Google has just announced the Nexus 9, an Android 5.0 tablet that the company designed in collaboration with HTC. Pre-orders will begin on October 17th and you can expect the tablet to start showing up in stores on November 3rd. Nexus 9 is available in either black or white and comes in three configurations: 16GB for $399, 32GB for $479, and an LTE-enabled 32GB model for $599. (The LTE version and a “sand” color won’t be released until “later this year.”) That’s not exactly cheap, especially compared to what Amazon’s offering nowadays. But Google seems confident it’s put together a compelling device.
As with most HTC-manufactured products, the Nexus 9 features a premium metal build and an 8.9-inch QVGA (2048×1536) display. That screen has a ratio of 4:3 as opposed to 16:9. Google is also emphasizing what’s powering the hardware here: a 64-bit processor — the first for a Nexus product. More specifically, it’s Nvidia’s Tegra K1 chipset. The device also features 2GB of RAM and, on average, around 9 hours of typical battery life.
Google says this form factor is “small enough to easily carry around in one hand, yet big enough to work on.” And there’s a real focus on productivity here: Google is also releasing a keyboard attachment that “magnetically attaches to the Nexus 9, folds into two different angles and rests securely on your lap like a laptop.” So all at once, Google and HTC are going after both the Microsoft Surface and the huge number of consumers who seek aftermarket keyboards for Apple’s iPad line.