We’ve heard quite a lot about the Nexus 9 over the past few weeks and months and today, Google has finally announced their pet project they’ve been working with HTC on; the Nexus 9. The successor to the Nexus 7 and hopefully a fresh start for Android tablets, the Nexus 9 is not only a good-looking piece of hardware, it’s packed with some of the best specs to hit the market in a long, long time. It’s launching with the new version of Android, which we’ve known as Android L for a long time, but we now know to be called Android 5.0 Lollipop. Today’s announcement marks the first collaboration between HTC and Google for a Nexus device since the very first Nexus, the Nexus One.
It appears that the long wait has been worth it, as the Nexus 9 features an 8.9-inch 2048 x 1440 display and if that’s a little funny to you that’s because this Nexus isn’t widescreen. Instead, it’s the same 4:3 aspect ratio that Apple use for the iPad and will arguably better when playing games, using apps and browsing the web. In the past, Android tablets like the Nexus 7 have been excellent for watching movies, reading magazines and playing games with, basically any form of content consumption. Now though, Google seems keen to make Android tablets great for everything, and that 4:3 aspect ratio is at the heart of it all. With a high-resolution panel that should deliver crisp text and excellent color reproduction that we’ve come to expect from HTC, this is one tablet that doesn’t disappoint upfront.
Behind the beautiful display, we’re looking at an NVIDIA Tegra K1, of the dual-core variety. Dual-core might sound old to you, but this is the 64-bit version of the Tegra K1 and it still packs the same 192-core GPU that’s inside of the SHIELD Tablet so this is great for gaming, too. With clock speeds of 2.3 Ghz a core, there’s no shortage of power here and there’s 2GB of RAM to back it all up, too. Speaking of gigabytes, there’s choice of either 16 or 32GB of storage here and sadly, there’s no microSD card slot which is disappointing for something at this sort of price.
Elsewhere, there’s an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera as well as a 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera, both of which won’t be stellar but they’re certainly nice to see. Other amenities include HTC’s BoomSound stereo front-facing speakers that we’re sure fans of the HTC One line will be looking forward to hearing. It’s got a fairly minimal design overall, but this is why a lot of users prefer the simplistic nature of the Nexus line over others, and we’re glad to see that HTC and Google haven’t gone a different direction with the Nexus 9. The whole device is a little more premium than previous editions, with aluminum sides and a soft-touch plastic that looks a whole lot classier than before.
Google have pulled out the stops here with some really good-looking flip covers and even a type cover that features a keyboard and a stand. It’s clear that Google want people to use this Nexus for everything, not just their latest Netflix fix. Available to pre-order October 17th, the Nexus 9 will be available in White, Black and Sand colors. Whether or not all the new features in Android L and the new hardware is worth it will be up to you, but it sure looks like Google has another killer device on their hands.