Can You Really Use the Nvidia Shield as a Desktop Replacement?



/ 3 months ago

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Introduction


nvidia-shield-android

Over the last few weeks I’ve been playing around with the Nvidia Shield quite a lot, I’ve reviewed it, I’ve used it to stream games around my house and I’ve pushed its limits as a games console emulator, so what else can it do? USB OTG is not exactly a new innovation, there are many mobile devices out that that use USB OTG, or USB On The Go. The feature allows you to plug-and-play a multitude of devices into a USB port on your device, in the case the Nvidia Shield, and use them much in the same way you can when plugging those devices into your PC. Having forgone the use of a tablet over the last few months, I now use the Shield and my Smartphone for many tasks, but I wanted to push the limits and see if I could not only game on it, but also work from it, much as I would from my Ultra Book or desktop PC.

With so many productivity applications now available for mobile devices, there are virtually no reasons you cannot complete most of the tasks you normally would from your desktop PC. Microsoft Office, Google Docs, Dropbox, a multitude of web browsers, multimedia applications and many more. This is helped further by the powerful internal components of the Sheild, most importantly being the Tegra 4 quad-core processors and 2GB of ram.

Screenshot 2014-05-27 19.59.30

The Nvidia Shield comes fitted with a well equipped analogue controller, as well as a gorgeous 5″ touch screen that work great for most tasks. However, I’m going to need a few extra gadgets to help me get through my little thought project. First up is a microUSB (male) to full size USB (female) adaptor, allowing me to plug full size USB devices into the Shield. Then I’ll also have a 4-port USB hub, a USB memory stick, a USB keyboard and a USB mouse.

Components used

  • Nvidia Shield
  • TechGear microUSB to USB adaptor
  • Rosewill 4-port USB hub
  • Enermax DreamBass USB soundcard
  • 8 GB Flash Drive
  • Corsair K40 Keyboard
  • Corsair M45 Mouse

Of course you can use any keyboard and mouse, or even Bluetooth connections, larger flash drives, or different USB adaptors. The idea of USB OTG is that most any plug and play USB device should work.

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  • Tom S

    If you want Android on your PC, use ConsoleOS.com – They’re out on Kickstarter making the case for native Android on Intel PC Tablets and 2-in-1′s.

    Shield is nice, don’t get me wrong, but the I/O demos of “PC quality gaming” aren’t there yet for me. You really need PC hardware first. Full disclosure: I gave Console OS my $10 on Kickstarter… but yeah, that’s how I’d like to see it done. Android scaling up to the PC, not the PC scaling down to Tegra.

  • zer0gee

    You can use a powered USB hub to charge your Shield while using all of the other stuff.