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NVIDIA Could Have A Second Generation SHIELD Portable On The Way

March 29, 2015 - Written By Phil Bourget

NVIDIA is no hardware manufacturer, but the computer graphics company has seen a lot of niche success with their SHIELD family of devices since they launched the original SHIELD, now called the SHIELD Portable back in 2013.  Since then, we’ve seen the renaming of it to make way for the SHIELD Tablet, a gaming-centric tablet with a wireless controller and stylus, as well as the recent announcement of the SHIELD Console, which is an Android TV-powered entertainment system.  For those that bought the original SHIELD, investing in NVIDIA’s success two years ago have yet to see Android 5.0 Lollipop, and will likely be upset to hear of a hardware revision, a next generation SHIELD Portable coming out likely sometime this year.

The original SHIELD Portable featured NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 processor, an XBox-like controler feel with a PlayStation-esque dual analog stick layout.  Running Android 4.2, Jelly Bean, it’s seen its updates to Kit Kat, version 4.4.2, and no real attention since last year.  the device was the first kind of effort in the mobile gaming department that had dedicated hardware, and it fared surprisingly well for a first-generation and flagship device for a whole new kind of product.  The kinds of people that bought one were those that buy big phones and get huge extended batteries to play their favorite high-performance games while on the go, and now don’t have to pull out their phone to play Need for Speed, Half Life, or Portal while commuting.

And, as with many things, a second generation was not expected, but was highly desired by many in the SHIELD-owning community.  It seems, NVIDIA has answered with a new device, a new SHIELD Portable.  This comes to us thanks to both the Wi-Fi alliance and the Bluetooth certification processes’ websites listing of a device with the model number P2530 and P2523.  Now, we aren’t sure, but normally two model numbers means two different products, so perhaps this is actually two new devices bound for customers and fans?  Regardless, the SHIELD Portable (P2523), named just that on the Wi-Fi Alliance website, was certified with 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi compatibility, so it’s gotten a speed boost to allow for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands and, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance, the new portable will feature none other than Android 5.x Lollipop, which is NVIDIA firmware version 3.10.61.  This went through certification on the fourth of this month, so a while back.

The Bluetooth certification page result, for the NVIDIA product with model P2530, which also lists the P2523 and 2571, the rumored new Portable and the SHIELD Console.  So, this P2530 could be a part, a Bluetooth module, that will be used in both the 2523 and the 2571.  The certification, which was granted on the 28th of January and listed on the 15th of March, likely means that the two devices, the Console and Portable, will be coming in close proximity to each other, and we can hope that the new Portable has similar specifications to the Console, with its Tegra X1 processor, 3 gigabytes of RAM, and 4K output capabilities, which would mean that it could have a 1080p display, improving over the 720p panel on the original model.