In a clear shot across the bow at the Apple iPad, Google and HTC officially announced the Nexus 9, featuring the same 4:3 screen aspect ratio as Apple’s iconic tablet. Powering the aluminum-clad tablet is a dual-core 64-bit NVIDIA Tegra K1 clocked at 2.3GHz and it has a loud voice to the tune of HTC’s dual front-facing BoomSound speakers.
Clearly Google is making a play at developers who heretofore have published apps exclusive to the iPad, making it easier for such developers to port them over to Android by sporting the same aspect ratio. Apparently they’re not content to simply target the iPad though – the sold-separately magnetically-attachable keyboard folio is an obvious warning shot at Microsoft’s Surface tablets. The Nexus 9 also features double-tap-to-wake, a welcome feature borrowed from LG.
Other specs quoted directly from Google are as follows:
153.68mm x 228.25mm x 7.95mm
425g (Wi-Fi), 436g (LTE)
Indigo Black, Lunar White, Sand
Battery & Charging*
Wi-Fi Browsing: Up to 9.5 hours
LTE Browsing: Up to 8.5 hours
Video Playback: Up to 9.5 hours
Wi-Fi Standby: Up to 30 days
LTE Standby: Up to 30 days
8.9″ IPS LCD
4:3 aspect ratio
Gorilla Glass 3
Double tap to wake
64-bit NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor
16GB & 32GB storage
Quad-band GSM, CDMA, Penta-band HSPA, LTE
802.11ac 2×2 (MIMO)
NFC Bluetooth 4.1
8MP Rear camera
Auto-focus, LED flash
1.6MP Front camera
Ambient light sensor
Ports & Connections
Dual front-facing speakers with HTC BoomSoundTM
Android 5.0 Lollipop
*Testing was conducted by Google using pre-production Nexus 9 devices and software. Talk time tests used default settings with Wi-Fi off and LTE on. Standby time tests used default settings with LTE on and Wi-Fi on. Wi-Fi internet tests had Airplane Mode on with Wi-Fi connected to a test access point, while loading three popular websites cached on a local server. The Nexus 9 loaded a page, waited 40 seconds, and then loaded a page from the next site. LTE internet tests had Wi-Fi off and LTE on, and used the same testing method as the Wi-Fi internet tests.
The soft-grip backplates for the Nexus 9 will come in Indigo Black, Lunar White and Sand, and the device will be available to pre-order October 17. Pricing starts at $399 for the 16GB version – the 32GB version will likely set you back $499.