What new Android hardware will NVIDIA deliver this year? So far we’ve been talking about two devices this summer, a new Shield handheld console – basically an Android phone (sans cellular radio) with integrated gaming controller – as well as a Shield tablet. As time goes on, though, a lack of new Shield 2 evidence has us wondering if that FCC listing from last month really was just a wireless controller (rather than a full-fledged gaming system), and if the Shield tablet alone might be the direction the company’s taking for its 2014 hardware. Today we get our first look at how the slate might arrive, with a leaked render showing off the new design.
As you may recall, last year NVIDIA created its Tegra Note as reference platform for a tablet design, and instead of manufacturing the device itself, licensed it to companies that would build and release their own hardware. While this Shield tablet may drop the Tegra Note name and be manufactured by NVIDIA itself, it shares more than a passing resemblance to the Note.
The most obvious changes compared to the Tegra Note are lengthened speaker grilles on each end, a narrower bezel along the long edges, and what appears to be a repositioning of the tablet’s camera from the bezel to within the speaker area itself – an unusual choice, if that’s indeed what we’re seeing.
What we don’t see, though, are any obvious gaming hardware features – anything like a thumbstick or other controls – leading us to wonder just what NVIDIA’s planning that would help establish this device as a Shield product, rather than the Tegra Note 2 it looks like.