NVIDIA SHIELD Tegra 4 Android Gaming Portable

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NVIDIA made quite a splash at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show when they first unveiled their SHIELD portable gaming device. If you missed the original announcement, or the myriad of related posts we’ve put up about the device since then, SHIELD is a Tegra 4-based portable gaming machine that’s packing a 5-inch multi-touch screen, a console-grade game controller, and an unmolested version of Android Jelly Bean.

NVIDIA SHIELD Portable Gaming Device

In some respects NVIDIA’s SHIELD is simply a small Android tablet with a kick-ass game controller attached. But of course, NVIDIA has injected some of their own special sauce into SHIELD and is leveraging the huge install base of GeForce GTX graphics cards in many of today’s gaming PC as well, to enable some cool features on SHIELD that you won’t find anywhere else.

In addition to being able to play the myriad of games available in the Google Play store, SHIELD offers users the ability the play a number of Tegra-optimized games that look better than their mainstream counterparts, and also allows owners of GeForce GTX 650 graphics cards, or newer/more powerful GTX cards, to stream PC games to the SHIELD device and even back out to a larger monitor or TV if you wish. We'll show you what that’s all about (along with some other hands-on action) in the video below:

There’s more to NVIDIA’s SHIELD than just gaming, though. The device can do just about anything that other Android-based devices can, but it benefits from what turned out to be one of the fastest mobile processors we have tested to date, the Tegra 4. Take a look at SHIELD's full list of specifications below and we’ll give you the detailed scoop of the device on the pages ahead.

Specifications & Features


NVIDIA Tegra 4 Quad Core
Mobile Processor with 2GB RAM


5 inch 1280x720 (294 ppi) Multi-Touch Retinal Quality Display


Integrated Stereo Speakers with Built-in Microphone


16GB Flash Memory

Custom Tag Color



802.11n 2x2 Mimo Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 3.0


Mini-HDMI output
Micro-USB 2.0
MicroSD storage slot
3.5mm stereo headphone jack with microphone support

Motion Sensors

3 Axis Gyro
3 Axis Accelerometer

Input controls

Dual analog joysticks
Left/right analog triggers
Left/right bumpers
A/B/X/Y buttons
Volume control
Android Home and Back buttons
Start button
NVIDIA power/multi-function button


28.8 Watt Hours

Weight & Size

579 grams
158mm (w) x 135mm (D) x 57mm (H)

Operating System

Android Jelly Bean OS


Google Play
Sonic 4 Episode II THD
Expendable: Rearmed
Hulu Plus

Gloss-Black "Tag" and Fitted Carrying Case

Before we dive in and get all up-close-and-personal with NVIDIA’s SHIELD, we want to quickly mention that NVIDIA will also be offering an array of accessories for the device. Here you can see a black replacement “tag” for SHIELD (out of the box, SHIELD comes with a silver tag) and a hard, fitted carrying case. NVIDIA will have a carbon-fiber tag available as well, and some third parties plan to release accessories for SHIELD too.

NVIDIA envisions users customizing their SHIELDs with different tags, which are quick and easy to swap out. They’re held in place with magnets and can be removed / replaced in seconds. Check out the video above to see exactly what we mean.

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MichaelRodriguez one year ago

I was NOT expecting the "good night, bitch!" comment during the review. Well played. haha

RZielaskowski one year ago

haha! had to watch it because of your comment!

JamesRennie one year ago

"Can it run crysis"

HotHardware1 one year ago

I had to sneek that one in there--took me too long to knock him down and I didn't want to shoot another take. :)

MichaelRodriguez one year ago

I must admit. It was a breath of fresh air after all the strict technical reviews. Knowing you enjoyed the game enough to make an off-the-cuff comment like that said more about the console than just the specs alone.

PLowe one year ago

Why didn't you bench it against iPad 4 or Nexus 10? The iPad you used is over a year old, and Nexus 10 is the only other A15 device out there, they both seem obvious choices to bench against.

Joel H one year ago

"Why didn't you bench it against X, or Y, or Z?"

Hardware availability and time are always factors in a review.

marco c one year ago

Hi PLowe. I, unfortunately, didn't have an iPad4 or Nexus 10 at my disposal. Wish I did, but had to make do with what I had on hand.

JefferyPruett one year ago

Marco Kicked Some Major Butt! Btw anyone knows how much this cost? i was thinking of buying one :o.

Clixxer one year ago

$299 for the shield Jeffery. Looks like a cool device and I wouldn't mind messing around with one but in the end im not big on portable gaming.

Joel H one year ago

I'm impressed by Shield. I don't know if it'll sell well or not, but it looks like quality hardware.

DustinMaxfield one year ago

I think it's pretty cool.

But if the game streaming only works with Nvidia graphics cards then this product isn't for me.

It makes sense that they would pretty much only develop that for their own graphics cards, but I've got a Radeon and would like that same functionality. If they would accomodate those cards as well, they could tap into the market those who have already have an AMD card.

ajm531 one year ago

Awesome. you guys rocked. I asked and you delivered. that little demo of the streaming aspect of the device was awesome that practically zero lag of streaming makes me want to get this. It was so sweet watching move instantly as it did on the pc. For being beta its crazy good already. Also though i know this is a give but what kind of internet speeds do you have?? Im curious whats the lowest you could have to get that kind of zero latency for streaming to th shield.

Marco C one year ago

ajm531, streaming is done over a local network, not the internet.  The SHIELD was connected wirelessly to an Asus RT-AC66U router at a distance of about 30 feet.

BrianKeegan one year ago

I'm not an Nvidia fan but...this is pretty amazing.

lakiw one year ago

This device is sooo cool. I`m gonna own it first in Montenegro.

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