NVIDIA SHIELD $299 tablet with Tegra K1 processor takes gaming to the next level (VIDEO)

By Alexandra Burlacu | Jul 23, 2014 04:05 AM EDT

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The upcoming NVIDIA SHIELD tablet aims to take mobile gaming to the next level, launching as a powerful slate with a K1 processor under the hood.

The latest version of SHIELD comes with a tablet and a controller designed to work hand in hand, but without being bound together. In other words, while the two devices are destined to work together and combine their forces, they don't necessarily have to.

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The SHIELD tablet itself is a powerful device, sporting an 8-inch display with a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, an NVIDIA K1 chipset with 192 GPU cores, booming front-facing speakers with NVIDIA's Pure Sound Technology and a dual bass reflex port. Other specs include 16GB or 32GB of internal storage capacity, microSD support for additional memory of up to 128GB, two 5-megapixel cameras (front and rear), and a high-tech stylus.

According to NVIDIA, its SHIELD tablet offers the first GPU accelerated stylus, which is able to blend colors and alter light sources for a superior experience. As expected, the stylus will have its own place in the tablet for extra convenience.

"The world's fastest mobile processor. Unbeatable tablet graphics, video, and audio. The most advanced, responsive stylus. And the freedom to pair with the optional SHIELD wireless controller for ultimate gaming control. The SHIELD tablet delivers everything you need to get the most from your games, movies, and apps," touts NVIDIA.

"The SHIELD tablet's NVIDIA Tegra K1 mobile processor taps into the same NVIDIA Kepler architecture that drives the world's most extreme gaming PCs. With a custom engineered thermal system, SHIELD tablet harnesses the full power of Tegra K1's extreme performance."

The NVIDIA SHIELD wireless game controller, meanwhile, looks stylish, is very responsive, and allows for a quality gaming experience. The controller pairs with the tablet via Wi-Fi, which delivers two-times lower latency compared to Bluetooth. Moreover, the SHIELD controller also has voice capabilities, allowing users to search for something or launch a game simply by holding down the home button and uttering their command.

Of course, gaming is at the core of this new NVIDIA SHIELD lineup, and the SHIELD tablet has what it takes to shine in this department. The slate is the first to come with Gamestream, which allows users to play either PC or Android games and stream them to their TVs. Users will also be able to combine more controllers at once (up to four) and play multi-player games with their SHIELD tablet.

Access to SHIELD Hub is also on the table, as expected, and NVIDIA will also allow users to share their achievements via Twitch streaming.

While the specs are attractive enough to raise interest for the NVIDIA SHIELD tablet and controller, the price will further boost excitement. The tablet will be available later this year for a $299 starting price, while the controller will cost $59. NVIDIA is currently taking pre-orders for both devices, so head here if you're interested in the tablet and at this link if you'd like the controller. For more information, check out the company's blog announcement or watch the video below. The NVIDIA SHIELD tablet will launch in the U.S. on July 29, while a European release will follow in August.

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