NVIDIA Shield Tablet vs Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 Specs Comparison

Written by B Johnson January 27, 2015
NVIDIA Shield Tablet vs Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 Specs Comparison
Hi guys, welcome back!

Last year, NVIDIA struck the tech world by jumping straightly to the same bandwagon of its partner – tablet market.

(NVIDIA Shield Tablet vs Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 - Specs Comparison)

NVIDIA decided to released Tegra Note, which was actually a reference device (but available to buy for end users) to help its partners make the same exact device but with their own branding (like HP Slate 7 Extreme, EVGA Note 7, etc).

But that’s not the end of its journey. This year, NVIDIA did again release the successor of Tegra Note called NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

NVIDIA Shield Tablet is actually not a huge departure from the predecessor.

In fact, this tablet still shares some of the core elements on Tegra Note, like the dual-speaker grilles on the front, similar HTC-One-alike design, the same stylus, the same stock Android OS, the same 5MP rear-facing camera and it pretty much looks identical with the previous-gen model.

NVIDIA Shield Tablet vs Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 benchmarks and gaming performance

However, as the next-gen model, this tablet surely brings some bumped up specs here and there on the hardware – like Tegra K1 processor, 2GB of RAM, full HD display, more powerful GPU, much improved stylus, newer Android build and many more.

Anyway, today i want to keep cranking out more of my comparison review on this site.

But this time, i’m really interested to put NVIDIA Shield Tablet into the ring to fight one of the beast tablets on the market today – Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4. I know that both tablets fall in different category.

However, i think it could be pretty interesting to compared these 2 devices given that they both can be considered as productivity devices, right? NVIDIA Shield Tablet with its stylus, Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 with its productivity software.

Well, if you’re interested to learn more about what these 2 tablets have to offer, especially as gaming devices, then check this one out guys, my comparison review between NVIDIA Shield Tablet and Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4.


When it comes to sales number and market share, there’s no doubt that Samsung is currently untouchable even by most of its counterparts.

This company has been doing great with its GALAXY series and always manages to ship millions of devices every quarter of each year.

There are many reasons why its GALAXY devices are selling that great on the market.

One of them is probably because Samsung has been really superior on the developments of its screen department.

Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 is one of Samsung’s flagship devices that clearly shows off what Samsung has been really good at on tablet market.

This device is sporting an insanely sharp 2560x1600 pixel resolution on its 8.4-inch display. This is insane because this tablet is an 8.4-inch tablet but Samsung manages to cram all of the million pixels into this small tablet.

Well, of course, this is not very surprising anymore for now given that most of today’s flagship smartphones – like LG G3, Samsung GALAXY Note 4 or Nexus 6 – already jump on the Quad HD resolution on their screens.

But still, having 2.5k resolution on an 8.4-inch display is just really insane even for today’s standards.

But that insanely sharp display is not the only thing that makes this Samsung tablet stand out compared to most of its counterparts. Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 is also equipped with many high-class quality of specs like Snapdragon 800 processor (for the LTE)/Samsung 5 Octa Exynos 5420 octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM, huge battery, sharp 8MP camera and the most importantly, the Magazine UI, which is the revamped Android UI that basically adopts the Live Tiles of Metro UI on Microsoft’s tablets.

On the other side of the ring, there is NVIDIA Shield Tablet, a tablet designed by NVIDIA as a pure gaming tablet. And it’s shown by the company’s decision to put an insanely powerful Tegra K1 processor into this device.

Tegra K1 processor inside this NVIDIA Shield Tablet is a quad-core processor but it’s armed with a staggering 192-core of Kepler GPU, making it up ahead against most of other tablets out there, even the iPads.

However, NVIDIA Shield Tablet doesn’t only count on that powerful chipset to compete with other rivals. There is one feature that NVIDIA actually has been trying to push on this tablet series since Tegra Note. And that is its stylus.

But it’s not just a simple stylus.

The stylus of NVIDIA Shield Tablet is really amazing you can literally create some beautiful paintings out of it – similar just like what S-Pen is capable of on Samsung GALAXY Note series.

Its touch response is really fast and smooth, every result of the stylus occurs in real-time on the screen, its thickness can be controlled according to our pressure on the screen and there’s also this palm-rejection feature to prevent our palm from being registered when using the stylus.

So long story short, the stylus of NVIDIA Shield Tablet is awesome, even nearly as awesome as the S-Pen.

But the questions remain, with all of the high-grade goodies found on both devices, w

Which one between NVIDIA Shield Tablet and Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 that is a better tablet in the whole aspect?

Do these 2 devices deserve to be positioned alongside other flagship rivals on today’s tablet market?

Which one that is more powerful for gaming?

Well, you'll find out more about the answers of these questions at the end of this review. So be sure to stick around guys!


In the past few years, Samsung has been really struggling to make its GALAXY devices look premium but unique than most of its rivals out there – especially Apple iDevices.

The good news is, slowly but sure, Samsung manages to finally make premium devices that have their own characteristic and identity compared to its rivals, especially iPads.

NVIDIA Shield Tablet
Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4
Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4

Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 is one of Samsung’s devices that proves that point perfectly. This tablet now looks more elegant, more mature and in fact, it has that premium feel, despite not using aluminum material just like iPads.

It actually kind of reminds me with the design of Samsung GALAXY Note 3 – especially with its ‘fake’ elements, like faux leather, fake stitching and fake metallic trim around the bezels.

On the other hand, NVIDIA Shield Tablet also has much to say on this department. This tablet interestingly takes some design cues from HTC One, with that dual-speaker-grilles on the front, plus 2 layer colors on the front area around the screen.

But these speaker grilles are not just there for nothing. Thanks to these dual-speaker grilles, the sound quality of this tablet is really loud and clear.

And this is really important especially when enjoying movies or playing games.

Back to Topa

Nvidia ShieldSamsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 3G LTE

Released July 2014
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
Wi-Fi 802.11
5 MP rear-facing camera 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
Java MIDP emulator
HDMI port
19.75 Wh Li-Ion battery

    Released March 2014
    Dimensions 219 x 128.5 x 7.2 mm (8.62 x 5.06 x 0.28 in)
    335 g (Weight)
    8.4 inch Super clear LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1600 x 2560 pixels, (~359 ppi pixel density)
    Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
    Adreno 330 GPU
    Android OS 4.4 KitKat - Samsung TouchWiz UI
    8 MP rear-facing camera with LED flash
    2 MP front-facing camera (1080p@30fps video recording)
    microSD card slot for up to 64 GB
    16/32 GB Internal storage
    2 GB RAM
    GPRS, HSDPA, 42.2 Mbps
    Wi-Fi 802.11
    Infrared port, Bluetooth
    microUSB v2.0
    No Radio
    Java MIDP emulator
    Non-removable Li-Ion 4800 mAh battery

    As 2 high-end flagship tablets, no wonder if these NVIDIA Shield Tablet and Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 are both equipped with some powerful high-grade specs on them.

    Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 comes with an 8.4-inch display sporting the 2.5K resolution, Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, Adreno 330 GPU, 4600mAH battery, Magazine UI, 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash, 2MP front-facing camera and some other more.

    It goes the same with NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

    This device is equipped with some beefy specs like a full HD resolution (1920x1200 pixels) on its 8-inch display, an insanely powerful Tegra K1 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 192-core Kepler GPU, 5MP cameras front and back (which take great shots by the way), stock Android UI (upgradeable to Android 5.0 Lollipop), 19.75Wh battery capacity and of course, its amazing stylus.


    One of the strongest points found on Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 as opposed to the NVIDIA Shield Tablet is definitely its display. Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 is sporting a super-sharp 2.5K resolution (2560x1600 pixels) on its 8.4-inch display.

    And this means, the screen will look insanely sharp and crisp. This screen resolution is actually the highest resolution on tablet market right now.

    Meanwhile, NVIDIA Shield Tablet must be willing to be the second best in this comparison review with its lower full HD 1080p or 1920x1200 pixel resolution on its 8-inch display.

    But even so, having a full HD resolution on an 8-inch display already looks sharp for most of users out there.

    It's not as sharp as the 2.5K screen on Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro, but it still looks sharp and great enough for most of users.

    User Interface

    If there is one thing that sets these 2 devices apart, then it’s definitely their UIs.

    NVIDIA Shield Tablet comes pre-installed with stock vanilla Android UI (upgradeable to 5.0 Lollipop), while Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 is injected with Samsung’s homemade Magazine UI, which is the revamped version of Android UI inspired by the Live Tiles of Metro UI.

    So in terms of features, then Samsung’s tablet is up ahead against NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

    However, the good thing of having stock Android UI on any tablet is, there will be no unnecessary tasks or pre-loaded apps running in the background in default.

    And thanks to the 2GB of RAM on NVIDIA Shield Tablet, this tablet has a huge free RAM for users that allows them to multitask a lot of stuff at once.

    Not to mention, given its stock Android UI, the performance of this device will be fast and smooth, plus more efficient with the use of battery life.

    Back to Top
    Most of Samsung’s flagship tablets have been known quite well as really powerful devices in performance.

    And that’s not surprising because these devices are mostly armed with some high-grade hardware specs that of course, are more than adequate to execute any Android games on the market. And Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 is no exception.

    Thanks to Samsung’s decision to inject Snapdragon 800 processor inside this tablet, accompanied with huge 2GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU, this Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 can be an ideal tablet for playing games.

    Even with that super-sharp 2.5K resolution, this device has no issue at all to execute any Android games in buttery smooth performance and full highest graphics.

    So you can totally expect this device to be capable to run even the most graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 5 or even GTA San Andreas, in full highest graphics.

    It goes the same with NVIDIA Shield Tablet. As a Tegra K1 tablet, it’s just no brainer that this device is an insanely powerful gaming tablet.

    As a matter of fact, given its 64-bit Tegra K1 Denver processor, this NVIDIA Shield Tablet is probably the best gaming tablet on the market right now, even than Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4.

    And more impressively about this processor is, according to some benchmark tests held on some tech sites, Tegra K1 processor is capable to deliver the same graphical performance as today’s desktops/PCs.

    This of course is really amazing because on a simple tablet device like NVIDIA Shield Tablet, you can literally play some console/PC-quality games even with the entire graphic and visual effect resource.

    To name of few, there are actually some popular console/PC titles that have been ported to Tegra K1 devices – from Half Life 2, Trine 2 and Oddworld Stranger's Wrath and some others.

    But in the near future, there will be many other console games that are being prepared for this device.

    Hopefully, NVIDIA’s close relationship with Activision, Ubisoft or EA could help convince these console game makers to port their popular titles on Tegra K1 devices next year (fingers’ crossed for that!).

    So in terms of gaming performance, it’s pretty obvious that NVIDIA Shield Tablet is too powerful compared to Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4.

    And by a LOT, because what NVIDIA has in this tablet is PC-class hardware that literally has the graphical power of today’s desktops, as opposed to the Snapdragon 800/Samsung 5 Exynos 5420 processor and Adreno 330/Mali T628 inside Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 that are only mobile-dedicated hardware.

    So on paper and even in real time situation, the performance of NVIDIA’s tablet is just unmatched by Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4.

    But that’s not the only thing that makes NVIDIA Shield Tablet superior than Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4, in terms of gaming performance.

    There’s one other sector that makes the gaming experience of this NVIDIA’s tablet more realistic compared to Samsung’s slate. And that is its sound quality.

    The sound quality of NVIDIA Shield Tablet is just really great. It’s loud and clear, but more impressively, the sound doesn’t get muffled even if you hold the tablet in landscape mode while covering the speaker grilles.

    This of course, thanks to the dual-speaker grilles on the front of this device. Even many tech reviewers on YouTube really agree on the great sound speaker quality of NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

    NVIDIA Shield Tablet also has some other thing to brag in front of Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4. And that is its THD games, which actually are the games that have been well-optimized specifically for Tegra K1 tablets like NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

    So games on this device have more detailed looking graphics and more advanced visual effects than the games on other non-Tegra-K1 tablets out there.

    But apparently, that’s not it. There’s more. NVIDIA actually also releases the dedicated gaming controller – which looks like Xbox 360 controller – specifically for this NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

    And according to many reviews on YouTube, this gaming controller is really awesome and works really great on this device.

    So with this one added advantage to its gaming experience (which makes it 4 – 1 in favor of NVIDIA Shield Tablet), then it’s just no brainer that NVIDIA Shield Tablet is a much much better gaming tablet than Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4.

    Samsung’s tablet is still a powerful gaming tablet though. But the whole experience of playing games on NVIDIA’s tablet is just untouchable by Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4.


    Despite not being a better gaming tablet than NVIDIA Shield Tablet, there’s still one field that Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 is really good at, compared to NVIDIA’s gaming tablet.

    And that is on its camera department.

    Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 is equipped with an 8MP camera on the back with LED flash and the other 2MP shooter on the front, both capable to do 1080p video recording at 30fps.

    In terms of quality, I think I don’t have to talk too much about it because the cameras of this tablet are just superior. Period. It takes great and sharp looking photos/videos that even still look great for macro photography.

    So if you decide to buy this Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4, its cameras surely won’t let you down.

    But interestingly, the same thing happens also on NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

    Even though NVIDIA is not known popularly for its camera department, but it doesn’t mean that the cameras of this tablet will suck.

    As a matter of fact, according to some reviews on YouTube, the 5MP rear-facing camera of this tablet is capable to take some decent quality shots. This is not surprising given that the predecessor – Tegra Note – also has great rear-facing camera.

    So no wonder if NVIDIA still continues that tradition on this device. It may not take the same great and sharp photos as Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4, but the most importantly, the photos still look good for today’s standards.

    Battery Life

    When it comes to battery life, I think the crown should be given to Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4. And that’s because Samsung has also been known for its expertise in making long-lasting devices, especially the latest flagship models.

    Even with that super-razor-sharp 2.5K resolution on its display, this tablet is still capable to deliver an all-day-long battery life to user, of course on a full charge.

    Meanwhile, NVIDIA Shield Tablet might not be ‘on the same league’ with Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4.

    Despite using a light-weight stock vanilla Android UI – as opposed to the heavy Magazine UI on Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 -, this NVIDIA’s tablet is equipped with Tegra K1 processor, which could be power hungry especially when it’s tasked with some heavy intense tasks like gaming.

    It may survive in one solid day in moderate use. But if you use it mainly to do some heavy stuff intensively without resting the screen at all – like for watching HD movies in marathon or playing games in the row -, then you can only expect this device to last probably around 4 to 6 hours.

    In fact, according to one review I’ve seen on YouTube, the battery life of this tablet could drop quickly around 2 – 3 hours if you mainly use it for playing some heavy games.

    This can be a bummer especially given that NVIDIA Shield Tablet is a pure gaming tablet. And weak battery life will not be tolerated on this device.

    But hopefully, with the new update to Android 5.0 Lollipop (which has arrived for this device), it can really improve its battery life and make it more efficient especially for playing games.

    My Personal Opinions

    So in conclusion, I think both tablets are equally great. They have their own strengths and weaknesses. When Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 is superior on some sectors (which NVIDIA Shield Tablet is not), this NVIDIA’s tablet can still be superior on many other departments.

    For example, when it comes to display, it’s very obvious that Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 is just untouchable by NVIDIA Shield Tablet. It has a super-sharp 2.5K resolution on its 8.4-inch display.

    Not to mention, thanks to Samsung’s expertise on this department, the screen of this tablet not only looks sharp, but the colors looks popping out and have great saturation compared to the ‘okay’ full HD display of NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

    But that’s not it, there are some other parts that put this Samsung’s tablet up ahead against NVIDIA’s tablet – like its camera, its battery life, its attractive new revamped Magazine UI and its features.

    However, NVIDIA Shield Tablet also has its own advantages that Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 don’t. First of all, even though its display is just sporting a full HD (1920x1200 pixels) resolution, I believe it still looks sharp for most of users.

    And then, it has an amazing stylus, which as I mentioned above, is capable to even create some beautiful paintings out of it – similar just like the S-Pen on Samsung GALAXY Note series.

    And don’t forget about its Tegra K1 processor that is too powerful compared to the processor found inside the Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4.

    Not to mention, NVIDIA Shield Tablet is also superior on sound quality (thanks to its dual-speaker grilles on the front), big catalog of well-optimized games for Tegra K1 devices, huge support from console game makers to port their popular titles for Tegra K1 devices in the near future and the most importantly, the gaming controller that NVIDIA releases specifically for this tablet.

    So with all of these goodies found on NVIDIA Shield Tablet, I think it’s really easy to guess which one between these 2 devices that deserves to be a better gaming tablet.

    And the answer is of course, NVIDIA Shield Tablet. And its stylus is also the other killer element on this device, making it a better offering than Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 in the whole aspect.

    Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 may have 2.5K display, better and sharper cameras and long lasting battery life, but what NVIDIA Shield Tablet has to offer to users – in my opinion – is just much better than Samsung’s tablet.

    But even so, both of these tablets are still equally great. So it’s now up to you whether you want to buy a decent productivity tablet like Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4, or you want to get NVIDIA Shield Tablet, a much better productivity device (with its stylus) that has far better gaming experience than Samsung’s tablet.

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