Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition) vs Nvidia Shield Tablet: The battle between two great budget tablets

Posted by B. Johnson
February 14, 2016 | 0 comments
Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition) vs Nvidia Shield Tablet: The battle between two great budget tabletsFrom many tablet manufacturers out there, I think there is one company that has been really aggressive when it comes to making Android tablets as true gaming devices.

And it is no other than Nvidia.

I think this is weird because Nvidia used to be the one that supplied its own mobile processors, known as ‘Tegra’, for its partners or tablet/smartphone manufacturers.

And now, this graphics chip company becomes the one that competes with them.

That can be clearly seen through Nvidia Shield Tablet, which is assembled by Nvidia itself in its own labs and can be bought directly on the tablet stores right now, alongside other competing devices like iPad Air, Samsung GALAXY Tab series, Sony Xperia tablets, Google Nexus slates and many tablets from its own partners.

This is actually really similar with Microsoft that also decides to release its own Windows tablets under the ‘Surface’ series and competes against other Windows tablets/laptops from its partners.

And this Surface series has now stepped up to the fourth generation. So we can see how serious Microsoft in entering the tablet market.

But of course, as the manufacturer that competes against its own partners, Nvidia still has a lot of jobs to do especially in convincing people that its Nvidia Shield Tablet is the definite solution for users that are looking for a true gaming tablet.

And I believe its journey is not going to be really easy because there are many other tablets that are ready to overshadow Nvidia Shield Tablet on gaming tablet market.

Google Nexus 7 (2013) is definitely one of them.

Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition) vs Nvidia Shield Tablet benchmarks and gaming performance

Having been released 2 years ago in 2013, the second-generation of Google Nexus 7 has been one of the top choices for gamers out there that love playing games on their tablets.

And the good thing is, this Google’s tablet is more than sufficient to handle any heavy games on Android platform.

So this is the reason why I think it’s gonna be really interesting to see how these 2 gaming tablets, Nvidia Shield Tablet and Google Nexus 7, go especially in terms of gaming performance.

But of course, other elements like screen, cameras, storage and battery life will also get their equal share in this review.

So without further ado, here is my comparison review between Google Nexus 7 (2013) and Nvidia Shield Tablet. Hope you like it!

Introduction

When the first-gen Google Nexus 7 made its first appearance in front of audience at Google I/O conference in 2012, many people liked it a lot and were really amazed at how great this device really was especially in playing heavy 3D games.

It even managed to steal the spotlights back then in 2012 when most people there were not really familiar yet with Android tablets (although some Android tablets from Samsung and Amazon were starting to gain ground on tablet market).

But that soon changed drastically when Google made its Nexus 7 official.

After gaining a lot of great reviews, recognition and the most importantly, sales around the tablet market, Google was back again in 2013 with the second-gen Nexus 7 tablet.

Even though this tablet didn’t get the reception as huge as the first-gen model, it actually still managed to become the better version of its predecessor, which is why Google releases it in the first place.

It has a much sharper and more gorgeous display, a more powerful GPU, bigger RAM, better looking design, newer firmware and the most importantly, it also comes with a rear-facing camera, which was lacking on the first-gen model.

As the tablet that is being compared with Nvidia Shield Tablet in this review, of course, Google Nexus 7 (2013) is gonna have a though time to convince many people out there that this tablet is a better offering than Nvidia’s slate, especially when knowing that Nvidia Shield Tablet is made specifically for gaming.

Similar just Google Nexus 7 (2013), Nvidia Shield Tablet is also the second-generation model of its predecessor, Nvidia Tegra Note, which was released in 2013.

So when it comes to hardware, of course Nvidia Shield Tablet brings a lot of improvements here and there especially on its specs.

However, when put together in the same ring with Google Nexus 7, I think it’s quite obvious that Nvidia Shield Tablet is just out of its league.

It’s just too powerful and unmatched by Google’s tablet.

Okay, Google Nexus 7 may have the privilege to always receive the software updates faster than any other Android devices out there.

However, what Nvidia’s slate has to offer is just so much even better than what Google has in stores.
  • It has a bigger screen,
  • an amazing digital pen (DirectStylus2),
  • a 5MP rear-facing that takes better pictures,
  • more appealing and sophisticated design
  • and of course, more powerful performance, especially for playing games.
Not to mention, Nvidia Shield Tablet also has the power to play console-quality games that are basically ported directly from the console/PC versions of the games. And this is something that Google Nexus 7 is impossible to compete.

But there still some questions floating around in the air that must get their answers here.

So, between Google Nexus 7 (2013) and Nvidia Shield Tablet: Which one is the best gaming tablet in this review?

Which one is the better tablet in the whole aspect?

Is any of these tablets really worth it to buy, especially for gaming?

If you want to know more about what my take on these questions, especially my conclusion of this comparison review, be sure to read the rest of this review.

Design

From the design standpoint, this Google Nexus 7 is actually not a huge departure from its predecessor.

There’s just not much difference to be found on both models. In fact, it still looks pretty identical one to another.

The design of Google Nexus 7 actually kind of reminds me with the designs of Nexus smartphones, Samsung GALAXY Nexus or LG Nexus 4.

They all have the same Nexus characteristics all over them, although Google Nexus 7 tablet is more on the flat side, while Nexus smartphones have the ‘sexy-looking’ curves on top and bottom.

The design similarities of Nexus 7 tablets also continue on their bezels.

So just like the first-gen variant, the sequel of Google Nexus 7 still keeps the thick bezels on top and bottom, while the left and right bezels are made so thin around the screen.

According to some video reviews on YouTube (like MKBHD), the build quality of Google Nexus 7 is actually pretty good, despite being a budget tablet.

It may not have the premium feel or aluminum materials found on the iPad mini, but it still feels comfortable to hold on our hands and not slippery just like other cheap Android slates with glossy plastic finish.

Okay, next we go to the design of Nvidia Shield Tablet.

If compared to Google Nexus 7, the design of Nvidia Shield Tablet is actually more appealing and attractive than Google’s tablet.

Mostly thanks to its dual-color layer (grey and dark black) that Nvidia puts around the bezels of this tablet.

And this really makes it look quite elegant and gives it a modern and sophisticated aspect to this device.

Besides on the design, there’s also one other place that Nvidia Shield Tablet is more superior at than Google’s tablet. And that is its sound quality, thanks to its dual-front-firing speaker grilles.

So, on the front side, there are dual-front speaker grilles being placed on the left and right bezels (when positioned in landscape mode) where earpiece and home button/resistive buttons are usually found here on most of tablets.

But these dual-front speaker grilles are not just there for nothing because thanks to these speaker holes, it impressively makes this tablet capable to deliver a much louder and clearer sound quality in front of users, thus making the experience of watching movies or playing games more realistic and immersive.

This design concept actually has been used also on Nvidia’s previous Tegra Note tablet, with the same positions of dual-front speaker grills, not to mention, the same support of stylus and its slot, dual-color layer design and some other similar design characteristics.

So Nvidia Shield Tablet is not very different with its predecessor when it comes to design. They look identical.

Between the 2, I think I will side on Nvidia’s tablet here because I’ve always been a huge fan of Nvidia’s tablets, especially with their dual-front-firing speaker grilles.

But even so, Google Nexus 7 is also a pretty attractive looking tablet.

It may not have the same great sound quality or sophisticated feel just like Nvidia Shield Tablet, but I think Google and Asus still did a great job with the design of this Nexus device.

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Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition)Nvidia Shield Tablet
4G LTE
Micro-SIM
Released 2013, July
Weight 290 g (Wi-Fi), 299 g (LTE) (10.55 oz)
7.0 inch LED-backlit IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen,
1200 x 1920 pixels, (~323 ppi pixel density), 16M colors
Quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait Qualcomm Snapdragon S4Pro Chipset
Adreno 320 GPU
2 GB RAM
Android OS, v4.3 (Jelly Bean), upgradable to v5.0 (Lollipop)
5 MP rear-facing camera, 2592 ? 1944 pixels, autofocus
1.2 MP front-facing camera
No Memory Card slot
16/32 GB Internal storage
GPRS
EDGE
NFC
GPS
HSPA+, LTE
Wi-Fi 802.11
Bluetooth v4.0
microUSB v2.0 (SlimPort)
No Radio
Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass Sensors
No Java
Non-removable Li-Ion 3950 mAh battery
No SIM
Released 2014, July
390 g (Weight)
DirectStylus 2
8.0 inchCapacitive touchscreen, 1920 x 1200 pixels, 16M colors (~283 ppi pixel density)
Dual bass reflex port audio enhancement
microSD Memory Card slot for up to 128GB
Internal 16 GB
2 GB RAM
No GPRS
No EDGE
Wi-Fi 802.11
Bluetooth
microUSB
5 MP rear-facing camera (2592 ? 1944 pixels) autofocus touch focus, HDR
5 MP front-facing camera with HDR
Android OS 4.4.2 KitKat
Quad-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A15 Nvidia Tegra K1 Chipset
ULP GeForce Kepler 192-core GPU
HTML5 Browser
No Radio
GPS
Java MIDP emulator
HDMI port
19.75 Wh Li-Ion battery

Comparing Google Nexus 7 with Nvidia Shield Tablet is definitely not fair and relevant because first of all, Google’s tablet is not on the same level with Nvidia’s slate, especially in hardware specs and performance.

However, considering that Nvidia Shield Tablet now costs only $199 for the basic 16GB of internal storage, which is in the same price range of Google Nexus 7, then the comparison review between 2 devices can still be justified.

Besides, Google Nexus 7 is still on par with Nvidia Shield Tablet in terms of spec sheet.

It has the same 1080p full HD display, 2GB of RAM, stock Android UI and there’s also 5MP rear-facing camera on this tablet, similar just like the ones found on Nvidia’s tablet.

However, as the real gaming tablet designed and made for playing console quality games, Nvidia Shield Tablet is of course a far more superior in graphical performance than Google’s Nexus tablet.

And that’s true because on paper, Nvidia Shield Tablet is armed with a quad-core Tegra K1 processor, coupled with a staggering 192-core Kepler GPU, compared to an outdated Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset and Adreno 320 GPU found on Google’s device.

But the superiority of Nvidia’s tablet in gaming performance is not just on paper, but also in real world performance. But we’ll get more on that later.

In the other departments of both tablets, I think Google Nexus 7 has less to offer to users compared to what Nvidia Shield Tablet comes with on it hardware.

For example, on the sector of photography, Nvidia’s device is equipped with a 5MP front-facing camera along with another 5MP shooter on the back, as opposed to the 5MP rear-facing and 1.2MP front-facing cameras found on Google Nexus 7.

So we can clearly see from right here that Nvidia Shield Tablet looks well-prepared than Google’s Nexus slate.

However, despite being an inferior tablet in this comparison review, there’s actually one thing that possibly makes Google Nexus 7 a better offering than Nvidia Shield Tablet.

And that is their battery lives.

So Google Nexus 7 is powered by 3950mAh battery, as opposed to the 19.75Wh battery found inside Nvidia Shield Tablet, which is equal to around 5000mah battery (with the assumption of 18.6Wh being around 4960mAh battery).

But impressively, despite having a lower capacity of battery, it’s actually Google Nexus 7 that really excels in battery life than Nvidia Shield Tablet.

Of course, we’ll get more on that later.

Between the 2, I think Nvidia Shield Tablet looks like a much better offering than Google Nexus 7.

And that’s true because we already see that, in spec sheet, Nvidia’s tablet has a lot more things to offer than what can be found on Google’s device.

And besides, Nvidia Shield Tablet is also provided with an amazing digital pen (stylus), which according to what I’ve seen on YouTube (and a LOT), it is a great quality stylus similar just like the S-Pen on Samsung GALAXY Note.

Not to mention, Nvidia also releases the 1st-party Xbox-alike gaming controller specifically for this device.

So in the whole aspect, it’s quite obvious that Nvidia Shield Tablet looks more appealing to buy than Google Nexus 7, especially when knowing that Nvidia has sliced the price of this device to only $199 for the basic 16GB model.

And this is definitely one of the best ‘bang for the buck’ deals you can find today around the tablet market.

And I don’t think there are any other impressive deals like this right now.

Screen

Playing games, browsing the web, reading books and the most importantly watching movies are definitely such a pleasing experience when done with any of these devices.

And that’s because Nvidia Shield Tablet and Google Nexus 7 are both sporting the same 1080p resolution displays.

So there’s not much to talk about especially when it comes screen sharpness. They both have equally sharp looking screens.

However, as far as the sharpness, I think Google Nexus 7 is the one that comes out as the winner here compared to Nvidia Shield Tablet.

And that’s clearly because Google’s tablet comes with a smaller 7-inch screen, as opposed to the 8-inch display found on Nvidia Shield Tablet.

So all the pixels of its 1080p resolution are crammed into a much smaller display, resulting in higher pixel density than the one found on the display of Nvidia Shield Tablet (323 ppi vs 283 ppi).

And this contributes a lot to the sharpness of Google Nexus 7’s screen.

But even so, the difference of sharpness on both tablets is probably not really noticeable here especially given that both devices are packing the same 1080p resolution on their displays.

Plus the 1-inch screen size difference found on both tablets is not like really huge. So their screens are equally sharp and they both are undoubtedly ideal for enjoying media contents like movies or games.

User Interface

One of the things that I’ve always been impressed with Nvidia’s tablets is definitely the use stock Android UIs without any customizations whatsoever.

That actually has begun even when Nvidia Shield 'gaming console' (not Shield Tablet) was debuted a few years back before Tegra Note and Shield Tablet were even manufactured.

And Nvidia still continues that tradition by bringing the stock Android OS on its Nvidia Shield Tablet.

The same thing happens on Google Nexus 7.

So similar just like Nvidia’s device, Google still keeps the tradition going as well by using the stock untouched Android OS on its Nexus 7 tablet.

However, as a tablet released in 2014, of course, Nvidia Shield Tablet receives the latest Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat, as opposed to the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean found on Google Nexus 7, which came out earlier in 2013.

When it comes to features, Nvidia Shield Tablet actually has a lot to offer than Google’s tablet.

And that’s mostly related to the digital pen/stylus provided by Nvidia on this device, such as: lasso feature (the ability to crop the screen with stylus), note-taking app, drawing app and some more.

But there’s also one interesting app called Nvidia Game Hub (if I’m not mistaken), which gives users the exclusive access to Nvidia gaming ecosystem where you can find a plenty of console-quality games that can be enjoyed directly on Nvidia Shield Tablet (like Half Life 2, Trine 2, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, etc).

Meanwhile, as the one that comes with older-gen Android 4.3 Jelly Bean right out of the box, of course Google Nexus 7 is lacking especially on some new features and improvements found on the KitKat of Nvidia Shield Tablet.

However, Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat is actually just a minor update from the previous Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

So there’s probably not much to write home about when it comes to new features and design layouts on the new KitKat UI of Nvidia Shield Tablet compared to Jelly Bean UI of Nexus 7.

They still look and work slightly similar one to another.

The good news is, both Google Nexus 7 and Nvidia Shield Tablet are eligible for the new software updates to Android 5.0 Lollipop.

And most of us already know that this latest version of Android OS brings a lot of improvements and especially new design looks (known as Material Design) compared to the previous OS.

So it’s good to hear that both devices are gonna (or maybe already) enjoy all the goodness and goodies found on Lollipop OS.

Not to mention, there’s also one important feature called Project Volta which significantly improves the battery life of any Lollipop-powered device.

So I believe this is a really vital improvement for both Google Nexus 7 and especially Nvidia Shield Tablet, which according to reviews, it has average battery life.

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Okay, let’s get real here!

Nvidia Shield Tablet is powered by Nvidia’s latest and greatest, Tegra K1 processor, while Google Nexus 7 is equipped with a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset from Qualcomm, which is definitely not on par with the horsepower found on Nvidia Shield Tablet.

On paper, we can clearly see that Google Nexus 7 is definitely no competition here against Nvidia Shield Tablet.

And that’s true because Tegra K1 is a flagship processor and just extremely powerful especially in graphical performance, mostly thanks to its staggering 192-core Kepler GPU.

Meanwhile the Adreno 320 GPU found on Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset of Nexus 7 is already considered as outdated for today’s standards.

And it’s not even the flagship GPU from Qualcomm’s chipset portfolio in 2013.

So in terms of gaming performance, Nvidia Shield Tablet is just untouchable by Google Nexus 7. It’s even impossible for Google’s tablet to compete head-to-head against Nvidia’s slate, especially in gaming.

And that can be clearly seen when both devices are thrown with 2 of the most graphically-demanding games from Gameloft and Rockstar Games, Asphalt 8: Airborne and GTA San Andreas.

Of course, both tablets with their CPUs and GPUs are more than sufficient to handle games like Modern Combat 4, NOVA 3, Dead Trigger 2, Need for Speed Most Wanted, ShadowGun DeadZone and even GTA Vice City perfectly in buttery smooth performance, even in full highest graphics.

Meanwhile, as for Asphalt 8: Airborne, either Google Nexus 7 or Nvidia Shield Tablet also has what it takes to run this game smoothly in highest graphics (with all shadows, reflections on cars, sun glares on roads and some extra visual effects like balloons, planes, etc).

However, the different level of performance on both tablets can be clearly seen when both are tasked to run one heavy game called GTA San Andreas.

So on Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition), I’ve already seen this tablet really suffer a lot when playing GTA San Andreas in full highest graphics.

It runs really laggy and it’s just not playable for human being.

If I’m not mistaken, the framerate of this game on Google Nexus 7 is below 20fps or around that number, which is really sluggish for a normal gameplay.

So it runs really slow and full of stutters during the gameplay, especially when the road is filled with many objects like people and cars.

On the other hand with Google Nexus 7, this GTA San Andreas runs so amazingly well on Nvidia Shield Tablet, even in full highest graphics.

I’ve actually already seen it run also smoothly on Tegra 4 tablets like HP Slate7 Extreme and Asus Transformer TF701T.

So I’m not really shocked when seeing this game also run in buttery smooth performance on Nvidia Shield Tablet.

Besides, according to many PC/console game developers, Tegra K1 tablets have the capability to even handle anything that runs on PC.

So basically, you can throw anything from PC like games on Tegra K1 hardware and this device is still capable to handle these PC-quality tasks perfectly.

That’s actually one of the things I’ve been really amazed about Nvidia Shield Tablet, even more than any other tablets on the market right now.

So besides playing Android games, this Nvidia Shield Tablet amazingly also has the horsepower to run PC/console-quality games that are specifically ported from PC/consoles straightly to Tegra K1 hardware, or in this case, Nvidia Shield Tablet.

And its superiority to handle PC and console-quality games can be seen easily through the list of games on Nvidia Games Hub (just like Tegra Zone) where you’ll be able to find plenty of console-quality games like:
  • Trine 2 (PS3),
  • Half Life 2 (PC),
  • Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath from Xbox (but this game can also be played on Google Nexus 7 by the way),
  • Dungeon Hunter
  • Portal
  • and many other console titles that are ported by many popular console game developers exclusively only for Nvidia Shield Tablet.
So by looking at how powerful Nvidia Shield Tablet really is in handling not only all Android games, but also console-ported games, I think it’s no brainer that Nvidia Shield Tablet is just far more powerful and superior gaming tablet than Google Nexus 7.

But that’s not it. The superior gaming performance of Nvidia Shield Tablet is not the only one that makes it a better gaming device than Google Nexus 7.

There’s more. And one of them, actually, there are 2 of them: the superior sound quality and the support for gaming controller on Nvidia Shield Tablet.

So as mentioned above in the design section of this review, I’ve already told you that Nvidia Shield Tablet is equipped with dual-front-firing speaker grilles on the left and right bezels (in landscape mode).

And these dual-speaker grilles are not just some kind of accessory that Nvidia deliberately puts in order to make this tablet look cool and sophisticated.

So thanks to these speaker grilles found on the front side of the tablet, they really contribute to a much louder and clearer sound quality, thus making the experience of watching movies and especially playing games on this tablet really immersive and more realistic to users.

Impressively, the sound doesn’t get muffled easily when our hands are holding the tablet and covering the speaker grilles.

So kudos to Nvidia for putting these awesome speaker grilles on the front of this device!

Besides that great sound quality, Nvidia Shield Tablet is also more prepared as a gaming device than Google Nexus 7 because Nvidia also releases the official Xbox-alike gaming controller for this device.

So this Nvidia Shield gaming controller not only looks like Xbox gaming controller (with thick and fat body for the palm areas), but it also has all the complete set of buttons and triggers that are already optimized and synchronized to almost all Android games and also the Tegra K1 games (which are available to get on Nvidia Games Hub).

However, it’s worth mentioning that this gaming controller is sold separately with the device (and it's not cheap).

So if you want to get the complete package of Nvidia Shield Tablet, you have to pay more for the gaming controller (which is $50 if I’m not mistaken, while the device now costs only $199).

And also, I heard that some of the Tegra K1 games for Nvidia Shield Tablet (like Half Life 2, etc) can only be played with this gaming controller. And they will not work with the on-screen virtual buttons just like on Android games.

So in conclusion, I think it’s really clear which one between Google Nexus 7 and Nvidia Shield Tablet is the best gaming tablet in this comparison review.

Nvidia Shield Tablet is definitely the one that comes out as the winner here.

Nvidia Shield Tablet has way more powerful gaming performance than Google’s tablet. Nvidia Shield Tablet has a much better sound quality (which is really vital for gaming experience).

Nvidia Shield Tablet has the official gaming controller.

Nvidia Shield Tablet also has better storage capability with microSD card slot for up to 128GB, which Google Nexus 7 doesn’t have it.

And we all know how important it is to have a huge storage (internal and external) on a gaming tablet considering how heavy (in size) most of the Android games nowadays, not to mention the Tegra K1 games that are ported from console/PC, which are also heavy in size.

Last but not least, Nvidia Shield Tablet has the total support from many console and PC game developers especially to port their popular titles exclusively only for Tegra K1 tablets like Nvidia Shield Tablet.

However, there is one thing that probably could hold back Nvidia Shield Tablet from being the perfect gaming tablet. And that is its battery life. But we’ll get more on that later.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about their gaming performances, including what games that will run on these tablets, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Cameras

In the department of photography, luckily both Google Nexus 7 and Nvidia Shield Tablet are equipped with their rear-facing cameras.

Nvidia Shield Tablet has the 5MP rear-facing camera, while Google’s tablet also has a 5MP camera on the back.

Unfortunately, according to some video reviews that I’ve seen on YouTube (theVerge, MKBHD and PhoneArena), the 5MP rear-facing camera on Google Nexus 7 has nothing to write home about especially in quality and sharpness.

And this is the opposite with the 5MP rear camera on Nvidia Shield Tablet.

Even from the first-gen Nvidia Tegra Note (which has all similar design characteristics and hardware just like its successor), the 5MP rear camera on this Tegra 4 tablet is capable to take some decent quality shots (as seen on many camera/photo reviews on YouTube).

So with that being said, then you can totally expect the same thing on the rear-facing camera of Nvidia Shield Tablet.

I even believe that its quality gets majorly improved by Nvidia especially when knowing that Nvidia has years of experience as well as expertise in visual computing world.

So I’m not gonna be surprised if the 5MP rear and front-facing shooters of Nvidia Shield Tablet are more than happier to take great pictures and even record amazing and sharp looking videos to users.

That’s why if you’re looking for a great machine to play games but you’re also really into photography, then you will make a great decision if you decide to buy Nvidia Shield Tablet, which now only costs $199.

In fact, this tablet is no doubt one of the best ‘bang for the buck’ tablets on the market right now.

Battery Life

So even before the end of this review, we already know that Nvidia Shield Tablet is the major here in many things than Google Nexus 7, from:
  • gaming performance,
  • gaming experience (huge support from PC/console game developers, great sound quality, storage capability, gaming controller, console quality games),
  • camera,
  • stylus
  • and design.
However, there is still one department which Nvidia Shield Tablet hasn’t been proved its quality. And that is its battery life.

So according to some reviews, Nvidia Shield Tablet is not that great in battery life, especially when thrown with some heavy 3D games.

This Nvidia’s tablet sadly doesn’t last very long for playing heavy games.

And this really contradicts with Google Nexus 7 that is impressive when it comes to battery life, despite using a lower capacity battery than predecessor (3950mAh vs 4325mAh).

So based on those reviews, Nvidia Shield Tablet could only last probably around 3 to 5 hours (maybe less than that) when used entirely for playing heavy games (especially Tegra K1 games).

And this is a shame because the true gaming tablet is supposed to have sufficient battery life in long hours because heavy gamers are mostly really demanding when it comes to battery life of their gaming devices.

But the good news is, Nvidia Shield Tablet is eligible to receive the latest software updates of Android Lollipop 5.0 OS, while Android Marshmallow will follow through in the near future.

And I know that this platform brings a lot of improvements here and there especially in battery life department (as seen on Project Volta).

So I believe this new OS will also fix and improve the short longevity of battery life on this device, especially for gaming.

My Personal Opinions

So my final conclusion of this comparison review is, from what I’ve seen on almost every aspect of both tablets, I think it’s quite obvious that Nvidia Shield Tablet deserves to be the winner here in this review when compared with Google Nexus 7.
  • It has a far superior gaming performance and experience (thanks to its gaming controller and good sound quality),
  • it has a more sophisticated design and better build quality,
  • it has better storage capability with microSD card (for up to 128GB),
  • it has better quality cameras,
  • it has an amazing writing/drawing experience with its digital pen/stylus (even as impressive as S-Pen on Samsung GALAXY Note)
  • it has great quality cameras (with autofocus and HDR)
  • and I think pretty much everything about this tablet is just far better than what Google Nexus 7 could possibly offer.
  • Not to mention, its insanely cheap $199 price tag also puts Google Nexus 7 in really dangerous situation here especially on the budget tablet market
So I think this is really easy to recommend Nvidia Shield Tablet instead of Google Nexus 7, especially if you’re still on the street looking for a great gaming tablet at cheap.

Nvidia Shield Tablet is just an amazing device overall.

However, despite being the loser in this comparison review, I believe there are still something to be appreciated from Google Nexus 7, for example like:
  • its strong battery life,
  • its support for future software updates directly from Google,
  • its sharp looking display
  • and its smooth performance.
Besides, this Google Nexus 7 is still on par with Nvidia Shield Tablet in some departments of its hardware like:
  • the same 1080p display,
  • 2GB of RAM,
  • stock Android UI
  • and it also has a rear-facing 5MP camera just like on Nvidia Shield Tablet (although its quality somehow on the weak side here compared to the decent cameras found on Nvidia’s tablet).
But at the end of the day, if you are currently looking for a great and even the best gaming tablet at really affordable price, then I strongly recommend you to pick up Nvidia Shield Tablet as it now only costs $199 for the basic 16GB model.

Anyway, to sum up this review, I’ll try to answer some of the questions I’ve previously asked above:

Which one is the best gaming tablet in this review?

Of course Nvidia Shield Tablet. And the main reason is, it has the capability to play games more than what Google Nexus 7 could possibly achieve with its hardware.

I think Nvidia Shield Tablet is just untouchable by this Google’s tablet when it comes to gaming performance and experience as a whole.

Which one is the better tablet in the whole aspect?

Again, it is Nvidia Shield Tablet. And that’s because:
  • it has more powerful gaming performance,
  • it has more sophisticated and more appealing design,
  • it has better cameras,
  • it supports the expandable storage via microSD card,
  • it has an amazing digital pen/stylus,
  • and pretty much everything about it is just better than Google Nexus 7.
Is any of these tablets really worth it to buy, especially for gaming?

Definitely yes. But only if you pick Nvidia Shield Tablet, not Google Nexus 7.

Okay, this Google’s tablet may be capable to run some of the latest and heavy games today (and even Tegra K1 game, Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath), but when compared to Nvidia Shield Tablet, of course Google Nexus 7 is really inferior when it comes to gaming performance.

So if you’re looking for a great all-around gaming tablet, then Nvidia Shield Tablet is definitely your best shot here.

Pros and Cons

Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition)

Pros:
  • Sharp 1080p full HD display
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Great battery life
  • It comes with stock Android UI
  • It has the privilege to receive new updates of Android OS straightly from Google
  • Good gaming performance (but not on par with Nvidia Shield Tablet)
    Smooth performance
Cons:
  • It doesn’t have the support for expandable storage (NO microSD card slot)
  • It’s not really powerful for playing games like GTA San Andreas
  • Its rear-facing camera has NO quality on it (according to many reviews)
  • It cannot play console-quality games like on Nvidia Shield Tablet
Nvidia Shield Tablet

Pros:
  • It has microSD card slot for up to 128GB
  • It’s really cheap at just $199
  • It has a sharp 1080p display and 2GB of RAM
  • It has probably the best gaming performance on the market right now
  • It has great cameras
  • It has great sound quality through dual-front speaker grilles
  • It has an amazing digital pen/stylus (that even matches the quality of S-Pen on Samsung GALAXY Note or Microsoft Surface Pro tablets)
  • It comes with the stock Android UI right out of the box (with the update to Lollipop and possibly Marshmallow)
  • It has a sophisticated and more appealing design
  • It has the first party gaming controller from Nvidia
  • It has full support from many console/PC game developers to get the ported version of their games
Cons:
  • Average battery life (but hopefully can be fixed and improved with the new update of Android Lollipop)


Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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