Nvidia Relaunches Its Shield Gaming Tablet, Cuts Price to $199

The revamped Shield tablet K1 has an 8-inch display, 16GB of internal storage and a $100 price cut just before the holidays.

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Nvidia has rereleased its Shield gaming tablet with a $100 price cut in time for the December holiday buying season, bring the price down to $199.

The Shield K1 features an 8-inch Full HD display, an Nvidia Tegra K1 mobile processor, 16GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot that accepts up to an additional 128GB of expanded storage and a mini HDMI output that allows it to be connected to an HD television.

The relaunched device was announced in a Nov. 17 post on the Nvidia Blog.

The Shield relaunch comes about four months after some 88,000 of the original Shield tablets were recalled after users reported battery overheating problems, according to an earlier eWEEK report.

The Shield K1 also features a 5-megapixel auto-focus High Dynamic Range (HDR) rear-facing camera, a 5MP HDR front-facing camera, motion sensors, built-in WiFi, MIMO and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, as well as expected battery life of up to 10 hours on a charge. The machine weighs 12.6 ounces.

An optional Shield controller can be purchased for $59 to add to the machine's gaming prowess. The Shield controller uses Wi-Fi Direct, which offers two times lower latency than Bluetooth, and it includes hi-fidelity headset audio for talking with other players.

Other available accessories include a $39 tablet cover, a $19 DirectStylus 2 and a $29 world charger that allows the tablet to be charged when traveling in other countries.

By plugging the tablet into an HDTV, users can stream video content from Xfinity to Go, Netflix, Kodi and CBS Sports, according to Nvidia.

Also optional is a subscription to AAA PC games, where for $7.99 a month (after the first three months, which are free) users can play an ever-growing library of AAA PC games on their Shield tablet K1 or stream them to their TV.

The Shield K1 debuts with Android 5.0 but will be updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow in the future.

The Shield tablet recall that occurred in July led to the replacement of 88,000 devices that were sold between July 2014 and July 2015. The affected machines included built-in lithium ion batteries that could potentially overheat and create a fire hazard. No other Nvidia products are impacted by the recall.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Nvidia received four reports of the Shield's batteries overheating due to thermal issues. Two of those reports included damage to flooring caused by the overheating batteries. The affected Shield tablets included a battery type model number of Y01, which could be checked on the devices in the Settings menu.

Nvidia, which is best known for selling GPUs that can be found in PCs and servers, is aiming the Shield tablets at hard-core gamers.

Nvidia has dropped a previous Shield tablet model that was equipped with 32GB of internal storage. That machine was originally introduced in September 2014 for $399, and also featured an upgrade to 4G LTE connectivity for users, according to an earlier eWEEK story.

The original Shield tablet was introduced in July 2014 with16GB of storage and WiFi.

Editor's Note: This story is corrected to reflect that the previous Shield tablet that has been dropped by Nvidia had 32GB of internal storage, and not RAM as originally mentioned in the story. We regret the error.