The new $199 Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 is an affordable high-performance Android tablet for gamers


Nvidia has just announced the new Shield Tablet K1. The gaming-centric slab shares many of its characteristics with the original Shield Tablet, but this time around, Nvidia has trimmed out the fat and came back with a much more aggressive price. The 16GB Wi-Fi only version of the Shield Tablet K1, which is the only version that the company announced so far, will only set you back $199. That's $100 cheaper than the 16GB version of the original Shield Tablet, which makes the Shield Tablet K1 a much more interesting proposition overall.

A few months ago when we took a look at the best tablets for mobile gaming, we pointed out to the Nvidia Shield Tablet as one of the best solutions from the Android camp. Nvidia's first foray in the tablet market ticked a lot of the same boxes as your typical high-end Android tablet but also integrated several bells and whistles designed specifically for an enhanced gaming experience. 

Among these gaming features, the ability to stream games from the NVIDIA Grid cloud network or from a PC with a compatible GeForce graphics card is what made the Nvidia Shield Tablet unique in a sea of similar-looking and similarly equipped Android tablets. The new Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 retains all of these features.

As the name suggests, the Shield Tablet K1 is powered by the Nvidia Tegra K1, the same SoC that stood at heart of the original Shield Tablet. The chip integrates a 2.2GHz quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU and a 192-core GeForce Kepler GPU, and remains to this day one of the most powerful mobile SoCs in Android benchmarks and video gaming tests. 

The resolution of the 8-inch IPS display, 1920 by 1200 pixels, is high enough to ensure a good pixel density (283) but low enough that Tegra K1 can keep the performance in check during 3D intensive games.

Compared to the original Shield Tablet, the K1 iteration only brings minor design changes. Chief among these tweaks is the removal of the pen slot from the tablet's chassis. The new Tablet K1 is compatible with the ShieldDirect Stylus 2, but the pen is no longer included in the price of the tablet. Furthermore, the Shield Tablet K1 will also ship without a charger or an adapter. These are all cost-cutting measures, but many customers will probably appreciate the reduced price that accompanies them.


Speaking of accessories, the ShieldDirect Stylus 2 is priced at $19.99, the optional magnetic keyboard cover will set you back an extra $39.99. The Shield Controller, the gamepad that you can use to transform the Shield Tablet K1 in an Android-powered gaming console, is priced at $59.99. 

On the software side, the Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 ships with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. Seeing as 6.0 Marshmallow has been around for about a month now, many would have expected to see it pre-loaded on any new tablets. As such, we're hoping that an update is around the corner.

Update: Nvidia has announced that the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update for the Shield Tablet K1 will arrive just in time for the holidays.

What do you guys think of the new Nvidia Shield Tablet K1?

source: Nvidia

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30 Comments

1. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

great deal!

2. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Still weird it comes without a charger and that this model gets Android 6 during the holiday season. But the former version which exactly the same (minus the stylus slot) is getting it early 2016.

15. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I'm guessing they want to give it a new coat of paint because of the battery recall Pretty disappointing there's no X1 Its in Google's Pixel C tablet, so we know it's not because thermal issues with the X1 But the K1 is probably still the most powerful compared to other $199 tablets

3. TyrionLannister unregistered

Can't you get the shield console(the TV one) for the same price. You don't get a screen with it, but hey, everyone has a TV. It supports 4k TVs and you can stream real PC games via grid( which works surprisingly well). It also has the Tegra X1.

7. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2340; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Actually the Shield console is cheaper (about $170 on Amazon). Which makes it an even better deal. You can even get the one with the controller and remote for the same prize as the one offered with controller only.

10. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Streaming real PC games also works on the Shield Tablet. But yes the X1 is a very nice addition (also some games are Android TV only).

12. TyrionLannister unregistered

I don't think you can attach ethernet to tablet. That will lead to latency as wireless is usually not enough( and most people have average grade routers to make it worse).

13. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

While the shield doesn't support 802.11ac, it does come shipped with a 2x2 antenna configuration and i'm getting speeds around the 120Mbps throughout the house (I do have Unifi AP's on every floor),which is more than sufficient for grid gaming. Never experienced lag/stutters/latency (not counting the times it was my internet connection). Ofcourse if you want to connect it to a tv and game on that one, I would recommend the Shield Pro (which I have as well btw). But the tablet itself does run grid smoothly if you have the right equipment. http://www.anandtech.com/show/8296/the-nvidia-shield-tablet-review/9

16. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Tyrion i been gaming on wifi for over 3 years now. You just need a Gamer grade wifi router and thats its. I changed for a gamer router about 1 year and half ago. If you know what ping is. Wired i have 12 ms ping. Wireless before my router change i had 15-20 ms max. With gamer router i get same 12 ms ping. Anything under 50 ms is great for online FPS games and such who are the most demanding on ping time. but yeah if you get 55 ms wired wireless on normal router may slow it to a level its will get problematic but then you just need to get better internet..

25. Shocky unregistered

Some games are Shield Tablet only, they haven't been updated for Android TV yet.

28. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

If you look on the Shield website under Android games, you can see there aren't Shield tablet only games (Android TV will be listed as well) but there are Android TV only games. http://shield.nvidia.com/games/android

29. Shocky unregistered

If that's true then they have finally updated them, there were a few that just didn't work with Android TV, but that was a few months back

4. Subie

Posts: 2356; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

"Tegra K1 can keep the performance in check during 3D intensive games" Yah, I'd like to see how well it would run Crysis!

14. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

There isn't a mobile device that can run Crysis well. We are talking about intensive mobile 3d games, not pc games. It does stream the PC version well though, but playing Crysis on a controller sucks.

5. jpvala

Posts: 26; Member since: Oct 07, 2013

No use unless nvidea make it available worldwide.

24. johnbg92

Posts: 5; Member since: Feb 06, 2011

Amazon.com ships it internationally (although not every country). Not ideal as you will have to pay a little extra for shipping but it works.

6. vuyonc

Posts: 1089; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Could've used a cut down Tegra X1 and larger battery at least.

8. SuperAndroid507

Posts: 361; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

I'm looking for a gaming tablet to replace my phone as a gaming device, the strain in my eyes are worse each day. This might be a good deal, I'm not looking for "supercomputer" tablet, just a decent one with an acceptable battery life.

17. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

This will be perfect for you then.

19. stanislav

Posts: 136; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

This, ipad pro or air 2 are the only reasonable choices.

9. tazzmissionx

Posts: 7; Member since: Sep 18, 2015

I don't know, even with the revamp that Nvidia has done hardware and software wise, I'm still not sold on the amount of Android games there is as Nvidia is using GameStream and Geforce Now to hide behind. Just like there was a lack of optimized apps from previous Tegra hardware (I had devices with a Tegra 3 and 4) and that playing non optimized games on the Tegra was worse than playing on other hardware, I continue to say no to what Nvidia is pushing.

18. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Instead of saying bad stuff go see real ppl review and you will see it run all game whitout lag.

11. Kelley71

Posts: 105; Member since: Nov 26, 2012

Reminds me of the Nexus 7 FHD.

20. Deaconclgi

Posts: 405; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

I'd buy it, if it ran Windows 10.

21. KyleRiemen

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 29, 2014

Never thought they would bring a 2nd gen. Handheld or Tablet, but Tablet with gamepad? Who bought that?

22. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Best way to play Android game. Developer do put in extra effort for tregra certify titles. I bought the shield console with the remote from Amazon.

23. Xenomorph

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 17, 2015

It's pretty good for the price i guess.

26. Shocky unregistered

Disappointing, however for the price it's pretty good I guess. Hard to recommend it due to the horrible battery life, they're good tablets but I just seem to be constantly charging mine.

30. xsquid

Posts: 7; Member since: May 30, 2014

Yes, I like the tablet a lot and for the price it's vey good but the battery life is horrible. I pretty much have to keep it on charge.

27. AhmadAlsayegh

Posts: 326; Member since: Jul 18, 2011

I ordered one last night. I am not a tablet gamer, however, from what I have read, the K1 runs apps like a hot knife cutting through butter.

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