Nearly three years ago, Google finally put its best step forward into tablet territory. In 2012, the first generation Nexus 7 released with positive reception. It was that praise that prompted several companies, including Amazon & Apple to come out with their small tablet products.
Meanwhile, smartphones increased their screen sizes. It is now 2015 and the de-facto size of most handsets is five inches. Even more, phablets like the Samsung Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus are larger and close enough to be considered a tablet in their own right. Surely, the small tablet market is shrinking, while consumers don’t necessarily want huge tablets.
Enter the Nexus 9. Released cooperatively by HTC and Google late 2014, it is in a sweet spot between small and large. It is good enough for portability while big enough for productivity and consuming media.
The Nexus 9 sports a 8.9 IPS display with a 4:3 display radio. Most Android tablets, including its predecessors, are usually widescreen 16:9. While this letterboxes video playback, it gives more screen real estate for productivity apps like Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Other apps also benefit from this, because most are ported from iOS which uses the same aspect ratio on the iPad.
Graphics are once-again powered by nVidia with its newest Tegra K1 processor. This allows fast performance, improved visuals, and development for 64-bit applications.
I’ve downloaded a few games from Google Play play very well and look great. With the faster processor and Chromecast, you can cast the Nexus 9 screen to a display and actually play games or display content with little to no lag. I’ve tried this on my HTC One and performance is totally different compared to the Nexus 9.
This is not supposed to be a comprehensive review, but I’ll say that I am enjoying this tablet. Unlike the Wi-Fi models, my LTE version from T-Mobile has not suffered from the same issues that others claimed to have when the device first launch last October. I don’t know if the problems have been fixed, but there’s no screen bleeding, sluggish speeds, and none of that back cover popping action.
So far, it’s so good! I am enjoying the Nexus 9 much like the original Nexus 7. For me, it is well-built, runs well, and large enough to do some work and watch a bit of Netflix afterwards. Now I must finish reading the free book that came with the N9, Gone.