You’ve never played any handheld gaming system like the NVIDIA Shield. The latest entry in the handheld gaming market offers a stark contrast to Sony’s PS Vita and Nintendo’s 3DS. Most importantly, it’s Android-based, so even though it’s not even a year old, its game library is considerable and has the potential to grow much faster than the competition, not to mention the fact it also gives you access to all the regular Android apps you might have on your phone or tablet—including every retro console emulator under the sun. Under the hood, the Shield is easily the most powerful handheld ever made with a Tegra 4 processor, 2 GB of Ram, and a 72-core graphics processing unit (GPU). Its HDMI out port essentially turns it into a makeshift, portable console allowing you to play games on a big screen, or stream a movie through Netflix or anotherapp. If you have a GeForce-powered gaming PC, you can stream games from your computer to your Shield via Wi-Fi (within a limited radius); and many games on Steam are also compatible.
On top of its power and versatility, the Shield is the most ergonomically perfect handheld you can buy; it’s essentially an Xbox 360 controller that’s been attached to a 5-inch touch-screen tablet, and its analog sticks, triggers, and bumper buttons put the competition to shame. The clamshell hinge allows the whole thing to fold in half for full protection of the screen and the controls, hence the name Shield.
$250 at shield.nvidia.com