The Nexus 9 Tablet – review

The Nexus 9 review embargoes have been lifted and a number of tech sites have published their reviews.

Below is a summary of the main reviews from across the web –

Via –

PROS -Android 5.0 Lollipop runs like a dream,Material Design face-lift is warm, welcoming,K1 chipset is plenty powerful, despite benchmark oddities

CONS -Screen is solid, not jaw-dropping, BoomSound speakers not as good as M8’s, No expandable memory

Via –

The Good –

Display: I love the 4:3 form factor, and the display itself is very nice. Great colors, what looks to be solid white balance, good brightness, and excellent viewing angles. I can find no real important faults with it.
Android L: Is pretty, adds tons of new features (many of which are quite useful), and beautiful animations throughout the OS. Easily the most mature and thoroughly styled Android has ever looked. It looks great on the Nexus 9.
Fast: The Nexus 9 is, in most situations where linear performance is the primary concern, very quick. Its single-thread benchmark results put it even ahead of Apple’s new iPad Air 2, so that K1 isn’t a slouch.
Front-facing speakers: I don’t really need to extol the virtues of front-facing speakers. They’re obvious.
Software support: OTA updates from Google mean you’ll be the first to get the latest version of Android, of course, with all the good and bad things that entails.

The Not So Good

Battery life: 9.5 hours of Wi-Fi browsing is, as far as my review unit is concerned, a fantasy. Like, there’s just no way. I’m getting half that.
Performance: It’s unpredictable. The Nexus 9 is fast, but it’s twitchy. Apps will randomly take longer to load than normal, longer than I would expect – it doesn’t feel fully optimized. That, or only having two cores is causing issues.
Build quality: It does not feel like a $400 tablet should feel. Not only is it fairly heavy for its size, the plastic back seems to have the same issues the Nexus 5’s did – it deforms under pressure, snaps, and creaks. It is not nice. Also, it’s a finger oil magnet.
Design: I’m sorry, but in my subjective opinion, the Nexus 9 is not a pretty tablet. It is decidedly generic, and not in a cool, stealthy way. It’s boring and drab. The press shots do it too much justice.
Price: All things considered, I find $400 ($480 for 32GB) hard to stomach for a 16GB tablet of this caliber. That’s generation one iPad Air money. – went on record to say they only got their device on Wednesday and they will spend more time with it so they can write a proper review. That makes sense to me!

Reading a number of reviews last night echoed the findings of the views printed above. Some loved it, some questioned its strengths and others were not blown away. Either way it is a direct take on Apple’s iPad space with a 4:3 aspect ratio but it does not beat the iPad Air at all.

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