HTC’s second tablet sounds so much better than the Flyer
We didn’t get an extravagant onstage unveiling but we do finally have our first look at the HTC tablet. The Nexus 9 was announced alongside the Motorola-built Nexus 6 smartphone and the Asus-built Nexus Player streaming box in a post on Google’s official blog.
Looking set to replace the now ageing Nexus 10 and the Nexus 7, the 8.9 inch device sees HTC make a return to making tablets after its first Android slate, the Flyer received an underwhelming reception.
Running on Android 5.0 Lollipop, we are hoping for much improved tablet experience with Google’s latest software update.
So, what else is there to look forward to in the Nexus 9? We pick out the five killer features that could persuade you to part with your money when it launches on November 3rd.
If there’s one thing that HTC has got right about its smartphones, it’s making them look beautiful. The One M8 is arguably the best looking phone you can get your hands on and while the Nexus 9 is not all metal, it does have brushed metal sides and comes with a soft grip back that will be available in black, brown and white. There’s no details on thickness but we do know it weighs 436g so it’s heavier than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4, which is a significantly lighter 294g.
Bigger, sharper screen
If we are viewing this as a replacement for the Nexus 7, then the move to a 2,048 x 1,536 resolution display is on paper a massive improvement. The Asus-built 7-inch tablet has the same resolution as the £129 Tesco Hudl 2 and while the Nexus 10 had a solid display for its time, it was definitely time for a change.
Packing a QHD (or 2K) display means the 8.9-inch Nexus 9 is now in the same resolution ballpark as Samsung’s 8.4-inch tablet. The bump up in pixel density makes more sense on a tablet than a phone and means you should expect an exceptionally sharp display making it great for watching films and reading.
Tegra K1 CPU
This one seemed to be a dead cert, with Nvidia recently letting slip that its new SoC will be powering the Nexus 9 in a court document and now it has been confirmed.
Alongside 2GB of RAM, the dual-core, 64-bit Tegra K1 (which was first seen on the Nvidia Shield Tablet) is most notable for its advanced GPU element, which is based on the same Kepler architecture as desktop PC equivalents. That’s the first time such a thing has been incorporated on a mobile chip.
The result of this is blistering 3D performance that absolutely thrashes everything else in graphically intensive applications and games. Even Apple’s impressive new A8 doesn’t come close.
HTC’s speakers have now become the barometer for smartphone sound quality and the good news is that the Nexus 9 will be getting the very same Boomsound same treatment. You’ll be able to feel the full force of the warmer, more powerful audio thanks to the fact that it will be coming from dual-front facing speakers so there’s less chance of cupping them and muffling the music or film dialogue.
Nexus 9 keyboard case
Just like the iPad Mini, there will be times when you want the feel of physical keys under your fingers instead of tapping on the touchscreen. HTC has announced it will be offering a keyboard folio case, which magnetically hooks up to the Nexus 9 and can be used from two angles when you need to switch up viewing angles. There’s no news on pricing, but we are hoping it will be an affordable solution to carrying around a little laptop replacement.
If you are interested in taking photos with the Nexus 9, there’s an 8-megapixel main camera with 1080p HD video recording support and a 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera that can shoot in 720pHD.
There will be 16GB, 32GB models plus a 32GB LTE 4G option and a hefty 6,700 mAh capacity battery will hopefully keep the Nexus 9 chugging along for at least a day’s play.
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