NVIDIA Shield K1 8 Inch Gaming Tablet Review

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NVIDIA Shield K1 8 Inch Gaming Tablet Review

Ever wanted to own a tablet specifically for gaming? Here's our take on the NVIDIA Shield K1 Gaming Tablet.

Although the majority of tablets are still designed in a way such that they can be used for multiple purposes, we are slowly moving towards tablets which are designed exclusively for a particular type of user and usage pattern.

One such tablet is the NVIDIA Shield K1, a gaming tablet. This is one of the few tablets that were designed specifically for gamers on the go. The tablet is available in multiple variants, with different specifications, but today we will be reviewing the K1 8 which is an 8-inch gaming tablet from NVIDIA. The tablet has a powerful processor and graphics card that make it ideal for gaming.

NVIDIA Shield K1: The Premium Gaming Tablet

The best thing about the tablet which makes it exclusive is the Tegra K1 processor packed inside it. This processor is designed by the gaming giant itself. NVIDIA Shield K1 is the first tablet to be launched with this powerful processor. Another exciting feature of the tablet is its compatibility with TVs and PC’s equipped with NVIDIA graphics. You can connect your tablet to the PC or the TV and then play games on the big screen.

Sound and Design

The NVIDIA Shield K1 has a black matte finish, and the tablet is for the most part covered in plastic except for the glossy logo of ‘SHIELD’ at the back. The design of this device is very similar to a few other devices but is appealing nonetheless. It does not weigh too much, mainly because of its compact size and plastic covering. The weight of the device is only 388 gms, and the thickness is around 9mm. One of the lightest and slimmest gaming tablets you can find at this affordable price.

The sound quality of NVIDIA Shield is better than what you experience in other tablets. The speakers are located at the front, giving you a nearer and clearer sound quality. If you need it to be louder or with a better base, you can always make use of the headphone jack located at the top edge.

The front speakers of the tablet are covered with a rubberized grill. Although it enhances the sound output, it also attracts fuzz, making it a little difficult to clean. The overall design of the tablet is the same as any other tablet, with buttons on the sides, and ports on the top edge. Like previous Shield tablets, this also allows for the use of a Shield controller (to be purchased separately). There is a scope for attaching up to four shield controllers to the tablet, which is useful if you plan to play multiplayer games with friends on a big screen.


A lot has been said about how this tablet is one of the best gaming tablets. Here is a list of the key specifications.

Display: The screen size of the tablet is 8 inches, and the screen resolution is 1920×1200. It has an IPS display which enhances the quality of content on the screen and presents the user with a great image quality. This is better than the screen quality of a lot of pricier tablets out there. The number of pixels per inch in this one is 283, which minimizes image blur to a great extent.

High-End Processor: NVIDIA Shield K1 runs on the powerful Tegra K1, with 192 core Kepler GPU, and is also accompanied by ARM Cortex A15 CPU, clocking in at 2.2 Ghz. This makes it an absolute beast. What is typically expected in a gaming tablet is a combination of good graphics and a powerful processor; the K1 processor in the tablet has been tested for an average of 13 frames per second for a car chase sequence in 1080 p. There is a possibility of the tablet heating up during extended usage.

RAM and ROM: The Random Access Memory for NVIDIA Shield K1 is 2 GB, DDR RAM. Whereas the Read Only Memory is 16 GB, which can be extended up to 200 GB thanks to the SD card slot. Out of the 16 GB storage space that has been provided, only 11.24GB is available – the rest of the space is taken up by Android itself. You can make use of NVIDIA cloud service for streaming popular media content. By streaming on the cloud, you can stream games of 1080p in 60 frames per second, which would not be possible if you used the app.

Camera: One of the many good things about the tablet is the fact that it has a 5 MP camera at the front as well as at the back. This is surprising as a lot of the tablets in the market today have a lousier camera, especially at the front. NVIDIA Shield K1 is one of the few tablets which provides the users with an equal megapixel camera on both the sides. The camera is quick and focuses easily, the front camera gives you perfectly clear selfies, and is great for video calling.

Operating System: Like many other tablets in the market, NVIDIA Shield K1 also runs on Android. This model runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop. We might already have Android 7.0 in the market, but that is only available on very few devices. The popular option continues to be Android 5.0 and 6.0. Connecting the tablet to a Shield Controller is fairly easy, but connecting it with a Shield T.V or a Shield Portable often gets challenging. By using Android, the options of connectivity of the device with other similar devices increases, and it has also become one of the most common operating systems today, not only for mobiles but for tablets as well.

The Best of NVIDIA Shield K1

Whatever that was covered about the tablet until now was the basic aspects of the tablet. Read this section to know more about the better features of NVIDIA Shield K1 that makes it a compelling buy.

Graphics: This tablet is not only paired with a graphic card, but with a processor that has been designed especially for the purpose of gaming. The Tegra K1 is one of the best you can get when it comes to gaming devices. This processor is so powerful that it is even used in various laptops.

Compatibility with NVIDIA equipped PC: This tablet is not only suitable for games from NVIDIA but all the games on the Android Play Store as well as the Shield-optimized games – which might also consist of games that are Tegra K1 optimized. You can connect this tablet to a PC or to a TV through HDMI to stream 1080p content from Netflix, or use it as a tablet with a TV connected micro console. To make the experience even better, you can make use of the Shield controller as well. Through this controller, you can make use of the NVIDIA Gamestream, which involves connecting the tablet to multiple PCs or laptops compatible with the latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics.

Battery Life: NVIDIA Shield K1 has a built-in 5,200 mAh battery, which can go on for 6 – 10 hours, depending on how you make use of your tablet. If you use it mainly for playing games over Wi-Fi, it would not last more than 6 hrs. But if the game was downloaded and does not use the internet, you might be able to use it for around 8 hours. That is a lot more than what you get in other tablets. One of the main reasons behind the relatively good battery is because of the compact 8 Inch screen size. When you use a tablet especially for gaming, a good battery life is one of the main requirements, and NVIDIA Shield K1 fulfills that requirement reasonably well.

Exciting Performance that will Warm the Hearts of Gamers

The NVIDIA designed processor in this tablet, makes it ideal for gaming, along with providing a battery life that can last up to 10 hours. Its ability to allow Pairing the tablet with the TV or PC further expands its usability.

Apart from this edition of NVIDIA Shield K1, there are multiple other editions for you to choose from. The choice has to be based not only on your budget but also on your requirements. The K1 8 edition is not only the most affordable but also the most portable compact. The screen size, price tag, battery life, performance represents great value. So if you need a tablet which comes with an assured performance, NVIDIA  Shield K1 should be one of your top picks.

Check out the NVIDIA Shield K1 on Amazon here.

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About The Author
Jackson Long
Jackson Long is the editor of Fascinated with all things tech, he spends most of his time researching and writing about the latest consumer electronics and gadgets.