It isn’t exactly surprising to hear whispers of a beefed up SHIELD Tablet coming soon. In fact, we might be asking why it is taking so long. NVIDIA announced its shiny new Tegra X1 mobile chip early this year that would put a lot of its competitors on notice, even, or especially, Apple’s own A8x processor. And what better way to prove the Tegra X1’s graphical and processing prowess than by plugging it into one of your more successful mobile gaming products.
Although not as handy as the SHIELD Portable, the original NVIDIA SHIELD, it is more multi-talented and general purpose, combining the stylus-toting feature of the NVIDIA Tegra Note and the gaming capabilities of the SHIELD Portable, especially with the separate game controller. The current iteration of the tablet houses NVIDIA’s Tegra K1, but with the arrival of the Tegra X1, it is no brainer that a revamped model should be arriving soon.
The new Tegra X1 is touted to be twice as fast as the current Tegra K1 chip but even more power efficient, the usual spiel for every new chip generation. The chip is based on NVIDIA’s new Maxwell GPU architecture and has 256 such cores inside. NVIDIA puts a lot of attention its capabilities at handling 4K content at 60 fps. In terms of the competition, it is NVIDIA’s first foray into an octa-core 64-bit CPU setup, which puts it on par with Apple’s A8x as well as Qualcomm’s rather troubled Snapdragon 810.
That said, while we do expect a new SHIELD Tablet to be coming anyway, the real question we have is when. Rumors can’t get any more specific than “in a few months”, though we are likely to hear a few tidbits around the GPU Technology Conference in March.