Shield Portableby Nvidia

  • Shield Portable
  • Shield Portable
  • Shield Portable
  • Shield Portable
TECHWALLA
VERDICT
A solid product. Despite some flaws, it's still a good value.
79%
TECHWALLA SCORE
based on the following sites

PROS

  • The Shield Portable delivers excellent all-day battery life--even when you're streaming games from your PC to the device.
  • The 720p screen is awesome-looking with practically 180-degree viewing angles.
  • The Shield Portable's speakers sound great and are loud--better than what you'll find on most laptops, not to mention Android phones and tablets.

CONS

  • The Shield Portable is limited by its selection of games, because not all Android games can make use of the Portable's physical controller.
  • The gaming device is a bit bulky and heavy, so it's not as portable as other handheld gaming devices.
  • Although the unit is less expensive than when it first debuted, it is pricey for what it offers.
The Nvidia Shield Portable is Nvidia's first iteration of its Shield line of Android gaming and streaming devices. The Shield Portable is a handheld device that lets you play Android games with a physical controller, as well as stream games from your PC for portable PC gaming. The Portable features a 5-inch, 720p multitouch display connected to a physical game controller, excellent graphics, and impressively loud audio. It's bulkier and more expensive than other handheld gaming devices, but it's also more powerful--though it's limited by the selection of games on Google Play that are compatible with a physical controller.
NameShield Portable3DS XL (2015)Wii U
ManufacturerNvidiaNintendoNintendo
Techwalla Score
79%
81%
78%
List Price$200$200$300
84%

The Shield namesake doesn't have its roots to the Marvel Universe, but instead references the customizable "Armor" plating that sits on the …

The Shield namesake doesn't have its roots to the Marvel Universe, but instead references the customizable "Armor" plating that sits on the outer lid. The default silver plastic plating is attached to the matte black lid by magnets and can be easily removed and replaced with other Armors of different designs.

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83%

Thankfully, what NVIDIA Shield lacks in portability, it makes up for in utility. The Shield's weight and bulk are a tremendous boon when usi…

Thankfully, what NVIDIA Shield lacks in portability, it makes up for in utility. The Shield's weight and bulk are a tremendous boon when using it for media viewing.

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80%

The two silver speakers on the gamepad are surprisingly powerful, blowing every other Android device I've used out of the water with how muc…

The two silver speakers on the gamepad are surprisingly powerful, blowing every other Android device I've used out of the water with how much sound it can put out.

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80%

As we played through several games, we found that the face buttons and D-pad delivered firm, springy feedback. The bumpers and triggers also…

As we played through several games, we found that the face buttons and D-pad delivered firm, springy feedback. The bumpers and triggers also provided solid response.

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80%

Shield's killer feature is undoubtedly the ability to stream PC games from a local computer.

Shield's killer feature is undoubtedly the ability to stream PC games from a local computer.

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78%

Surprisingly, the Shield sounds pretty good, too. Nvidia promises "fidelity and range never before experienced on a handheld device" from th…

Surprisingly, the Shield sounds pretty good, too. Nvidia promises "fidelity and range never before experienced on a handheld device" from the custom tuned bass reflex speakers on the Shield, and it might even be true

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68%

Admittedly, the Shield's gamepad controls prolonged my interest in playing many of these games over their smartphone or tablet equivalents, …

Admittedly, the Shield's gamepad controls prolonged my interest in playing many of these games over their smartphone or tablet equivalents, but never to the point where I'd choose them over my Vita or 3DS.

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There is a bit of a learning curve to get the hang of the controls, which rely mostly on the two analog sticks and left and right shoulder b…

There is a bit of a learning curve to get the hang of the controls, which rely mostly on the two analog sticks and left and right shoulder buttons, but once you do, defending and throwing combinations works very well.

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Outside of the “frames per second” world, I noticed that the SHIELD system is speedy in general. It is extremely responsive, and everything …

Outside of the “frames per second” world, I noticed that the SHIELD system is speedy in general. It is extremely responsive, and everything seems to be a bit quicker than on other established Android platforms, like the most recent smartphones.

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SHIELD's display is straight up excellent. Viewing angles couldn't be better, brightness is such that you'll be able to play outside (in the…

SHIELD's display is straight up excellent. Viewing angles couldn't be better, brightness is such that you'll be able to play outside (in the shade), and color accuracy is spot-on.

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Though you can play any game available in the Google Play Store, only about 100 titles work with the Shield’s controller.

Though you can play any game available in the Google Play Store, only about 100 titles work with the Shield’s controller.

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In certain games, SHIELD can give you an experience that's absolutely unrivaled on any other mobile hardware, up to and including dedicated …

In certain games, SHIELD can give you an experience that's absolutely unrivaled on any other mobile hardware, up to and including dedicated devices like the Nintendo 3DS and Sony PSP Vita.

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So how does the hardware actually feel now that I've had almost 3 weeks to enjoy it? Epic.

So how does the hardware actually feel now that I've had almost 3 weeks to enjoy it? Epic.

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With these specs, you probably have an idea in mind of how the Shield runs. If that idea was fast, you're right-on. Everything is zippy and …

With these specs, you probably have an idea in mind of how the Shield runs. If that idea was fast, you're right-on. Everything is zippy and fast, and the basics — Wifi, GPS, gyro sensors and accelerometer — all seemed to work just fine.

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On the front of Shield is a green-tinted intake and grille for the device’s active cooling. When I first heard that Shield had active coolin…

On the front of Shield is a green-tinted intake and grille for the device’s active cooling. When I first heard that Shield had active cooling I was a bit shocked, but it turns out to be completely unobtrusive in actual use.

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In fact, I’ve been inspired to begin tackling some of my Android backlog now that many of these games are truly fun again, rather than a dat…

In fact, I’ve been inspired to begin tackling some of my Android backlog now that many of these games are truly fun again, rather than a date with inaccuracy and frustration.

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I cannot imagine any situation where you'd want to be staring at that screen for 10 hours without a break to eat, call your mother, or charg…

I cannot imagine any situation where you'd want to be staring at that screen for 10 hours without a break to eat, call your mother, or charge Shield back up. That's pretty safely all-day gaming battery life.

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These are the kinds of things that separate this from an ordinary Android device. The Shield may run ordinary Android apps, but its primary …

These are the kinds of things that separate this from an ordinary Android device. The Shield may run ordinary Android apps, but its primary role is very much about playing games.

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More than my 3DS and Vita, this is a portable gaming console I could see myself using for a long, long time, and it is so much more than tha…

More than my 3DS and Vita, this is a portable gaming console I could see myself using for a long, long time, and it is so much more than that.

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The device is capable of delivering 4 to 5 hours of hardcore Tegra-optimized gaming, while offering up to 10 hours of typical Google Play no…

The device is capable of delivering 4 to 5 hours of hardcore Tegra-optimized gaming, while offering up to 10 hours of typical Google Play non-optimized gaming. Users can play up to 15 hours of HD movies while on that cross-Atlantic flight or listen to music up to 40 hours.

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