Google Nexus 9: Why I’m Upgrading to this New Nexus [Review]

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When Google announced a new Nexus tablet coming, I really couldn’t wait. I was thinking of a new Nexus 7 with upgrade features and new OS. Then I heard it was the Nexus 9 and it would be bigger than my Nexus 7. This presented an internal conflict, as I always said a 7 inch tablet was just the perfect size. Easy to hold and use one-handed, easy to fit in a bag quickly. The Nexus 7 was my favorite tablet. But now we have the Nexus 9. Much bigger than what I’m use to, still all the goodness of a Nexus device, and one of the first devices with the new OS Android L or Lollipop. So what would happen when I upgraded.

Style

IMAG0550 The Nexus 9 is every bit a stylish device to use as any other Nexus before it. With its signature look the Nexus 9 comes in 3 colors this time around. Indigo Black, Lunar White, and a new option Sand. With the Black model, that while it doesn’t have the same texture as the Nexus 7, still has a similar look and feel. The Nexus 9 this time around was built by HTC instead of ASUS. HTC has been on a design fire recently with its One line. Both the HTC One (M7) and HTC One (M8) are gorgeous looking devices! They brought a pinch of that to the Nexus 9 with its thin bezel and brushed metal sides. The Nexus 9 tablet is both sleek and sturdy.

Then we also have to talk about Android L or Lollipop. As HTC has made the outside look good, Google and Lollipop makes the interior just as outstanding. Material design at the foundation of Android Lollipop just looks good, and so much more fluid to interact with. Animations and the general flow as you move from app to app on the tablet look smooth and responsive. Lollipop is an awesome interior to the HTC built exterior hardware!

Tech

There a few features of the Nexus 9 that just come in better than the Nexus 7 I’ve been use it. First being HTC’s BoomSound. HTC has brought over its BoomSound tech to the Nexus 9 and brought in some dual front facing speakers. This has made watching anything on it a vast improvement over the Nexus 7. Not to say the Nexus 7 sounded horrible because it didn’t, but that extra power to the speakers is definitely something welcomed. Beyond just the sound of course, the Nexus 9 has Double Tap to wake it up. You’ll need this as the power button on the it is quite awkward to interact with. Double Tap is the way you’ll want to go with this. Then there is the 64 bit processor on the Nexus 9 which should making using it that much greater.

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Battery also has been decent. The Nexus 9 has a 6700mAh battery. I’ve been able to get roughly a week with moderate use (reading Pulse to/from work, some surfing). And while there is a 8MP rear camera on it, I’m not going to lie. I’m not one of those guys who stick the tablet in the air and take pictures with it. You’ll have to share your mileage with us. I understand having a front facing camera for video chat, but rear one…Eh.

Experience

IMAG0552 The real reason I’m upgrading to the Nexus 9 is because I like devices like Microsoft Surface, but I don’t want a Surface, I don’t want Windows. I’m deep in the Google ecosystem. The Nexus 9 comes with a keyboard case that goes on with magnets and connects to the tablet via NFC. I have high hopes of maybe leaving my Macbook Pro home at times and using the Nexus 9 for quick work. I haven’t been able to do this yet as the keyboard case won’t be out until a week or so after the Nexus 9 goes on sale. So now I wait!

While I wait, I’ve used the Nexus 9 instead of my Nexus 7. The size is something I will have to get use to. While it is light, meaning I can hold it in one hand comfortably, I definitely can use it well one-handed. Your definitely going to need two-handed interaction. Now despite this fact, the Nexus 9 is quite usable. I like using it especially when reading from the Pulse app. The app looks so much better on the Nexus 9’s 8.9 inch screen. And seeing all the Lollipop animation and fluidity makes the experience nice.

I will say that I am very nervous now. Since the Nexus 9 is so new, even though you can buy it today, there are no cases available yet on the Play store. The keyboard case as well as the regular ones are still coming soon. This makes my experience a little nerve wrecking as I’m paranoid of potential pitfalls for my Nexus. I’m hoping the cases will be available soon though. Overall the Nexus 9 is a great tablet. I had much hope for it and when I have the keyboard case, I hope to leave the Macbook Pro at home.

Wrap Up

The Nexus 9, available today at the Play Store and a few other spots is available in Indigo Black and Lunar White starting $399 for 16GB of storage. 32GB will run you $479, and the Sand color option will be available later on. To round out that price, if you are looking to get a case from Google, the regular will cost you $39.00 and the keyboard one $129.00 when available. If you are a Nexus fan, this is a no brainer for you. Looking for a new tablet, this is one I’d suggest you take a look at!