Nexus 9: Speedy performer

By: | Published: January 15, 2015 12:46 AM

The Nexus 9 is a sturdy and well-constructed tablet with great multimedia features and a powerful battery

There’s a new tablet in town. It’s called the Nexus 9, an Android Lollipop tablet which comes in an attractive design, great multimedia features and a powerful battery life. The 8.9-inch slab is the result of a close collaboration between HTC and Google wherein, the Taiwanese firm has fused its latest hardware technology and prowess in design with Google’s excellence in intuitive software, for a premium tablet experience. It retails for R28,900 (16 GB version) and is available on e-commerce site,

It’s been nearly five years since Google released its very first Nexus device; I have seen both the earlier nifty devices—Nexus 7 and Nexus 9—and was therefore quite excited to get my hands on the Nexus 9. But, does it live up to the expectations and more importantly, is it actually worth the asking price? We check it out.

Out of the box, the Nexus 9 reminds me of my Amazon Kindle Fire HD

8.9-inch tablet. The former comes encased in a brushed aluminum frame that seamlessly connects the screen to a soft-grip back. The tablet is both sleek and polished, showcasing HTC’s expertise in precision metal work. As mentioned before, the Nexus 9 tablet has an 8.9-inch display with 4:3-inch viewing ratio that is large enough to master any task, yet small enough to hold comfortably in one hand. Weighing just 436 grams, it is also lightweight and easily portable.

The first taste of Lollipop is a sweet one. The Nexus 9 is the first tablet worldwide to run on Android Lollipop operating system. It comes packed with features that make multitasking a breeze, while allowing for a high level of personalisation and

security through a range of secure login functions. Android 5.0 Lollipop is definitely refreshing with its snappiness and welcoming redesign.

At its heart, this easy-to-use, powerful tablet boasts an Nvidia Tegra K1 64-bit dual-core processor that makes switching between tasks both simple and fast, while its Keppler GPU delivers desktop grade performance and graphics in tablet form. If my memory serves me right, then a quad-core Qualcomm silicon powered the 2013 Nexus 7. The step back to a 2.3 GHz dual-core processor might sound like a downgrade, but the star of the show here is Android 5.0 Lollipop. With Lollipop, your tablet shows your inbox alongside the message that you have open, while your watch shows new emails as they arrive. For fewer worries and disruptions, you can adjust your settings so that only certain people and notifications get through. I can go on and on about Lollipop, but best is to say that you can get more out of this Android.

Front (1.6 MP) and rear (8 MP) cameras allow key moments to be captured as they happen, with the Nexus 9 tablet’s 2K screen (2048 x 1536) resolution delivering sharp detail and

vibrant colours when viewing photos, browsing the web or watching videos. Dual front facing speakers feature a dedicated smart amp and HTC BoomSound profile for speaker mode, to enable stereo sound from the front of the device—perfect for music and gaming fans.

For on-the-go performance, there’s a detachable keyboard folio (sold separately) that attaches to the back of your Nexus 9 magnetically and pairs wirelessly via Bluetooth. Its extended battery life means you can spend more time playing and less time charging.

Let’s put all the technicalities aside and talk about how does this tablet work. If I am honest, a 9-inch tablet can feel awkward to use at times, because we have got used to surfing the web on our mobile phones, but it is a treat to watch movies or listen to music on the Nexus 9. Its speakers deliver clear, loud (if you need it to be) sound that’s noticeably better than what I have heard from other tablets. Colours pop from the display and have a really vibrant, high-contrast look.

In my wrap-up, I would term the Nexus 9 as a premium, pure Android powerhouse. It performs steadily and its streamlined construction has a deluxe, comfortable feel. All in all, a speedy performer and one of the best high-end Android tablets.

* Dimensions: 228.25 x 153.68 x 7.95 mm
* Display: 8.9 inch IPS LCD QXGA display
* Platform: Android 5.0 Lollipop
* Storage & memory: 16 GB, 2 GB RAM
* Camera: 8 MP main camera; 1.6 MP front camera
* Sound: Dual front-facing speakers with HTC BoomSound
* Sensors: Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor, Gyro sensor, Magnetometer
* Weight: 425g
* Estimated street price:
Rs 28,900 (16 GB)

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