New NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet vs. Nexus 7 – Specs, Features, Release Date and Price Showdown

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By Pavithra Rathinavel | July 31, 2014 9:54 AM EST

NVIDIA introduced its brand new SHIELD Tablet only last week. However, pre-orders for the device started in the same week. And now, the device can be purchased from many outlets. Furthermore, two variants of the NVIDIA SHIELD tablet are being offered i.e. a Wi-Fi-only variant and a LTE variant.

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A customer looks over the selection of tablet computers at a Sam's Club during a media tour in Bentonville, Arkansas June 5, 2014. The tour was part of Walmart Stores Inc. annual shareholder meeting.

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Marketed as the gaming tablet, NVIDIA says SHIELD Tablet is powerful enough to handle technologies to give great PC gaming experience. Readers who are interested in purchasing the latest NVIDIA SHIELD or the Nexus 7 (2013 model) should check out this comparison.

Display, Exterior and Size

The new NVIDIA SHIELD tablet features an 8-inch IPS LCD display with a solid 1,920 x 1,200 pixels screen resolution. The Nexus 7, on the other hand, comes with a 7-inch IPS LCD display but the resolution is same as the SHIELD tablet. With the impressive pixel strength, both the tablets present sharper and vivid images/videos.

When it comes to exterior, the SHIELD tablet comes with a high grain polycarbonate rear with matte finish. Hence, the tablet's back panel does not feel rubbery or soft. In addition, the sides/corners have furrowed edges, according to Anand Tech. Meanwhile, the front panel of the Nexus 7 (2013) tablet features a black strip of glass covering the corners of the display and it blends with the rear panel made of rubberised plastic material.

The NVIDIA SHIELD comes with a thickness and weight of 9.2 mm and 390 g respectively. Whereas the Nexus 7 comes with a thickness of 8.65 mm but it weighs only 299 g. Hence the Nexus 7 is lighter and thinner than the SHIELD.

Hardware, Software and Memory

The NVIDIA SHIELD is powered by a superior quad-core (Tegra K1) Cortex A15r3 processor clocked at 2.2 GHz along with Kepler 1 SMX GPU. The Nexus 7, on the other hand, is powered by a relatively inferior quad-core (Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro) Krait processor clocked at 1.5 GHz. Also, both the tablets house the same 2 GB of RAM.

The NVIDIA SHIELD runs on Android v4.4.2 KitKat OS, while the Nexus 7 runs on Android v4.3 Jelly Bean that is upgradable to higher versions. Both the tablets come with 16 GB and 32 GB of internal storage capacity. In addition, the NVIDIA SHIELD supports microSD card for expansion up to 128 GB, while the Nexus 7 doesn't.

Camera and Battery

Both the tablets sport the same 5 MP rear-facing camera unit without flash. While the Nexus 7 houses a 1.2 MP front-facing shooter, the SHIELD tablet comes with a surprisingly good 5 MP secondary camera unit.

Moreover, the SHIELD houses a whopping 5197 mAh battery unit, whereas the Nexus 7 comes with a relatively inferior 3950 mAh battery unit. In addition, the Nexus 7 has a built-in wireless charging capability.

Misc                                       

1.       NVIDIA SHIELD tablet comes with a "DirectStylus" that provides active features to an otherwise passive stylus, says Android Police.

2.       In addition, the SHIELD tablet comes with two front-facing speakers/bass reflex ports.

3.       For the purpose of gaming, the optional SHIELD controller can be purchased for an additional $59.

4.       Apart from supporting the standard connectivity options like Bluetooth v4.0, Wi-Fi, 2G/3G/4G LTE, USB 2.0, the NVIDIA tablet also supports mini HDMI port.

5.       Also, both the tablets come in LTE and non-LTE (or Wi-Fi only) models.

Price

The NVIDIA SHIELD tablet 16 GB (Wi-Fi variant) is priced at US$299 (roughly translates to AU$318) and the NVIDIA SHIELD 32 GB (LTE variant) can be purchased at US$399 (roughly translates to AU$425). The Nexus 7 32 GB (LTE variant) is priced at AU$449.95 in Australia.

Also Read

1. HTC One E8 (Dual-Sim) vs. HTC Desire 816 (Dual-Sim) - Specifications, Features and Price Showdown - [Read]

2. 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 Release Date is December; Rival OEMs Likely to Hike Price; Sapphire Out of 4.7-Inch Model - [Read]

3. Microsoft Surface 3 (10.6-Inch) Tablet to Touchdown in October as Surface Pro 3 Set for Global Release - [Read]

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(Photo: REUTERS / Rick Wilking)
A customer looks over the selection of tablet computers at a Sam's Club during a media tour in Bentonville, Arkansas June 5, 2014. The tour was part of Walmart Stores Inc. annual shareholder meeting.
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