Updated: We've got new information on Nexus 9 availability and pre-orders.
Google Nexus 9 is a ideal in-between tablet if you're looking to upgrade that aged Samsung-made Nexus 10 and don't want to step down to last year's ASUS-developed Nexus 7.
It's also the perfect 8.9-inch fit if you're seeking an Android alternative that's not as small as the 7.9-inch iPad mini 3 and not as large as the 9.7-inch iPad Air 2.
After all, the new HTC-made Nexus 9 gives buyers more freedom than either of Apple's best tablets because it not only runs pure Android, but the new Android 5.0 Lollipop.
The specs have been bumped up considerably from the Google Nexus 7 2013 by spearheading Android Nexus' first use of a 64-bit processor. It's fast enough, sleek enough and cheap enough to consider.
Cut to the chase
What is it? New tablet to fill the gap between Nexus 7 and 10
When is it out? Pre-orders begin October 17 with a November 3 launch
What will it cost? Starts at $399 (£319, no AU price till November)
Nexus 9 release date and price
Google and HTC are adding another inch to the smallest Nexus tablet starting on November 3. That's the official release date. Pre-orders began on October 17.
Where can you buy Nexus 9 right now? HTC, the Google Play Store and Amazon are already accepting pre-orders in the US, UK and Europe. It's available to ship in 1-2 business days, according to Google.
Be warned, the price is also bigger. Nexus 9 16GB model costs $399 in the US and £319 in the UK. If 16GB isn't enough space and you're bummed Nexus 9 doesn't include a micro SD card slot, the 32GB version costs $479 (£399). An 32GB LTE edition is also planned on its way for $599 (£459).
In addition to being the perfect size balance between iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2, its price fits right in between the two rival tablets.
While the 16GB version of the Nexus 9 is now available to order, if you're after the 32GB version you might have to wait a while. Amazon doesn't currently list the 32GB Nexus 9, and the Google Play Store says that it is out of stock.
We don't have any news on when the 32GB LTE version will be made available, with Google Play simply saying that it is 'coming soon'.
Nexus 9 display
Google Nexus 9 features what's really a 8.9-inch screen when you measure it diagonally, and IPS LCD display technology lights things up underneath Gorilla Glass 3.
A 2048 x 1536 resolution gives it a dense 287ppi count and a less-wide 4:3 aspect ratio that we've seen from other tablets including the iPad Air 2.
This is different from the 8:5 widescreen ratio of the Nexus 7 and allows for more headroom when working on the new tablet. We also like the display's "double tap to wake" feature.
Nexus 9 specs
Beneath that nearly-9-inch LCD display is the first Nexus 64-bit processor courtesy of Nvidia and its Tegra K1 system on a chip at we first saw at CES.
The Nexus 9's tablet-focused processor runs at 2.3GHz and is coupled with a Kepler DX11 graphics chip and a healthy 2GB of RAM. We'll have to wait for a teardown to see the memory of the new iPads to make a better RAM comparison.
The camera specs include a 8-megapixel rear snapper that bests the Nexus 7's 5-megapixel camera. A similar incremental update on the front gives it a 1.6MP camera, up from 1.2MP.
No changes is the internal memory configurations have been made. It'll be 16GB and 32GB, the same as last year's ASUS-made Nexus tablets.
New this year is a Nexus 9 keyboard folio accessory. It protects the tablet as a cover when closed and acts as a mechanical keyboard with Bluetooth pairing when open. It is $129 (likely £100), but it's your best Android alternative to a Microsoft Surface Pro 3.
The battery size, naturally, is dramatically increased to 6700 mAh with the larger size, up from 3,950 mAh. It should provide at least 9.5 hours of battery life, according to Google.
We'll have to put all of these specs to the test in our upcoming Google Nexus 9 tablet review.
Previous Nexus 9 rumors
Nexus 9 design
It's not entirely clear what the Nexus 9 will look like. On the one hand we've heard that Google wants a new design for its new slate, which is apparently part of the reason why it's teamed up with HTC rather than Asus. But on the other it's been reported that the Nexus 9 is similar to the Nexus 7.
So we're not sure what to make of it yet. But HTC is the company behind the tablet, so there's a good chance that it will have a premium design and perhaps even be carved from aluminium like the HTC One M8.
We have seen a few possible glimpses of the Nexus 9 too. Our first sign of it was a mystery tablet that appeared late last year in one of Google's promotional images. It's not clear what it is but it looks too big to be a Nexus 7 and too small for the Nexus 10, so the Nexus 9 seems logical.
You can't tell much from the image, but what is clear is that it's running Android 4.4 KitKat, has slim bezels and on-screen navigation buttons.
Whilst it might have been pictured running Android 4.4 KitKat, Nvidia's court documents suggest that the Nexus 9 will in fact be running Google's much anticipated Android L operating system.
That was the last we saw of it for a long time, but more recently a device that's supposedly the Nexus 9 appeared in photos sent to MyDrivers.com. Sadly it's in a protective case so it's hard to make out any details.
It's popped up again as a render in a document detailing Android L. As it's a render it could just be a generic slate cooked up for the image, but that would seem an odd move by Google when it could just use one of its real tablets for the picture.
However it's different to the first image we saw, as the bezels appear bigger and it has front-facing speakers. Though like that image there are on-screen buttons. The front-facing speakers are also reminiscent of HTC's smartphones and of other rumors about the slate, which adds legitimacy to it given that HTC is the manufacturer.
Alongside a specs list for the device Android Police got hold of an image in a brochure. It's not very clear, but based on it along with the accompanying information they created the above mock-up of what the slate might actually look like.
However more recent than any of these images was a tweet by @evleaks, claiming that the Nexus 9 will have a silver aluminium unibody and BoomSound speakers, but that all previous images of the device were 'fake'.
@evleaks also tweeted an extreme close-up of the back of the Nexus 9, which reveals next to nothing, but highlights two watermarks. One says 'flounder' which is a code name that's been associated with the Nexus 9 in the past and the other mentions Android Silver, which was thought to be a successor to the Nexus program.
The only proper image we've seen since @evleaks made his claim that all previous ones were fake was shared by @upleaks and it looks like it's plastic rather than metal, a possibility which @upleaks echoes in another tweet, claiming the slate is matte plastic like the Nexus 5.
That's disappointing if true, but it does at least still look like HTC is in the driving seat, as the full image has an HTC logo on it.
Images have also surfaced of a keyboard cover for the Nexus 9. From these images we can glean some more details of the design of the Nexus 9, including the 7-inch form factor of the tablet's body.
Nexus 9 specs and camera
Initial rumors pointed to the Nexus 9 having 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a 4600 mAh battery, but that was back when LG was thought to be making it, so that all seems unlikely now.
Since then rumors have started suggesting an increasingly powerful device. In January we heard that it might come packing a 64-bit quad-core Intel Bay Trail-T processor. Then in June we heard that it would arrive with a 64-bit Qualcomm processor and 3GB of RAM.
However the most recent rumors, this time from @evleaks, suggest that it will ship with a monstrous 5GB of RAM, alongside the previously rumored 64-bit Tegra K1 processor. With a 64-bit processor it can support that much RAM, but @evleaks does mention that it's a 'non-final' amount, so it may well drop lower before release.
He also claims that it will come with 64GB of storage and is currently equipped with a 5MP camera, which can shoot video in 1080p, though he theorises that it may be upped to 8MP before it launches.