This is a reblog of my site http://geekysweetie.com – Other stuff may appear here such as reblogs from other wordpress.com sites. I blog and reblog about anime, video games, kdrama, toys, technology, and kawaii fashion and decor.
I picked up the NVIDIA Shield TV Gaming Edition on sale for $159 at Best Buy on Black Friday, regularly $199. I also had a $100 gift card to bestbuy from previous sponsored posts I’ve done for them. This is not a sponsored post. This is me providing my initial feedback of the device as I’ve now had it for five days. My end cost was $59.99
Earlier this year I purchased a Roku Express for I believe it was $29.99. It is the most basic cheapest Roku device, in hindsight I wish I’d purchased one with voice controls which I believe start around $49.99. I’ve had my Roku for about six months.
I thought I’d be “replacing” my Roku with the NVIDIA Shield TV Gaming Edition… but that’s not the case… Roku is superior in almost every single way. NVIDIA Shield is only for very technical people, with very fast internet connections, and the only real reason I will keep and not return the product is because of GeForce Now their cloud gaming Streaming service that lets you play games you already own such as from Steam or Battlenet on your tv and on lightweight non gaming PCs without linking to another PC a direct contrast to solutions such as how steamlink works letting you mirror your screen from your gaming pc, in the case of GeForce Now you do not need an expensive gaming pc or any pc at all.
But the service is not without flaws. Everywhere I’ve read the hype, how there’s no lag, and everything is smooth, yeah sure maybe if you have a good internet connection. I do have cable internet but I live in extremely rural areas where I have no choice who my provider is. I don’t think my internet is terrible. It gets around 15mbps, but let me tell you… GeForce Now is almost unplayable for me… don’t believe the hype! It’s not any different for me than PlayStation Now, another Streaming service I use, in fact, PlayStation Now has far less lag for me than GeForce Now. I had to disable my steam authentication token because it was physically impossible to use the controller and onscreen keyboard to type the code before it refreshed and changed. Games stutter, lag, jerk, and freeze… and I wasn’t even playing super new AAA graphically intense games. The first game I tried was Battle Chef Brigade, a 2d simple indie game.
Ok lag aside, there’s some other flaws:
I thought I could play games from the google play store… I can… sort of… but very very few of my favorites are available for “android tv”. Here’s where being a tech wizard comes in, you can sideload apps from a usb stick. Not included of course. They didn’t even include an HDMI cable. I’m using the HDMI cable from my Roku, cost $250 less and provides me everything I need out of the box.
I’m not tech illiterate but the NVIDIA Shield is ridiculously needlessly overly complicated… every other Streaming Media player on the market just works out of the box in minutes… it took me three hours to set up and troubleshoot my Shield. Mostly due to generic unknown errors and series of reboots and updates…
Games aren’t the only thing missing, several of my favorite tv channel apps are not compatible with android tv, such as TLCGo. Roku has far more apps and a much more intuitive user interface and setup takes only seconds even when needing updating not hours…
Hell google themselves don’t even seem to want to support their crappy Android TV as Google Chrome isn’t even compatible with it!
If you want to spend $200 for hours of updates, then have to find or buy your own hdmi cables and usb sticks, then fart around side loading apps from your pc to the stick to your Shield, and have a laggy choppy gaming streaming experience well that’s up to you…. keep in mind NVIDIA will begin charging for this service soon too and has not released any pricing details. From what I’ve seen, I won’t subscribe.
I would take my Roku any any any day of the week. GeForce Now is an exciting and interesting concept. I became excited and interested reading reviews of how it had no lag and performed perfectly as if you were playing it right on a pc gaming rig, but my experience left much to be desired.
I haven’t tried side loading anything yet. My instincts and speculations tell me that Apple TV has far more compatible apps and a better interface than Android TV.
I tried watching kissanime and TLC on my Shield using Puffin.TV, TLC had audio but no picture, kissanime would play about ten minutes then tell me filetype is unsupportable. I’m now watching the same anime on my Roku using a mirror from my iPad and iWeb TV (to be fair this probably exists on Shield too I didn’t check) and having zero issues, TLCGo and other apps are all at my fingertips the interface looks more pleasing intuitive less cluttered and just works. For a tenth of the cost…
For me, the answer is clear, love my Roku, and shockingly disappointed in my NVIDIA Shield TV.
Please Note: This is not a sponsored post. I am not being compensated by Best Buy to write this. I did receive an email from Best Buy wanting me to complete a survey (for a chance to win a gift card) regarding my recent purchase. But then I thought, the comments I made in the survey, might make for a good Blog Post for my readers here, especially if supplemented with some info about the Laptop itself.
It’s tax refund time. Like most Americans, instead of saving, investing, or putting this money to good use, it’s time to go have FUN! (yes, I know, not smart or responsible of me lol.) My last laptop was purchased at Sam’s Club for around $750 back in 2013. It was just a “mid-range” “budget” laptop. In no way was it a “gaming” laptop, except that I researched and selected a model with a dedicated graphic card and enough RAM to play most games at the time back then on “medium” settings.
Prior to that laptop, I did in fact have an Alienware and it did last 7 or 8 years, compared to 3 to 4 years, being able to play newly released games on medium settings. However, I paid over $2000 for said Alienware. So then it occurred to me, that I could just buy “throw away” laptops, for less than half the cost, and just upgrade (to another “throw away” or “mid-tier” laptop every few years as needed.).
So when I got my tax refund, I set out to find just such a laptop. a mid-tier “throw away after 3 years” “gaming” laptop. My goal was to stay below $800. I was not expecting much in this price range. I was not looking for a “true gaming laptop”, just something that could “play without crashing” on medium settings.
What I got for under $800 is so much more than a “throw away” laptop. It’s actually a legit Gaming Laptop!! Not only can this system play a 2016/2017 AAA gaming title on “medium settings” without crashing; it can even play them on high settings.
I would say, keep an eye on Best Buy’s pricing even if you do purchase this item and after bringing it home. Here’s my little Best Buy story. I purchased the Asus ROG Strix on 3/28/2017. At that time, the price on the “Satisfactory” Open Box model at my local Best Buy store was listed at $806. When I went to checkout, the associate working at Best Buy told me that the price was actually $899 (still before taxes, etc. After taxes it was actually $960 (which yes, was over my expected budget.)
I still thought $899 was a good buy for a $1200 gaming laptop with great reviews all over the internet (some of which reviews I will share with you later in this article). So I didn’t give too much push back on that price and just accepted it as is.
The associate had tried to tell me it was the same computer / same model / everything, but that they had 2 or 3 in the store and had sold the one listed at that price. But my receipt still said “Satisfactory Open Box”, and that’s what the pricing on the website supposedly reflected – for my specific store location even. I felt somewhat jaded but still happy to save $300.
The next day, I was once again reading the reviews about the laptop on Best Buy’s website and I discovered the item was on sale now, and as such, the price on all models, new, or open box, had been lowered.
I called and asked if they would be willing to price match the newer pricing. I was told “yes” but I was still skeptical because they wouldn’t even honor the original supposed price on the website (it was not a website price; it was for my local store “In-store only” price for an open box model available at my store marked as being in the same condition as the one I purchased.)
It is a 45 minute drive to my nearest Best Buy, so after work, I made the journey back to my Best Buy. This was yesterday, on the 29th of March 2017, with hopes that they would in fact honor the new lower pricing. It did take a bit for them to lookup whatever they needed to in their computers, and I could sense some resistance, but overall, both the manager and cashier at customer service were polite and professional. And I walked out of it feeling respected and valued as a customer, and with a refund of $201.69 to match the new lower pricing.
Now today when I view the item, it’s up to $765 instead of $711.
So that’s why I’m saying, keep an eye out for this. I guess their prices change every day??? It’s strange to me, and kinda shady, but you can’t deny the awesome savings you get by shopping at Best Buy.
If you print out the website pricing for your local store, as well as show them your order history on their own website/app on your mobile phone, there’s little they can do to argue (IE they can’t tell you it’s a different model or part number, because it’s right in your order history on your phone, etc).
Overall, I would shop at Best Buy again, especially for Open Box products. I also was in a few months ago and snagged a Sony HDTV open box model for under $120 and have been very happy with that purchase.
One thing I absolutely love about Best Buy is their return policy. They let you take home any product in their store for 15 days, try it out as much as you’d like, and return it for a full refund within 15 days (or 14 days for cellphones). This is amazing when buying a gaming PC, because you can actually make sure your games are going to run the way you expect!
Per Best Buy’s description this model features the following gaming specifications:
Nvidia Geforce 970m Graphics Card
6th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-6700HQ mobile processor
1TB Hard Drive to store all your games
And best of all, it weighs less than 5 lbs!
I know this laptop is NOT “future proof” — The Nvidia 970m graphics card now ranks at number 11 overall according to http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/ — making it well on its way already to becoming a “mid-tier” gaming rig. But for the price I got the open box Asus ROG Strix for, at just $711, it still blows anything else in that price range out of the water.
And according to Notebookcheck.net which I always heavily rely on when looking at new laptops, the 970m is still considered to be a “high-end” Graphics card. – So while it is in no way as powerful as the Nvidia 10xx cards, it can still hold its own on nearly any game out there right now. Interestingly enough, the benchmarks on Notebookcheck.net show the 970m performing on nearly equal footing with the Nvidia 1050 Ti.
Notebookcheck.net also lists the FPS (frames per second) for popular 2016 and 2017 games for the Nvidia 970m in the following chart. This chart shows that Nvidia 970m can play many 2017 games on high or even ultra graphic settings while achieving 40+FPS.
Notice on some games, you’ll want to lower the graphic settings to medium to achieve 40FPS. While on other games, you can play in high or ultra and attain 60+FPS. It’s subjective as to the type of game. Not all games “need” 60FPS.
For example, if you play a lot of First Person Shooters or Action games, especially ones with PVP against other players online, you will want higher Frames Per Second so you can out perform your competition. But, if you mostly play RPGs – which I assume is true for my readers here, 40FPS is a perfectly acceptable frame rate without any lag or choppiness. Anything below 30FPS will be noticeably laggy and possibly unplayable.
I actually would have bought this Dell instead of my ASUS, if it had more RAM. That said, the important thing to consider when buying a gaming laptop, is the graphic card. So I would’ve taken the I5 with the Nvidia 1050 over the I7 with the 970m.
I also really love Dell. I have had very positive experiences with their customer service — which began as a negative experience, but was made more than right for me, years ago when one of the first XPS came out, I had the highest level of protection/warranty, and after weeks of frustration, (and venting on blogs/social media), I was contacted by a customer advocate who worked at Dell and was upgraded to a newer iteration of the XPS. (This was probably 10-12 years ago now) But that experience stuck with me and made me very loyal to Dell for a number of years.
For the price point, or for those tech savvy enough to upgrade their own RAM this laptop at just $799 for a brand new (not Open Box like my Asus) gaming laptop is a great buy! I went into Best Buy with the intention that if my Open Box ASUS was already sold out, that I would be bringing this Dell XPS home instead. And both machines have great reviews!
However, the extra processing power is useful for video editing and other things that many games may be interested in (such as for editing youtube Let’s Plays, and so on.)
When it comes to deciding how much RAM you need in a gaming PC, most laptops in the “under $800 range” feature 8GB of RAM (such as the Dell XPS indicated above); and this may very well be enough for your gaming needs, as many popular titles from 2016/2017 list 8GB as the minimum required RAM that a laptop needs.
But my ASUS came with 16GB, and like I said, the RAM ultimately was the Tie-Breaker deal for me when it came to deciding between the Dell or the ASUS laptops.
“We consider 16GB to be a nice sweet spot for a solid gaming system. It should be more than enough to run your games and multitask as needed. You’ll also want at least 16GB if livestreaming is a priority for you. The ability to run and stream a game on one monitor while responding to chat questions, playing music, and doing whatever else in another is definitely the kind of task list that would benefit from an extra bit of RAM headroom.” – Source: PCGamer http://www.pcgamer.com/how-much-ram-do-you-really-need-for-gaming/
Some, but not many, games are also now starting to launch while recommending more than the “standard” 8GB of RAM. For example Quantum Break (recommends 16GB), Batman Arkham Knight (recommends 12GB), and Star Citizen (recommends 16GB). These certainly won’t be the last games to recommend an increased amount of RAM. So if you don’t know how, or just don’t want to, install more RAM yourself later, you may want to consider opting for 16GB now to help “future-proof” your laptop.
Having the laptop now for the past 2 days, and trying some of my own games in high settings, I am very happy with my purchase, especially at just $711 (almost 50% off the retail suggested price of $1159.)
I did a lot of research prior to, and after, purchasing my ASUS ROG Strix 15.6 Inch Gaming Laptop. Here are some interesting reviews. Please note some of these reviews reference different configurations than the one I reference in my own review. It is important to consider all of the above options: Graphics Card, RAM, and Processors when buying a gaming laptop. The most important thing to consider is the Graphics Card.
Asus ROG Strix Reviews
Best Buy’s reviews consistently mention “washed out” colors or “back light bleed” on the screen. In my opinion this is not true. To me, the colors look very vivid, bright, rich, and clear. There also a lot of reviews complaining about lack of an SSD (solid slate drive). I don’t mind waiting a few minutes for my PC to start, so I dunno if I’d really care whether it has an SSD or not. — On the other hand, Bestbuy’s reviews consistantly praise the performance, price, and gaming capabilities of this laptop. It currently has a 4.4 star rating out of more than 300 reviews. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-rog-gl502vt-15-6-laptop-intel-core-i7-12gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive-black/5090905.p?skuId=5090905
Gadget Review has a nice in depth review of the Asus ROG Strix as well. The only things they critized were the “okay” speakers, and large bezels around the screen. (I do agree, it seems as if this laptop could actually fit a 17 inch screen in the amount of plastic used around the actual 15.6 inch one. Reducing this “edge” would make the laptop even more portable and lighter and less bulky. and it does seem like a poor design choice when many other competitors are offering edge to edge screens now. http://www.gadgetreview.com/asus-rog-strix-gl502vt-gaming-laptop-review
It’s beginning to look a lot like … Black Friday? I know stores get more aggressive each year with their Black Friday sales and offerings, but this seems a little premature? It’s only the 1st of the month but already Dell has some huge sales going on!
There’s laptops and desktops on sale for the next 24 hours only.
My pick for all of you gamers is the Inspiron 15 7000 Touch which comes with a 6th Generation Intel® Core™ i5 Processor, 8GB Memory, and NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 960M with 4GB GDDR5 for just $799.99 which is $200 off Dell’s regular price. It also has thermal cooling and benchmarks pretty well on the latest games on high and ultra graphic settings. All this power in just a tiny 6 pound package. The touch screen is nice too especially if you enjoy casual games – My current laptop (which is now about 4 years old and in need of an upgrade) has a touch screen, and it really comes in handy for a lot of games and graphic art programs.
Check out all of the great deals and get your Christmas shopping done early, or buy something for yourself 🙂
UPDATE: 1/18/2017: We now know the launch date is March 3rd, Price is $299.99. Preorders have already begun and appear to be nearly sold out at most retailers. There will be two versions of the console, each identical except for the color of controllers. In one version they are grey like the console itself, and in another version they are neon red and neon blue. Interesting to note, you can purchase additional/new/replacement joycon sticks for example, the neon red and blue, ones separately from retailers such as Gamestop. So even if you can’t preorder the exact color console you want (For example, I was hoping for the neon one, but had to get grey, and honestly, feel happy/lucky to have even been able to preorder the Switch at all), you can simply buy these new Joycon sticks and swap them out for whatever ones you got with your console. Or if say, you don’t like the mix-matching colors and want all red, or all blue Joycons, you can do that too. Kinda a neat touch to customize your console. I wonder if they will release pink controllers at some point? lol! We also now know that online play will be available free at first, but going to a paid monthly subscription model sometime in fall of 2017. No price has been announced yet for the online service.
UPDATE 3: 10/25/2016 11:00am EST: No hardware specs to report, but NVIDIA offers up a closer explanation of what’s exactly going on from a technical standpoint inside the Nintendo Switch. In a blog post last week, NVIDIA revealed that “Nintendo Switch is powered by the performance of the custom Tegra processor. The high-efficiency scalable processor includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards. The Nintendo Switch’s gaming experience is also supported by fully custom software, including a revamped physics engine, new libraries, advanced game tools and libraries. NVIDIA additionally created new gaming APIs to fully harness this performance. The newest API, NVN, was built specifically to bring lightweight, fast gaming to the masses. Gameplay is further enhanced by hardware-accelerated video playback and custom software for audio effects and rendering. We’ve optimized the full suite of hardware and software for gaming and mobile use cases. This includes custom operating system integration with the GPU to increase both performance and efficiency. NVIDIA gaming technology is integrated into all aspects of the new Nintendo Switch home gaming system, which promises to deliver a great experience to gamers.” (Source: https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2016/10/20/nintendo-switch/)
A price rumor is also floating around several UK sites which pins the price around $350 GBP which translates to a whopping $424 usd – Techradar is speculating a price around $300 to $350 for US Gamers. (Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/nintendo-nx-price)
The Wii U price at launch was $299 for the standalone console, or $349 for a bundle with a game. Given the “beefier” tech insides of the Nintendo Switch compared to the low end, Wii U, I could see this price speculation put forth by techradar as being fairly accurate — However, most gamers are going to naturally want to compare the Nintendo Switch to the Nintendo DS / Nintendo 3DS and not perhaps make the logical association with the Wii U and increased tech prowess of the new system — The 3DS launched at a price of just $249 — Meaning, if Tech Radar’s rumors are true, the Nintendo Switch is going to be nearly double the cost. Nintendo’s fiercest competitors, Sony, and Microsoft, debuted their new gaming consoles at $399 and $499 when they first came out — However, since the technology has been on the market for several years, both consoles are now under the $300 mark, making Nintendo’s Switch a late arrival to the party. — Will Nintendo Switch’s specs and exclusive games be enough to justify such a large price? Or is it a price that the market can no longer bear? Nintendo has its work cut out for it to win back fans who have felt neglected by Nintendo in recent years. If they price the system too high it may be doomed to failure before it even launches.
I think it’s going to come down to what titles Nintendo has available and how they choose to handle localization of these titles – Nintendo of America especially has come under fire for strict censorship which has pushed away droves of fans. Nintendo’s glory days are far behind them — but that doesn’t mean they can’t make a come back with the right games that fans want. The Switch will either give rebirth to the once great gaming company, or become the final nail in the coffin.
To that end, Nintendo has been very transparent about who they have onboard currently developing titles for the new system. A full list of developers is now appearing on the Gamestop sign up page at http://www.gamestop.com/switch which at time of this writing includes the following companies:
Activision Publishing, Inc.
ARC SYSTEM WORKS Co., Ltd.
ATLUS CO., LTD.
BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.
CAPCOM CO., LTD.
CRI Middleware Co., Ltd.
DeNA Co., Ltd.
Epic Games Inc.
GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE INC.
Gungho Online Entertainment, Inc.
INTI CREATES CO., LTD.
KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD.
Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.
Maximum Games, LLC
Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.
Parity Bit Inc.
RAD Game Tools, Inc.
RecoChoku Co., Ltd.
SEGA Games Co., Ltd.
Silicon Studio Corporation
Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd.
SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD.
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
Tokyo RPG Factory Co., Ltd.
Unity Technologies, Inc.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Web Technology Corp
UPDATE 2: 10/21/16 1:30pm EST: Arstechnica has reported several confirmed tidbits regarding the Nintendo Switch, such as the fact that it will use Amiibo Figures, will not be compatible with physical copies of wii u or 3DS games, and that it comes with 2 joy-con controllers (which is pretty obvious in the trailer lol), and that the docking station will not house “much in the way of” additional hardware (meaning performance on the big screen, or on the go, will be relatively equal gaming experiences). Sources and more updates can be found over on the Arstechnica blog.
UPDATE 10/20/16 3:00pm EST: Amazon Has Added the Nintendo Switch – but no pricing is listed. They have enabled email alerts to notify you when pricing is available. You can sign up to be notified at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Nintendo-Switch… They also have some nice more brightly lit HD images since the trailer teaser is fairly dark and hard to see exactly what the system will look like. I’ve added these new images to the end of our article.
In a live event today, Nintendo announced their new console, the Nintendo Switch. Not much is known about the new console just yet, but Nintendo teased us with a new trailer showing basically how the system will work.
Detachable Controllers Enable Multi-Player with One Console and One Disc – Or with kickstand allow play without holding console
Docking Station Enables Play On TV
Wireless Controllers and Accessories will be available
Launch titles may include Zelda, Splatoon, and Mario Kart which are all featured in the trailer
The Nintendo Switch is a handheld console that can be hooked up to a TV when placed in a special docking station.
The console has two wireless controllers that snap onto each side of the screen, or snap into a “gamepad” shape for play on the big screen.
While on the go, these controllers can be removed so you do not have to hold the unit while playing, even when on the go ! YAY — because I dunno about you, but my 3DS gets really heavy after awhile.
It has a built in kickstand that pops out so if you are (as the trailer shows for example, on an airplane), or perhaps sitting in a cafe (starbucks or whatever) you can put the console on a table, unsnap the controllers, and play in comfort.
The detachable controllers also allow you to do local co-op and multi-player with just one Nintendo Switch and one copy of the games.
But even if these controllers are a bit too weird to you, have no fear, as you can also buy regular gamepad style controllers (you know, the kind that take two hands) which work wirelessly with the Nintendo Switch as well.
It appears to have a stylus and thus I assume, a touch screen interface.
The trailer shows Zelda and Mario Kart (among others) – can we expect these two fan favorites to be launch titles?
No specific specs or pricing are known just yet – but once more information is released we will update the site.
The new Nintendo Switch will be available in March 2017 – less than 6 months away.
I’m hoping to get one 🙂 How about you? Is Nintendo’s Switch a hit, or a miss? — I think the true test of caliber will be simply in what exclusive titles Nintendo decides to release for the system. I’ve read numerous articles from developers in the industry who are excited to be working on the new system so this sounds promising and exciting.