Nvidia Shield Portable Games Console Review
Peter Donnell / 6 years ago
A Closer Look
The console is really unique looking, it’s quite bulky and heavy to hold, but feels every bit the premium product from the moment you lay your hands on it. The top panel to the clam shell design features silver plastic cover that can be removed and customised, Nvidia even sell extra ones to help you easily customise the appearance of the console.
Fortunate that the top cover can be easily removed and replaced, since the brand new one I opened is scuffed! See the left and right edges of the picture… oh my, best keep an eye on QC Nvidia!
Around the back you’ll find two top back buttons, LB and RB, as well as two full analogue triggers, LT and RT. In the middle is where all the really exciting stuff is happening, with a large ventilation area for the system fan to exhaust, much like you would find on the side of a laptop. The main IO section consists of a micro SD card slot, which I’m told can handle up to a 128GB card, a mini HDMI port (cable sold separately), micro USB input which supports USB OTG and a 3.5mm 4-pole compatible headset port.
There is a deep ergonomic curve to the base, allow you to really get a grip of this thing and the soft touch finish means it’s both comfortable and grippy, so little chance of it slipping through your fingers while gaming.
The top panel pulls open on a very firm feeling hinge, I really like that the screen doubles as the protective cover for the whole console, saving the need for a dedicated protective shell.
The screen locks really firm at any angle, but can be folded back a full 180-degrees, so you should have no issues finding an optimal viewing position.
The screen comes with a temporary protective plastic sheet on it, behind which you’ll find a gorgeous 5-inch, 1280 x 720 p retinal multi-touch display that packs in 294 dpi.
The console is packed full of control features, aside from the obvious touch screen, you’ll find two joysticks, a D-pad, ABXY buttons, L/R bumpers, L/R analog triggers, Start/Back/Home/Volume buttons, and a multi-function Shield button, motion sensors; including a 6-axis gyros plus accelerometer.
The quality of the analogue sticks and D-PAD pad is awesome, similar in feel to that of the Xbox 360 controller, but with better quality sticks and a much better D pad.
Sound is handled by a pair of stereo speakers which have bass reflex and Nvidia promise they’ll deliver some impressive sound quality.
Tucked away near the back is a pinhole microphone, perfect for Google Now, chatting on Skype or voice commands in any other applications.
Hut the Shield button in the middle and the device powers up, so let’s get right to it and see what this thing can do!