Nexus 7 2013 vs Nvidia Shield Tablet

Hello all. Im just getting into the whole tablet scene and had my eyes set on the Nexus 7 2013 32GB model and was just waiting for a possible sale to happen on amazon. As time has came closer to actually making the purchase the nvidia sheild tablet has caught my eye considering its only 40-50$ more expensive (though i would assume for a case/cover the shield's will be more expensive than for the nexus 7).


I want opinions on which one i should get out of the two, also taking into account that i own a R9 280x based gaming pc so nvidia GPU dependent features dont apply to me

I'm fairly certain that while both share similar or the same architecture, the Shield is a superior tablet in several ways.  From what I understand, thee screen is bigger (8 for Shield, 7 Nexus) Shield has better audio w/front facing speakers and Shield had SD card slot and mini HDMI.  Also the Shield comes with a stylus if your into that sorta thing.  Price wise though, Nexus 7 is $70 cheaper so...  I just really hope the guys do a good review.  If you can't wait though, Linus did a decent review.  From what I've seen, If you really want a gaming tablet, you'll have to fork over sum bucu bread for a Windows based tablet like the Surface Pro 3.  

yeah it seems fairly nice. For me though i would be getting either one via amazon and the nexus 7 2013 32gb model is 270$ so the shield is only 30$ more

While the Shield looks like a good tablet I would not buy it personally based on the history of Nvidia based Android hardware. In almost all/if not every case where Nvidia brought out a "killer" SOC it is under powered, unoptimised and outstripped by the main competitors in a matter of months and usually more expensive in the beginning. This is leaving out Nvidia's complete bastardisation of all things Open Source and linux, which Android is built from. While the stats seems to suggest this will not happen this time with the K1 I do not put any stock in rumors and certainly not in preview write ups.

As for the "superior tablet in several ways." I have some thoughts on that.

The screen is larger but the Nexus 7 is the perfect size and weight for one handed use and comfort, the shield will be bigger and heavier so may not be a great carry around every day use device but better as a home based gaming and media consumption device. Personal opinion: Nexus 7 wins for usability but we will see in the real world when the Shield comes out.

The screen being larger also beings the problem of lower PPI (Pixels Per Inch) which will make the display marginally worse to look at, pair this up with the fact that the Sheild only has a 1080p screen compared to the Nexus 7's 1920x1200 screen the quality seems oddly low. Not bad at all but not what I would call Superior, especially to showcase the raw power of the K1 and its gaming prowess. Seems to me to say that the K1 can't drive a high density screen and therefore they are making the parts fit the K1 rather than having K1 meet newer part quality standards, which are getting higher with each new device.

Tablet and phone audio is always bad regardless of how good the implementation and 90% of the time you will likely be using headphones anyway to not annoy others around you so that point is moot.

The SD card is a legitimate point/concern. Although I would be happy with a  32GB Nexus as I use my phone for music and that is where I need the SD card. A tablet for me would be for gaming and that is just personal, I would not need an SD card and even then it would be useless as Android have instated that you cannot move apps to the SD any more as part of Project Butter. So for games which the tablet is aimed at the SD slot is useless.

A dedicated HDMI port is not only unnecessary but also setting back the standard. MHL has been able to do this for a long time. Why even add a HDMI slot? I might be missing something?

The Stylus is a very nice feature. I use one every day with my Note II. So that is, for me at least, a huge plus.

Even though you did not bring it up I must add that the controller is not a selling point. Android can work with a DS3 controller, Moga controllers and many others and they are not Proprietary and tied to only the Shield for that point alone I see it as a mark against the Shield. Proprietary hardware needs to go away. If I am wrong, I will change this point but it seems to be the way with Nvidia tech. And as far as I know the Shield does not even come with one so more expense for a "killer" feature.

The other "killer" feature is the streaming which requires an Nvidia GPU and you said you have an R9 280x so that does not even factor in. There is word that Valve might be making a generic streaming based around the Steam In-Home Streaming that will work on any android device with any GPU. As far as I know this is not 100% confirmed but might be worth looking into as it would potentially mean devices like the Nexus 7 would be able to Stream PC games as well.

Gaming tablets come in two flavours for me. The Windows ones will give you traditional PC gaming but will fail hard because the GPUs inside have to be nerfed due to heat and battery concerns, so they are only good for low level indie games or old games. Android can do what looks and feels like modern games and more importantly different games. The games on android are vastly more causal, quick and in a lot of cases interesting. They make use of accelerometers, touch, controller, text input in some cases, camera, augmented reality and probably a few more to come, so they definitely to me seem the better platform for on the move gaming. Android can also run emulators for everything up to Dreamcast and Wii, although not very well in the Wii's case, so console and old games are covered by android as well.

For me the Nexus 7, right here and now, wins outright. This might change with the official release of the Shield but I suspect the next Nexus or other wise high end tablet will be better than the Shield anyway. It is all in the future at the moment, but like I said, right here and now for me personally is has to be the Nexus 7.

Also The LG G-Pad seems a really good alternative to the Nexus. 

The tegra k1 is a significantly stronger chip then what is in the nexus 7. Between the two right now I would get the shield tablet for that and the better speakers. That said I believe the nexus 8 is due this month sometime and would want to wait and see what that offers. You could end up regretting your purchase just a week or two after making it.

The Tegra K1 is stronger as stated above as well as the front fdacing speakers ... they are a huge plus!


the nvidia one is way better

I'd at least wait to see how the Nexus 8 turns out. At least right now it seems like the shield has some problems when it comes to general tablet use, and to be honest isn't even that much better than a Nexus device when it comes to gaming since you have a 280x.

Since you have an r9 qpu i recommend the nexus. Nvidia has produced a great tablet but the joystick is optional and the tegra k1 processor can't utilize it's power. Maybe in some years it will be able too but right now on android nvidia doesn't have any application that utilized it's power to the extend that it's better. Now if you wanna use the tablet as a graphical tablet i recommend the nvidia one. But for gaming , streaming and normal use i would go with the nexus one. If you really want the extra horse power that the nvidia one has to offer i would recommend you look up Xiaomis tabtel the MiPad that has the same k1 processor,

The Nexus 7 FHD 32GB has been around $200 for a while now. They say they're refurbished, but they look new, have the same warranty, and are factory sealed.

Either one i get i will be getting it on amazon so for the nexus 7 im looking at 269$

I'm happy with my shield tablet.

Your comment seems to me to be both well thought out and reasoned.  I'm not sure that the other controllers you listed are WiFi direct or Bluetooth but BT controllers have some latency issues I've found frustrating, not to mention battery draining/heat producing.  The HDMI/MHL thing is new to me and I must admit I was totally unaware until now of it's existence.  It doesn't seem to me very prevalent among devices at this time so I'm not sure it really matters, kinda like PCIe 3.0 on AMD boards.  Maybe in the years to come it will be a deal breaker but for now?  You seem to be better informed than I so I leave to you to reason this one out.  The other tablet suggestions are ,(other than Nexus 7) more expensive then the $300 option.  

I think its better than the Nexus 7, i have both

I did not know the controller was Wifi Direct. That is interesting. Yes the other are bluetooth. I have not had issues with latency but they DS3 controller was always good at that. 

Yeah the HDMI/MHL thing is no deal breaker at all just not needed, sat least if they are following android standards but this is Nvidia, standards and open source are two phrases that do not exist in their book. 

Yeah other wise I still think the Nexus is my pick, but I suspect newer tablets will kick ass.

I have both. I like the shield more if I know I wont be moving around as much. It feels about the same weight though there's more weight on either end (the speakers are quite heavy) and it does give more of a pieced together impression however I can say WITHOUT A DOUBT that the shield video quality from netflix and youtube are leaps and bounds ahead of the nexus 7 fhd. The nexus does not play 1080p very well. (video on the device) and it does get very hot when playing what it can (720p) forget anime with dubs. The nexus is slimmer, and much easier to hold. Wireless charging is also a nice feature to have. It sucks that the nexus does not have a sd card slot but I understand it is slower storage and it is build for the easily confused. The nexus is more mainstream so there are far more cases and screen protectors for it. The Nvidia Shield does not have an indicator for notifications. you can use BT controllers in place of the shield controllers but multiple controllers may not be supported and latency is higher. I am currently using one as it is hard to find a controller in store where I live. The side buttons are better on the nexus period. Battery life is about the same for me, but no tests have been done. Also nexus uses slimport hdmi which is another adapter anyway.  neither support MHL. and I have confirmed the shield does not support mhl or slimport hdmi, who knows if it works with samsungs adapter....