This is just a quick reminder to our NVIDIA fans out there: the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet, which we’ve dubbed the best Android tablet out there, is getting a major update on Tuesday that you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for. The update includes Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google’s latest and greatest mobile operating system, in addition to NVIDIA’s amazing new and free GRID gaming service. The update will hit the Wi-Fi SHIELD devices first, followed by a release to the 32GB/LTE SHIELD as carrier certification progresses.
We’ve had a chance to test the new update on our SHIELD using an early build, and it’s truly amazing. First, Android 5.0 Lollipop runs flawlessly, so far as we can tell after using an early build of the updated software for the past several days. You’ll find the new Material Design makeover, support for multiple users, new notifications and more. Plus, since NVIDIA doesn’t add any bloatware to the tablet, instead only providing access to its own gaming apps, it’s basically a pure Android tablet.
Also – you really need to check out GRID Gaming. We’ve been playing Saints Row 3 on the SHIELD Tablet for free – there are 20 free major titles right now – and it’s working without a hitch. NVIDIA had previously been testing this service out in California, and only with select titles, but it’s now widely available in North America. The service is completely free for all SHIELD Tablet owners until June, and it basically puts all of the rendering work onto NVIDIA’s own servers, allowing you to stream the games right to your tablet. NVIDIA is going to be adding a brand new game each week, too, so we’re looking forward to new titles in the coming weeks.
Honestly, it’s pretty amazing how well it works. We’ve been hanging out in bed at night and cruising through some PC titles using the SHIELD controller and the SHIELD Tablet. It takes about 5-10 seconds to boot into the game on our home network (we’re fortunate enough to get about 125Mbps down) and, after some light jitters as the game begins, it basically feels like a PC game is running natively on the SHIELD Tablet. NVIDIA has compared the service to “Netflix for Gaming” and that’s exactly how it performs. Also, you can log-in with your Google account and save your progress on NVIDIA’s servers, so you can always pick-up where you left-off later.
We hope to bring you a video showing off all of the SHIELD Tablet features in the coming days, so stay tuned for additional information on this update, and be sure to check settings to apply it when it hits your tablet.