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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Added a new tablet to the stable for the holidays, an Nvidia Shield Tablet with LTE (unlocked). I kept the Nexus 7 2013 WiFi for my wife (still a great tab), but decided to upgrade to an LTE version for myself. The Shield has been great so far. Nvidia has been rolling out Android 5 updates just slightly behind the Nexus units. The overall speed with the new K1 CPU is great (54852 Antutu score), LTE is great, and the screen size is more pocketable at 8" (1920x1200 resolution) than the larger units. The front facing speakers are great for watching movies and the stylus is an interesting bonus.

I really considered the Nexus 9, but the hefty price increase over the 7 and the lack of HDMI output was a deal killer for me. Even the Nexus 7 had MHL for HDMI and that was a bit iffy at times depending on the TV and its HDMI firmware, but it generally worked. The Shield having a microSD slot was also attractive. I also prefer the wide screen aspect ratio for media consumption.

So, if anyone is on the fence between the Nexus 9 or Shield, my vote would be Shield.

My only niggly complaints would be the power and volume buttons are a little too recessed and battery life is only average compared to the Nexus 7 (which is great). Of course, LTE and the mega CPU do consume a bit more juice, but I've seen some odd battery stats and am wondering if there is an Android 5 battery drain issue in this early version of Lollipop or some additional optimization is needed. It might take a couple more point releases (like KitKat and iOS) to work out the kinks. The rear facing camera is also only average, especially in low light, but I'm not one of those people holding up a tablet to take a photo, just utilitarian uses like eBay photos.

 

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Of course, LTE and the mega CPU do consume a bit more juice, but I've seen some odd battery stats and am wondering if there is an Android 5 battery drain issue in this early version of Lollipop or some additional optimization is needed. It might take a couple more point releases (like KitKat and iOS) to work out the kinks.

Great looking tablet!

The first release of Lollipop absolutely hosed the battery on my Nexus 5, until they issued an emergency patch shortly afterwards. It's certainly conceivable there's a similar issue with the Shield. Since it's Nvidia's showcase product, I can't imagine a problem like that will be allowed to continue for long.
 

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Sounds like a nice tablet. Since we travel outside the US frequently, I settled on an unlocked Galaxy Tab 3 7 inch tablet/phone. Have one SIM card for the US, another for Canada and pick one up locally in Europe. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sounds like a nice tablet. Since we travel outside the US frequently, I settled on an unlocked Galaxy Tab 3 7 inch tablet/phone. Have one SIM card for the US, another for Canada and pick one up locally in Europe. :)
Sounds like that works pretty good for handling different network carriers! :)

Samsung makes good hardware, but I've never cared for their historically heavy handed (and resource intensive) UI layered on top of Android and seemingly slow OS updates due to their modded version.

Nexus is my preferred (no mods to UI or unwanted apps), but I've found unlocked Motorola and now Nvidia devices to also have lightly skinned versions of Android with relatively speedy updates.
 
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