It’s been nearly two years since we’ve seen a new Nexus tablet, but the wait is over. Alongside a new Nexus 6 phone, the Nexus Player, and a new version of Android, the Nexus 9 is finally official. It’s like the iPad Air, but Android.
AU Editor’s Note: We’ve heard from Google Australia that for both the Nexus 6 and 9, there will be local device pre-orders starting from November, but prices aren’t yet confirmed. No news on the Nexus Player box for Android TV, though.
Just as the rumours indicated, the new Nexus 9 is a 9-inch tablet made by HTC, sporting front-facing speakers, a 2048 x 1440 281 PPI LCD screen and a 6700mAh battery. For it’s brain, it doesn’t just have your garden variety Tegra K1 found in tablets like Nvidia’s shield tab; this is the beefed-up version that pairs two 64-bit Project Denver CPUs with a full on GPU based on Nvidia’s desktop, Kepler architecture.
It’s got a nice aluminium trim, and on the back it has that familiar soft-touch carbonate back and “Nexus” branding, like an upscaled Nexus 5. And it’s available in white and black and tan. And, also, if you feel like Surfacing it up, the Nexus 9 has a an optional keyboard case that will retail for (a hefty) $US220.
It’s a Nexus device launching around the same time as a major revision of Android, so naturally it will come loaded up with Android Lollipop. It’s available for pre-order starting October 17, with a starting price of $US400. Australian pricing and availability is yet to be announced.
So what happened to the Nexus 7? It’s hard to say. The tablet’s been out of stock for ages now, and Google’s snazzy new Nexus landing page features the 5, the 6 and the 9. But in a world where phones are creeping up on six inches, the case for a 7-inch tablet — especially one with a slim 16:9 aspect ratio like the Nexus 7’s — is harder than ever to make. In this brave new Google world, it looks like you’ve got your pick of phones, bigger phones, and tablets.