NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet vs. Apple iPad Mini 2 - Specifications, Features And Price Showdown

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A Customer Looks Over The Selection Of Tablet Computers At A Sam's Club
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. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Recently, NVIDIA introduced its brand new tablet called SHIELD. The device can be purchased from many online and retail outlets in selected regions. However, a global release is awaited. Furthermore, two variants of the NVIDIA SHIELD tablet are being offered, i.e. a Wi-Fi-only model and a LTE model. Marketed as the gaming tablet, the company 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 Apple iPad Mini 2 (with Retina Display) 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 pixel screen resolution. The Apple iPad Mini 2, on the other hand, comes with a 7.9-inch IPS LCD display with a relatively higher 1,536 x 2,048 pixel screen resolution. The pixel densities of the SHIELD and the iPad Mini 2 stand at 283 ppi and 324 ppi, respectively.

When it comes to the exterior, the SHIELD tablet comes with a high grain polycarbonate rear with matte finish. However, the tablet's rear panel does not feel rubbery and the sides/corners have furrowed edges, says Anand Tech. Meanwhile, the iPad Mini 2 sports the famous high-resolution Retina display with an aluminium chassis. The chassis gives the tablet the much-loved premium look.

The NVIDIA SHIELD comes with a thickness and weight of 9.2 mm and 390 g, respectively. The iPad Mini 2 comes with a thickness of 7.5 mm and weighs 341 g. Hence the iPad Mini 2 is lighter and thinner than the SHIELD.

Hardware, Software And Memory

The NVIDIA SHIELD is powered by a superior quad-core (Tegra K1) Cortex A15 processor clocked at 2.2 GHz along with Kepler 1 SMX GPU. The Apple iPad Mini 2, on the other hand, is powered by a relatively inferior dual-core Cyclone (Apple A7) ARM v8-based processor clocked at 1.3 GHz. The NVIDIA tablet houses 2 GB of RAM, while the Apple device houses only 1 GB of RAM.

The SHIELD runs on Android v4.4.2 KitKat OS, while the iPad Mini 2 runs on iOS 7, which is upgradable to iOS 7.1.2. Furthermore, the Mini 2 can also be upgraded to iOS 8 in future. The SHIELD comes with 16 GB and 32 GB of internal storage, while the iPad Mini 2 come with 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB of in-built storage. In addition, the NVIDIA SHIELD supports microSD card for expansion, while the iPad Mini 2 doesn't.

Camera And Battery

Both tablets sport the same 5 MP rear-facing camera unit without flash. While the iPad Mini 2 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 5,197 mAh battery unit, whereas the iPad Mini 2 comes with Li-Po 23.8 Wh battery unit.


Here are other features included in the devices:

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

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

3. When it comes to gaming, the optional SHIELD controller can be purchased for an additional $59.99.

4. Apart from supporting the standard connectivity options like Bluetooth v4.0, Wi-Fi, LTE, USB 2.0, the NVIDIA tablet also supports mini HDMI port, while the iPad Mini 2 doesn't.

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


The NVIDIA SHIELD tablet (16 GB, Wi-Fi variant) is priced at US$299 (roughly translates to AU$320) and the NVIDIA SHIELD (32 GB, LTE variant) can be purchased at US$399 (roughly translates to AU$428). The Apple iPad Mini 2 (16 GB, Wi-Fi variant) is priced at AU$429.95, whereas the 4G LTE variant can be purchased for AU$479.95.

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