Something to look forward to: Nvidia hasn’t had a ton of success in the portable hardware space. Despite valiant efforts with the Shield Portable, the Tegra Note 7 and the Shield Tablet, all three devices have since been discontinued (unofficially or otherwise) and plans for a new Shield Tablet were canned in 2016. That doesn’t mean Nvidia is ready to give up on hardware for good, however.
Code found by a custom ROM developer in the latest Shield Experience (and shared with XDA Developers) suggests new software is in development for a device codenamed Mystique. The code, for a feature called “NvDtExp,” (probably short for Nvidia Desktop Experience) appears to handle switching between three UI modes: desktop, tablet and dynamic.
Presumably, desktop mode would be for an interface with a bottom-mounted taskbar and freeform multi-window support, tablet mode would be for a standard Android tablet interface and dynamic mode would be some sort of combination of the two. The code also reveals the option to boot into desktop mode if a keyboard is attached.
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.
Curiously enough, the latest intelligence suggests Nvidia could power Mystique with its Xavier SoC – the same one used in automotive and AI applications. That’d normally be overkill for a device like this but if run at a lower power profile, it could work.