Google and HTC are challenging Apple’s iconic iPad with a new Android tablet of their own. The 8.9-inch Nexus 9 will be available starting on Nov. 3. The display size makes the new device just slightly larger than the comparable iPad Air 2 and its predecessor the iPad.
The new device is the latest in a growing line of Nexus tablets and smartphones, alike. But this does mark the first time Google tapped HTC to develop one of its tablets.
When it is available, the Nexus 9 will be one of the first devices running Android 5 Lollipop. But the device will also have an accessory likely to make it more useful for business use than other tablets. A new improved keyboard setup leaked back in September will make the Nexus 9 more like a super portable laptop.
In a post on the Official Google Blog, Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps, explains:
“…since more and more people want to have the same simple experience they have on their tablets when they have to do real work, we designed a keyboard folio that magnetically attaches to the Nexus 9, folds into two different angles and rests securely on your lap like a laptop.”
The new device represents the first larger-sized tablet from Google under the Nexus brand since it introduced the Nexus 10 back in 2012.
Last summer, Google teamed with Asus to create the Nexus 7 tablet. There have also been Nexus smartphones: 4, 5, and now a new Nexus 6 phablet.
The Nexus 9 sports some other impressive specs. It runs Android 5 on a 64-bit NVIDIA Tegra K1 Dual Denver chip. It’s got 2 GB of RAM memory. However, one drawback to the Nexus 9 is the inability to expand upon either 16 or 32GB of internal storage with a microSD card, the Verge reports.
There is an 8MP rear-facing and 1.6MP front-facing camera. The 6,700 mAh battery is designed to last about 9 hours on a full charge, according to Google’s specs.
The new tablet will be available in a WiFi only version and one with LTE connectivity for use on the go. WiFi only versions of the device will sell for either $399 for the 16GB version or $479 for 32GB. The LTE version will be stocked with 32GB of internal storage and will sell for $599.