When Google took the covers off the Nexus 9 in October, the search engine giant set high expectations for its next tablet running Android Lollipop. Google promised to push the boundaries of what’s possible.
Did the company hit the mark? First, let’s look at what the Nexus 9 has to offer.
The Nexus 9 sports a brushed aluminum frame that connects the screen to what HTC, the tablet’s manufacturer, describes as a “soft-grip back” that comes in black, brown and white. The tablet has an 8.9-inch display with a 4:3-inch viewing ratio large enough to handle business tasks comfortably but still small enough to hold in one hand.
From the Inside Out
Tablet users expect high-quality front and rear cameras these days and the Nexus 9 doesn’t disappoint. The device offers a 1.6MP front camera and an 8MP rear camera. At 2048x1536, the screen resolution hits the 2k level to offer sharper detail and more vibrant colors for watching videos or browsing the Web than its predecessor, the Nexus 7.
For music buffs and portable gaming fans, the device offers dual front facing speakers with a dedicated smart amp and HTC BoomSound profile for speaker mode. These features make possible stereo sound from the front of the device.
In terms of the guts, the tablet has a Nvidia Tegra K1 64-bit dual-core processor that promises to make switching between tasks easy and fast. And a Keppler GPU sets the stage for desktop-like performance and graphics in a tablet form factor.
The Nexus 9 comes in 16GB, 32GB and 32GB LTE models and officially hit the market today after pre-orders in October. The price: $399. So what are the reviewer reactions?
An iPad Competitor
Nathan Olivarez-Giles, a reporter with the Wall Street Journal, said the Nexus 7 formula wasn’t broken, but Google went and fixed it anyway. The Nexus 7 tablet has been discontinued, and the Nexus 9 is the replacement.
“The interface is so smooth that it feels almost like liquid, and its playful pop-art look brings more personality to Android than I’ve ever seen before. Google’s clock, calculator and calendar apps are full of bright colors (magentas, teals, light blues), and there are illustrations, reminiscent of those used in Google Now, within the calendar and other apps,” he said.
Business Insider’s Lisa Eadicicco boldly declared that the iPad finally has some competition, noting that the device feels like the first real high-end tablet to join the Nexus lineup.
“If you were waiting for an Android tablet that looks and feels just as great as the iPad, this is it. The back of the tablet is made of a sturdy aluminum metal that's coated with a soft-touch finish,” she writes. “It’s the first Nexus tablet to come with a metal frame, so it’s a bit heavier than Google’s previous tablets. It’s a worthwhile trade-off, though, since the build quality feels more superb than its predecessors.”
Jay McGregor, a Forbes contributor, offered this bottom line: “Whether you prefer the feel of the iPad’s all metal design, or the Nexus’ part plastic casing is purely down to taste. But there’s no denying that the matte finish on the Nexus 9 provides some extra functionality because it’s less likely to slip out of your hands.”
Posted: 2014-11-06 @ 6:22am PT
I have been dreaming to have this gadget, but I can't afford it. It has all people need, it's amazing.