A Tablet and Controller Worth Using
An interesting thing happened a couple of weeks back, while I was standing on stage at our annual PC Perspective Hardware Workshop during Quakecon in Dallas, TX. When NVIDIA offered up a SHIELD (now called the SHIELD Portable) for raffle, the audience cheered. And not just a little bit, but more than they did for nearly any other hardware offered up during the show. That included motherboards, graphics card, monitors, even complete systems. It kind of took me aback - NVIDIA SHIELD was a popular brand, a name that was recognized, and apparently, a product that people wanted to own. You might not have guessed that based on the sales numbers that SHIELD has put forward though. Even though it appeared to have a significant mind share, market share was something that was lacking.
Today though, NVIDIA prepares the second product in the SHIELD lineup, the SHIELD Tablet, a device the company hopes improves on the idea of SHIELD to encourage other users to sign on. It's a tablet (not a tablet with a controller attached), it has a more powerful SoC that can utilize different APIs for unique games, it can be more easily used in a 10-ft console mode and the SHIELD specific features like Game Stream are included and enhanced.
The question of course though is easy to put forward: should you buy one? Let's explore.
The NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet
At first glance, the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet looks like a tablet. That actually isn't a negative selling point though, as the SHIELD Tablet can and does act like a high end tablet in nearly every way: performance, function, looks. We originally went over the entirety of the tablet's specifications in our first preview last week but much of it bears repeating for this review.
The SHIELD Tablet is built around the NVIDIA Tegra K1 SoC, the first mobile silicon to implement the Kepler graphics architecture. That feature alone makes this tablet impressive because it offers graphics performance not seen in a form factor like this before. CPU performance is also improved over the Tegra 4 processor, but the graphics portion of the die sees the largest performance jump easily.
A 1920x1200 resolution 7.9-in IPS screen faces the user and brings the option of full 1080p content lacking with the first SHIELD portable. The screen is bright and crisp, easily viewable in bring lighting for gaming or use in lots of environments. Though the Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 had a 2048x1536 resolution screen, the form factor of the SHIELD Tablet is much more in line with what NVIDIA built with the Tegra Note 7.
Subject: General Tech | July 28, 2014 - 02:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: oculus rift, DK2, oled, kick ass
The two top improvements in the second Oculus rift are aimed to reduce the screen door effect by changing the display to a full 1080p OLED screen and the inclusion of Valve's low persistence of vision feature to reduce the image smearing that DK1 users reported. There is a brand new way of tracking your heads position in 3D with the DK2, a camera tracks the motion of hidden onboard IR LEDs to track translational movement in addition to the rotational tracking existent on the DK1. You will need 2 free USB ports and it connects to an HDMI or DVI port on your GPU, wireless video streaming is still a hurdle for many applications let alone the Oculus Rift. Check out the comments on Slashdot and follow the link for a full preview.
"The hotly anticipated Oculus Rift DK2 has begun arriving at doorsteps. The DK2s enhancements include optical positional tracking and a higher resolution panel, up from 1280×800 to 1920×1080 (1080p) and moved to a pentile-matrix OLED panel for display duties. This means higher levels of resolvable detail and a much reduced screen door effect."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The TR Podcast 158: Planet of the Shield Tablets
- NO SALE: IBM won't cash in its chips with GlobalFoundries after all @ The Register
- New Surface to come into production in August, say Taiwan maker @ DigiTimes
- A Better Google Glass For $60 (This One Folds) @ Hack a Day
- Amazon opens its own 3D Printing Store @ The Inquirer
- Build Your Own Gatling Rubber Band Machine Gun @ Slashdot
Subject: Storage | July 28, 2014 - 03:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: adata, SP610, corsair, Force LX, 512GB
Two drives are competing for the budget segments money on Legit Reviews, the $250 Corsair Force LX 512GB and the $240 ADATA SP610 512GB SSD. 512GB should be enough for most budget users to store their needed software on and save them the cost of an HDD but which will offer the most value for the money? Both drives have Silicon Motion's SM2246EN controller and 20nm Micron MLC NAND, the same 3 year warranty and the same physical measurements. Does one stand out over the other? Read the full review to see.
"Solid-State Drive (SSD) have been steadily growing in capacity and thanks to improvements to the manufacturing processes the price of NAND and SSD controllers has been falling at an impressive rate. This means that fairly large SSDs are now fairly affordable and something the for the average consumer can justify purchasing."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Force LX 256GB SSD Review @ Madshrimps
- Crucial MX100 256GB @ eTeknix
- ADATA SP610 SSD Review (512GB) @ The SSD Review
- Plextor M6S PX-256M6S 256GB SSD Review @ NikKTech
- SanDisk Extreme PRO 480GB SATA SSD @ Custom PC Review
- Crucial MX100 512GB SSD Review @ TechwareLabs
- Kingston SSDNow V310 960GB SSD Upgrade Kit Review @ NikKTech
- Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB @ Kitguru
- Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series 240GB Enterprise SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- Intel P3700 NVMe SSD Installed In a Win 8.1 Consumer PC – Drivers Benched @ The SSD Review
- Samsung 845DC PRO 400GB SATA SSD @ Custom PC Review
- SSD Throughput, Latency and IOPS Explained – Learning To Live With Flash @ The SSD Review
- ALLONE Cloud Disk Drive 101 RAMDisk Review (32GB) – 500K IOPS of DDR3 Storage @ The SSD Review
- Silicon Power Superior SDXC UHS-1 64GB Review @ Madshrimps
- Patriot STELLAR 64GB USB/microUSB 3.0 OTG Flash Drive Review @ OCC
- Lexar JumpDrive P10 64GB @ Funky Kit
- Toshiba Nearline MG04ACA500A 5TB SATA III HDD Review @ NikKTech
- Thecus N2520 2-Bay NAS @ eTeknix
- Synology DS414j Budget-friendly 4-bay NAS Server Review @ Madshrimps
- QNAP TS-451 @ Legion Hardware
- Synology DS415play @ Kitguru
Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 28, 2014 - 05:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: cooler master, V650S, modular psu, 650W, 80 Plus Gold
With a total rated power of 650W and two PCIe 6+2 power connectors the CM V650S seems to be aimed at entry level gaming systems but the $180 price tag suggests a high end PSU. It is partially modular and it bears an 80 Plus Gold rating but perhaps the price also comes from Cooler Master's use of a new OEM, Enhance? [H]ard|OCP did find it at a much more reasonable $80 on Tiger Direct but it is now out of stock and it does not seem to appear on NewEgg at all right now. Overall there is a lot of good things to be said about the internals of the PSU but on the outside there is much left to be desired. Check out the review but perhaps wait for the second version of the V650S before purchasing one.
"Cooler Master has been off the enthusiast radar in terms of computer power supplies for a while now. It simply walked a different line than much of the rest of the field. Today however we have one of Cooler Master's second foray back into the high end with a mid-level PSU rated for operation at 650 watts."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Silverstone Nightjar 520 W @ techPowerU
- BitFenix Fury 550G Alchemy-Sleeved Power Supply @ Benchmark Reviews
- Wireless Number: 312-241-6506 @ eTeknix
- Thermaltake ToughPower Grand TPG-0750M 750W Power Supply Unit Review @ NikKTech
- Antec HCP-850 850W Power Supply Review @ NikKTech
- Rosewill Capstone Modular 1000 W @ techPowerUp
- Seasonic Platinum Series 1200 W @ techPowerUp
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