Nvidia reportedly working on a 2-in-1 Sheild Tablet

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Nvidia’s Shield Experience software suggests that the company might be working on a 2-in-1 Sheild Tablet that will be able to work as both a laptop and a tablet. It suggests a device or user interface that could switch between three modes: desktop, tablet and dynamic.

“Tablet mode is likely a standard Android tablet interface, desktop mode is likely a new interface with a bottom taskbar and freeform multi-window support, and dynamic mode is likely some sort of hybrid between tablet and desktop mode,” says a report.

According to code, within the latest SHIELD Experience software, a new desktop-mode software feature is in-development for a new product code-named “mystique.” Furthermore, source code published online by NVIDIA reveals some possible hardware specifications for “mystique,” suggesting it could be a 2-in-1 PC like the Microsoft Surface Book. The code was found in Nvidia’s Shield Experience software, which runs across both the company’s tablets and set-top boxes. Due to the age of the existing Nvidia Shield Tablet, a tablet-specific build of the software hasn’t been yet released since March 2018, but development has continued for Nvidia’s Shield set-top boxes. The UI-switching software first appeared in Nvidia Shield Experience in December 2018.

From the code, we can confirm several details about the SHIELD Desktop Experience feature:

  • First, there are 3 supported UI modes: Dynamic, Tablet, and Desktop.
  • Without an updated launcher and SystemUI from a tablet-specific SHIELD Experience 7.2+ build, we can’t confirm the exact UI differences between the 3 modes.
  • However, if we were to guess, then tablet mode is likely a standard Android tablet interface, desktop mode is likely a new interface with a bottom taskbar and freeform multi-window support, and dynamic mode is likely some sort of hybrid between tablet and desktop mode.
  • There are mentions of start menu visibility and mouse hover control for the desktop UI mode.
  • Other aspects of SHIELD Desktop Experience that we see in the current firmware include the ability to set a UI mode on boot, start desktop mode if a keyboard is attached, and intercept certain button combinations to show the status bar, show the power menu dialog, close active windows, or toggle full-screen mode.

Source code from last year pointed to a 13.5-inch display with a resolution of 3,000 x 2,000 for Mystique. Given all the evidence, it’s likely that Mystique is a 2-in-1 device similar to Microsoft’s hybrid Surface Book.

The latest intelligence suggests that Nvidia could power Mystique with its Xavier SoC – the same one which is used in automotive and AI applications.


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