Monday (November 3rd) marked the launch of Google’s Nexus 9 tablet – the first device to use the company’s Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system.
Boasting an 8.9-inch screen, front-facing stereo speakers and a 64-bit processor, this latest Nexus has been heralded as Google’s flagship product for Christmas.
However, do the reviews match the plaudits? Here is a roundup of the tablet’s main features and what industry commentators think about the new release.
Opinions appear to be mixed when it comes to the Nexus 7’s minimalist appearance. While some reviewers have praised its simple, elegant aesthetic, others were less complimentary.
Writing for PC World, Florence Ion described it as “well-designed”, but ultimately a letdown.
“[The device is] nice to look at in photos, but when you bring it home, it’s kind of boring and needs an accessory to spruce it up,” she said.
Ion praised the HTC BoomSound speakers, claiming they provide users with a mini entertainment system for watching films and listening to music.
The Verge’s Dan Seifert agreed, adding that they are “loud and sound great”. He said it was an excellent design decision that should be used on more tablets.
Matt Warman of the Daily Telegraph was more subdued, describing the speakers as “perfectly adequate” but said they are not the reason people will buy the device.
The Nexus 9’s screen met a lukewarm reception, with Warman saying it’s “perfectly decent, but nothing stellar”.
Seifert was more unforgiving, noting that it wasn’t nearly as nice as the latest iPad’s screen, despite having the same resolution and aspect ratio.
One area where the Nexus 9 shines is the new operating system and software.
“It’s the most professional version of Google’s operating system I’ve ever used, and I’m particularly impressed with the new animations and the way they make the interface feel more interactive,” said Ion.
According to Seifert, the Nexus 9 is the best-looking Android platform released, with a totally new design ethos and a number of reimaged apps.
Overall, the Nexus 9 was considered a worthy contender on the tablet market, but reviewers were unconvinced that it provides enough of a wow factor to turn people away from Apple’s iPad.