Surprise! Google has launched its new Nexus range! We knew it was coming soon, just not that soon. Still, we’re not complaining – the whole Nexus range is wildly popular, with many Android fans waiting for these latest iterations to drop before deciding to upgrade.
The Nexus 9 is Google’s tablet offering, and it looks to be everything you’d expect from such a device. With many tablets you’d expect a range of special features to help it stand out – with the Nexus range its actually the opposite (if you want to check out the new Nexus smartphone, the Nexus 6, click here).
As usual, Google has put out a device running as pure an Android experience as possible. That means very little third-party software or OEM fiddling around with things, so you get just about as close to stock Android as possible. The result is a much cleaner, faster, more customisable experience.
The Nexus 9 is manufactured by HTC, so on the outside you get the premium quality and build that we’ve come to associate with the Taiwanese brand over the last couple of years. It’s available in black, white or sand, and has a soft-grip back with brushed metal edges. It feels solid and sturdy, something we’d venture most people look for in a tablet. As it’s HTC you also get two excellent BoomSound front-facing speakers for significantly improved audio.
The display is 8.9 inches, putting it firmly in the median when it comes to tablet sizes. It’s layered with Gorilla Glass, and has a ‘QXGA’ resolution. That’s 2048 x 1536 to you and me, meaning a PPI of 287 – nothing crazy, but certainly sharp enough. Interestingly the Nexus 9 uses a 4:3 screen ratio rather than 16:9. We’re not sure why, but it shouldn’t make a difference to most users.
Behind the Gorilla Glass is an NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor with a max clock speed of 2.3 GHz. That may not be as high as the speed on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, but it’s a processor better optimised and suited to tablets rather than smartphones. Rest assured, the Nexus 9 should absolutely fly, particularly with so little bloatware to bog it down.
Speaking of which, the Nexus 9 will come running Android L, the latest version of Google’s operating system. We also now know that the ‘L’ stands for ‘Lollipop’, if you were interested.
You’ve got a choice of 16GB or 32GB variants, both with 2GB of RAM. There’s a fairly sizeable 6,700 mAh battery backing it all up.
The cameras are nothing to write home about, but if you’re the sort of person using your tablets for photo or videography then we hate you anyway: you get an 8MP rear-facing lens and a 1.6MP front-facer.
It’s not just limited to Wi-Fi either, with 4G LTE capability built in, so you can get the most out of the Nexus 9 on the go (which is kind of what tablets are all about).
If you’re interested then you may want to know that pre-orders open Friday 17th October. It’ll go on sale on November 3rd at a price of $399, $479 and $599 for the 16GB, 32GB and 32GB with 4G capability variants respectively. We don’t know of the UK or EU pricing just yet.