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Nvidia Shield Review: Tegra 4-Powered Handheld Gaming

Battery Life And Charging

As mentioned, Shield was originally specified for 38 Wh of energy and later revised down to 28.8 Wh. Of course that roughly 25% reduction is going to chip away at the console’s run time in games and movies. But it also helps keep weight down.

Nvidia estimates that one charge should yield four to five hours of play time in the most demanding Tegra 4-optimized titles, while more typical Android games might run for as long as 10 hours.

We fired up Epic Citadel, which isn’t specifically written to tax Tegra 4, but still offers a High Quality setting we can use on all of our comparison devices. With Wi-Fi enabled, our display calibrated to 200 nits, and the walk-through looping, Shield ran for six hours and thirty-nine minutes. Do the math, and Nvidia’s platform is averaging 4.33 W of power consumption in a demanding 3D workload.

Going back the other way, we connected the 2 A charger that Nvidia bundles with Shield, which the company says provides the best charge time and performance. Charging a completely drained to a full battery took four hours and 56 minutes.

A second drain test measured how long it'd take to deplete Shield's battery if all you do is stream PC games to the device. Because this is a video decode workload, you get a lot more run time than the 3D benchmark, despite constant Wi-Fi traffic. Streaming Skyrim in the same room as our router, we managed to get nine hours and 58 minutes from Shield. 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.

  • esrever
    looks ok but not worth the price
    Reply
  • Hazle
    impressive, especially PC streaming. but for $300, i'd rather pause the game to take a bathroom break. it's gonna take me a library of good android exclusives for me spend that amount of money, and PvsZ or Angry birds don't cut it.
    Reply
  • beta212
    Meh, with the PS4/xbox coming out , and tons of more convenient phones I don't see a market for a tegra4 shield, personally I'm saving my money for a console. The tegra is also too expensive and gimmicky to boot.
    Reply
  • dragonsqrrl
    When you look purely at the performance and specs $300 unsubsidized isn't all that bad considering the hardware you're getting for the price. The problem to me isn't so much price but the target market. How many people are willing to spend that much on a second or potentially third mobile device meant specifically for gaming and entertainment?
    Reply
  • bryonhowley
    Looks nice but I can find things better to spend $300 on. In truth I can't see ever streaming my PC games to a 5" screen when I use 3 Asus 27" monitors on my desktop PC. Going from 5760x1080 to 720p does not sound like something I am ready to do. And if I want to game from my recliner I just use my Xbox 360 wireless controller and play the game on my Panasonic 50" 3D Plasma.
    Reply
  • vaughn2k
    for U$180, I can get a nice Lenovo Phone. For U$ 500, a good Xbox.. not sure if I need a Shield where I could play anywhere..
    Reply
  • slomo4sho
    Not sure why most of your benchmarks were just between the shield and the Nexus 7. I understand that the Nexus 7 utilizes Tegra 3 but the iPhone 5, Note 2, or some other tertiary figues should have been included to provide a better comparison between this device and other current generation products.

    This device feels like a universal Wii U game pad and there is almost zero reason to own one.
    Reply
  • cats_Paw
    Considering that Oculus rift will cost somewhere around 300 dollars as well, id rather wait for that to spend my cash.
    Streaming is nice but if you are close toy our pc why not use the PC itself?
    Reply
  • edwd2
    could be used to run a psp emulator, but phone can do that too.
    Reply
  • shikamaru31789
    I'm just not seeing much reason to get one right now, not when I'm saving for the Xbox One and PS4. If it was at a lower price and if it supported AMD GPU's for PC streaming, I might get one. But they also need to get some developers to make some good Android exclusives, not just your typical mobile time wasters and ports of older console/PC titles, but some actuallAAA exclusives that are optimized for Tegra 4.
    Reply