NVIDIA’s recently released SHIELD tablet is marketed as a gaming tablet that is supposed to bring powerful PC gaming experiences to the tablet market. NVIDIA offers up two versions of the device, one featuring LTE connectivity capabilities, and one without such functionality, that offers only WiFi connectivity. Although the tablet is available at many retailers from regions where the device was launched, these are just a few right now, and fans are waiting for the global release of the device, so everyone can grab the gaming tablet. Today, we are pitting this device against the Apple iPad Mini 2.
Display and Design
The NVIDIA SHIELD tablet showcases a high quality 8-inch display, with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1200 and a 283 ppi pixel density. Although this is a very good display configuration, the iPad Mini 2 is tough competition, as it features a 7.9 inch display, which is slightly smaller, but, however, comes with a greater resolution, of 1536 x 2048. The pixel density is also higher, 324 ppi.
While the Apple iPad Mini 2 has an aluminum casing that gives it the characteristic look and feel, all wrapped around the stunning Retina Display, the NVIDIA SHIELD comes with a high grain polycarbonate casing, with a mate finish on the back cover. The back cover, however, does not have a rubbery feel to it. The Apple device is also both lighter and thinner than its competitor, being only 7.5 mm thick and weighing 341 grams, in comparison to the 9.2 mm and 390 grams of the SHIELD.
Hardware and Software
The processing duties of the NVIDIA SHIELD are handled by a quad core, 2.2 GHz, Cortex-A15, Tegra K1 processing unit and a Kepler SMX graphic processing unit. The processing hardware that the iPad Mini 2 is carrying is a dual core Cyclone ARM 8-Based 1.3 GHz unit, therefore ranking inferior to the SHIELD. The NVIDIA device also comes out on top when it comes to RAM memory, sporting 2 GB of RAM in comparison the iPad’s 1 GB.
In terms of operating systems, both devices run distinct software. The iPad Mini 2 comes, of course, with Apple’s iOS7, with promises of further updates, all the way to iOS8, while the SHIELDS runs Google’s Android KitKat 4.2
The Apple iPad comes with more internal memory variants than the SHIELD, which only comes in 16 an32 GB versions. The iPad Mini 2 offers 16,32,64 and 128 GB version, but, however, the SHIELD offers support for a microSD card, while the Apple tablet does not.
The NVIDIA SHIELD has a few features that make it unique, such as the HDMI port that comes alongside the standard set of connectivity options, such as Bluetooth, WiFi, USB, etc. Another interesting feature is represented by the dual speaker configuration found on the front of the device, or the ActiveStylus. Additionally, the tablet, which is optimal for gaming, as NVIDIA says, can be equipped with a dedicated controller, that can be bought for an extra $60 or so.
Camera and Battery
Both devices have a 5MP camera on the back, and while the SHIELD maintains the quality of the camera for the front facing lens as well, which is also 5 MP, the quality for the frontal shooter falls drastically in the case of the iPad Mini 2, which only has 1.2 MP. Powering the tablets, we have a 5197mAh battery for the NVIDIA SHIELD and a 23.8 Wh unit for the iPad.
Both devices are around $350 on Amazon.com