Google is clearly firing a shot across the bow of Apple’s iPad range with the similarly-sized Nexus 9. Larger than the Nexus 7, but smaller than the Nexus 10, this new tablet has an 8.9-inch display and a stylish form factor created by HTC, including a thin bezel, brushed metal sides, clean lines, and a soft grip back.
However, while the Nexus 9 looks great, it’s also packing superior hardware. It has a long-lasting 6700mAh battery, 8MP rear camera, and perhaps best of all, it’s powered by the mighty NVIDA Tegra K1 processor. This quad-processor ensures the tablet is the first Nexus to support 64-bit architecture, and along with 2GB RAM, can easily handle intense multi-tasking and heavy-duty graphics. Another perk of the HTC partnership is that the tablet comes with two BoomSound speakers – the same model that help to make the HTC One (M8) handset critically-acclaimed for its sound quality.
All of this suggests the Nexus 9 will be the ultimate Android gaming tablet, so it’s perhaps odd then that Google is marketing the Nexus 9 as a productivity tool, with a keyboard sold separately that magnetically attaches, Microsoft Surface-style. However, this is likely to only better distinguish it from the Nexus 6’s own promotion as a media-consumption device.
The Nexus 9’s weak point is its rather weak storage, only offering the standard 16 or 32GB memory. This in itself isn’t bad, but looks paltry compared to the Nexus 6’s 64GB and has no microSD to support it like it’s nearest rivals the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact.
Available from $399 (around £250), the Nexus 9 is similarly priced to both these competitors, but like the Nexus 6 represents a more premium pricing than we’ve come to expect from Google.
|Price||$399 (about £250)|
|Memory||16/32GB, 2GB RAM|
|Dimensions||228.2 x 153.7 x 7.9 mm|
|Display size||8.9 inches|
|Display resolution||1536 x 2048 pixels|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab
|Processor||Octa-core Exynos 5
|Memory||16/32GB, 3GB RAM|
|Dimensions||247.3 x 177.3 x 6.6mm|
|Display resolution||2560 x 1600 pixels|
|Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
|Processor||Quad-core Snapdragon 801|
|Memory||16GB, 3GB RAM|
|Dimensions||213.4 x 123.6 x 6.4 mm|
|Display resolution||1200 x 1920 pixels|
|Processor||Quad-core Nvidia Tegra K1|
|Memory||16GB, 2GB RAM|
|Dimensions||221 x 126 x 9.2 mm|
|Camera||5 MP/5 MP|
|Display size||8.0 inches|
|Display resolution||1920 x 1200 pixels|