NVIDIA sets its sights on Android gaming once again with a new Shield device, but this time the chipmaker eschews a custom handheld design (check out our impressions of the original device here) in favor of an 8-inch tablet. Measuring 8.8" x 5.0" (0.36" in width) and weighing 13.7 oz (390g), the Shield tablet features NVIDIA's Tegra K1 mobile processor, 1920x1200 px IPS LCD, built-in speakers, two 5-megapixel cameras (front and back), micro USB 2.0 and mini HDMI 1.4a ports, and 10 hr battery life.
In addition to access to a library of Google Play apps and Android games via the Shield Hub app, the new tablet is capable of streaming games running on a PC (equipped with a GeForce GTX graphics card, of course) to an HDTV like the original Shield handheld. Streaming from Netflix will also be supported, and the tablet itself can be used to livestream to Twitch using footage captured by NVIDIA's ShadowPlay already included in its GeForce Experience software suite. An optional Shield tablet controller will be sold separately for games that require/recommend gamepad controls.
Turning Shield into a tablet was no doubt intended to broaden the potential market for new device, allowing NVIDIA to position it as a multipurpose Tegra K1 device that just happens to be geared toward gamers who aren't looking for a new notebook. It will go for a bit more than competing Android tablets like the Google Nexus 7, however; the price of admission is currently $299 USD for a 16GB WiFi-only model, scheduled for launch this July 29th. NVIDIA is also planning to release a $399 32GB model with WiFi and unlocked LTE. Both models will include a microSD card slot for up to 128GB of additional storage capacity.