NVIDIA might release a new 2-in-1 Shield Tablet/laptop in the near future similar to Microsoft’s Surface Book, aimed towards gamers. According to Xda-developers, they’ve spotted a new product code-named “mystique” (plus a desktop-mode) in the code of the last SHIELD Experience update. They are also pointing towards source code published by NVIDIA which might hint at the hardware powering “mystique”.
There are three things that the devs are sure of. Firstly, there will be 3 supported UI modes: Dynamic, Tablet, and Desktop. As per their knowledge, the tablet mode is the standard Android tablet UI while the desktop mode is something akin to a PC interface with a bottom taskbar and multi-window support. Lastly, the dynamic mode might be a hybrid of the two.
NVIDIA has a history of using Marvel characters like “mystique” as the code-name for mobile devices, as evident from the SHIELD Portable which was code-named “Thor”. Going by last year’s source code, “mystique” has a 13.5-inch 3000×2000 (3:2) LCD which again would be more suitable for a 2-in-1 portable device. Furthermore, the Microsoft Surface Book also features a similar 13.5-inch display. Earlier, NVIDIA was prepping the Tegra X2 for Mystique, but comments from the recent update point to it being a Tegra Xavier device.
The Tegra Xavier is a high-performance chip designed for automotive and AI-based computing, e.g, The Jetson AGX Xavier released in late 2018 can operate at a 10W low-power mode, so if “mystique” uses the same chip, it will run at a similar low-power mode. The older Shield Tablet was based on NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 tablet, while its successor was slated to leverage the Tegra X1 (similar to the Nintendo Switch). Nintendo’s success with the Switch console might have prompted team green to come up with a similar solution for the budding Android gaming market where BattleRoyale titles like PUBG and Fortnite are gaining more and more attention.
Still, this is a shot in the dark. The specs are from a relatively older prototype that might as well have been scrapped (look at the Shield 2 tab) or changed through the course of development or somewhere in between. Regardless, what I’m trying to say it, like most unverified rumors, take this with a grain of salt. For what we know, although unlikely, it could be the engineering sample for the chip in development for the next Nintendo console which reportedly has been delayed by a year now.
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