Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Nvidia Shield Tablet LTE



Mobile fun and games. Thanks to the LTE Cat 4 module this top level model can be used for mobile gaming under way. Furthermore Nvidia provides the double amount of flash memory, which works even faster on our tested device.

For an additional upcharge of 100$ one receives the Icera i500 chip from Nvidia, which can be 2G, 3G or 4G (LTE Cat 3 with 100 MBits, theoretically also Cat 4 with 150 MBits). In some regions the Shield Tablet also supports telephone functions. Unfortunately our tested model did not have pre-installed any fitting software. In the following test report we will show the changes of the Wi-Fi model. The Icera i500 is a software steered modem which can reach category 3 according to the Shield Tablet LTE (Cat 3 until 100 Mbps download, 50 Mbps upload). During the launch events we had the opportunity to test the Shield Tablet with two different LTE providers. In spite of relative bad reception (0-1 lines according to Android) we reached on average a Ping of 60 ms, 23 Mbps download (maximally 52 Mbps) and 8 Mbps Upload (maximally 21 Mbps). According to Icera in the practice up to 70 Mbps were possible (close to the radio cell, no Sharing). Nvidia also showed during the event that one can play games online via LTE without any problems. We didn't notice any disconnections or lags. Also the 3G reception was stabil with date rates of 40 ms Ping, 4.5 Mbps download and 2.4 Mbps Upload. 

Somewhat surprisingly is the clearly better performance of the 32 GB version in the storage tests of the AndroBench 3. Especially the results of the writing test are much higher than with the WiFi version. With that the LTE version has positioned itself among the fastest Android devices (tablets and smartphones) in the AndroBech 3. 

Audio

The headset port of our LTE tested device shows itself during a train journey prone to failure. Regularly one could hear disturbances how they usually appear with badly shielded devices when a call is in progress. Whether now it was the fault of the nearby smartphone or of the LTE chip is something we couldn't find out. However, in the office we didn't notice any disturbances.

Conclusion

The LTE variant of the Shield Tablet offers not only an additional radio chip, but through the faster and double as big flash memory it also offers an surplus value in everyday usage. Since demanding Android games become bigger and bigger (Real Racing 3, e.g. 1.3 GB), the tested variant is not only recommended for user who need a wireless modem, but also for real game lovers. Furthermore the LTE version inherits the strengths and weaknesses of the WiFi version. Unique features like the game streaming and integrated game recording, the impressive performance of the Tegra K1, the color calibrated display, the good working DirectStylus2 Shift only have to face the average material choice, stability and battery life. However, if we take the price point into account it is a fair deal. Because of that we can see a steady growing audience of Android gamers.

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