Hands on: Google Nexus 9

The Google Nexus 9 is a very hotly anticipated release for many reasons… Firstly, Google Nexus 7 was a mind-glowingly good tablet that made other non-Apple tablets look weak and puny in comparison and secondly because this is Google’s first outing with HTC and the latter is known for its attention to detail when it comes to design, ergonomics and looks. The fact that HTC One (M8) won Design of the Year at this year’s Mobile Choice Consumer Awards is proof enough!

And so when the tablet was announced, we knew to expect something staggering. We couldn't have been more correct… the 9-inch tablet looks, for want of a better word, a wowzer. Dual Boom Sound, something that HTC specialises in, makes an appearance on the tablet.

Infinitely slim while feeling quite premium, HTC told us they used a special technique to bond the brushed aluminium edging to the soft touch plastic back so the edges of the tablet look like they are at once seamless and smooth in appearance. The plastic back is a welcome addition because while the soft-touch picks up fingerprints, it doesn't add to the weight of the tablet.

There are some incredible features on the Nexus 9, but the one that we are most excited about is the 2k screen. Actually a 2048 x 1536 resolution screen which weighs in at a whopping 288ppi density, this will make watching HD movies an absolute pleasure.

To put it in context, the Tesco Hudl 2 has a ppi of 273 and the Nexus 7 had a pixel per inch density of 217. In fact , even the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet has a ppi of 264.

The 8.9 inch tablet (you are right, HTC and Google did round it off a little bit) runs Android 5.0 lollipop. Yes, it is unadulterated and no we cannot talk about the interface at all.

The Tegra K1 processor, a 64-bit chip was bragged about by Nvidia back when it was launched. The K1 can work at double the speed of current processors giving them said bragging rights.

On the all important camera front, there is a 5MP rear-facing snapper while the front facing one is a unexciting 1.6MP. It comes with all the obligatory camera functions including basic editing tools as well as the panorama feature that has become de-rigeur on all phones and tablets these days.

Google and HTC have gone one set ahead and built the Nexus 9 its own cover and keyboard. Using magnets, the cover can be used to position the tablet for optimum viewing while the keyboard uses NFC and Bluetooth to pair and work. We tried out the keyboard and came away impressed, but obviously will write in greater detail when I get to run a full review on it.

The tiny niggle I have with it however is the lack of expandable storage. That aside, the Google Nexus 9 is a great option for those who want the quality specs hitherto associated with apple products but like Android more than iOS.

Google Nexus 9 will go on sale from November 3rd, priced at £319 for 16GB Wi-Fi model, £399 for the 32GB Wi-Fi model and £459 for the 32GB Wi-Fi and LTE model. It will be available from most retailers and from the Google Play Store.


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