Google says the Nexus 9 isn't here to do battle with the iPad Air 2

Google says the Nexus 9 isn't here to do battle with the iPad Air 2
Alberto Villarreal, head of the Nexus 9's industrial design, spoke with Engadget recently, and revealed that Google's newest tablet isn't planned as a direct iPad Air 2 competitor. In fact, he made it sound as if the company was barely concerned with Apple's slate, and, even though that's probably somewhat untrue, it's not a hard concept to imagine. According to Mr. Villarreal, the Nexus 9 does not seek to battle anyone, but instead aims to inspire other manufacturers to bring better and better Android-bearing slates to the market.

Google's Nexus devices have always served two functions – to bring a Google-branded flagship that runs vanilla Android and gets the newest updates the fastest (thus - to be perfect reference devices), and to show OEMs what kind of quality one can achieve, without creating a terribly overpriced device.

Well, Google's strategy may have been tweaked a bit, and skewed off of its original path, as with the Nexus 6 we no longer see an affordable flagship device, but one that is similarly priced to other premium smartphones on the market. The Nexus 9, however, is still more of a bargain than some other tablets – the lowest tier (32 GB, no cellular) is priced at $399, equal to the pricing of the now 1-year old iPad Air – and Google's HTC-made slate is quite the powerhouse, with its Nvidia Tegra K1 chipset and Kepler graphics.

Villarreal also spoke of why Google chose HTC as a partner for the newest Nexus tab. Here's what he had to say:

The Google Nexus 9 is currently available for pre-order via various retailers and Google Play. It should be physically hitting the shelves on November 3rd, with the cellular version coming a bit later – November 12th. Amazon UK has announced the tablet will reach its customers mid-December, but it is yet unknown, whether this applies to all UK retailers (Google Play, too), or just Amazon.

source: Engadget

Related phones

Nexus 9
  • Display 8.9" 1536 x 2048 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.6 MP front
  • Processor NVIDIA Tegra K1, Dual-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 6700 mAh



1. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

The Google Nexus 9 is its own beast. It's really to showcase Android's 64bit move. The Google Nexus 9 is going to be a technological wonder. This is another buy for me. Also the Google Nexus 9 & the iPad Air 2 are fun devices, these are clearly not productivity devices... If you want a productivity device, get a Windows Surface Pro 3.

4. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Surface Pro 3 is unnecessarily overpriced. After the debut of Yoga Pro 3 (with fanless processor -intel's next big generation leap) I see absolutely no reason to buy Surface Pro 3.

6. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014


8. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

It's expensive yes, but it can do way more than the Google Nexus 9 & iPad Air 2. Essentially it's a PC. If you think there is no reason to buy it, then more power to you. Remember if you want a true productivity Tablet, you have to go Windows, because with Google & Apple you will not find it.

10. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

My argument is completely different. I am talking about the device not the platform. Yes I agree to be productive you need access to 'full windows' but being productive also requires longer lasting battery which Surface pro 3 fails to deliver against its counterparts. Yoga Pro 3 with its fanless processor will have far more longer battery then Surface Pro 3.

11. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

Is it out yet? That's why SP3 is the best.

31. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

LOL.....its out in 3 days !

16. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I know, but it still doesn't change the fact that the Surface Pro 3 is a true productivity tablet. You mentioned it's overpriced, but did you see that the Yoga Pro 3 starts at $1299.99... Also I rather have the fan & be rocking an Intel i7 on the Surface Pro 3...

32. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Well if you're gonna rock a i7 processor tablet with a fan than that battery is only going to last few hours. Hence, you won't be really productive, which is your initial argument. Yoga Pro 3 emits half the heat, which is a huge deal, and hence it doesn't need a n at all ! Also it is the slimmest ultrabook yet. BTW, the chip of Yoga pro 3 performs on par with the haswell i5 so really you won't notice much difference in that aspect. Also, the on system graphic card is better on Yoga pro 3 then i7 even.

44. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Yes it is. Is a laptop disguise as a tablet.

35. eharris560

Posts: 78; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I seen one review that states differently


Posts: 89; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

have you read any reviews on this? They are pretty terrible. People digging on everything from the supposedly non existent fan being loud to poor build quality, to poor battery life. Even going as far as to say the processor itself being unbearably slow. Just sayin, maybe hop off the hype train and view things from another perspective.

12. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

This argument of being "able" to do a lot more on surface tablets has to stop. You can do 10 000 more things but none of them will be done on a tablet. No one in their right mind will be doing spreadsheets and large documents on any tablet because that form factor is never going to be good for that. Playing heavy games will never happen because you need a mouse and keyboard (and the cover is crap for anything but light message typing at best). The tablet form factor is for very small work loads which require gesture based input for the most efficiency, not typing or editing excel sheets. MS once again tried to force their vision down everyone's throats instead of letting the device dictate its purpose. They will once again fail.

17. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Lot's of people now would rather have a tablet than a laptop. The Surface Pro 3 is the BEST tablet for just what I mentioned. No one buys a Google or an Apple tablet to do actual work. The Surface Pro 3 can so all the stuff the Google & Apple tablets can, PLUS WAY more. Windows still dominates the business world...

19. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

The Surface Pro 3 is a laptop/tablet hybrid. If you start comparing it solely with tablets then you have something wrong going on with you. There's a reason why it was being pitted against a MBA during the keynote. So like he said stop making these pointless arguments. (Honestly I can't wrap my head around why people have such a hissy fit) Sidenote: Also if you don't find it in yourself to bring forward citation on "Lots of people" then you obviously have a dead argument, you're better off eating cheetos in a corner.

21. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

When the price of the tablet starts to reach the price of real pc's with no added benefits, yes, yes we can fully compare them. There is no hissy fit, because you are defending a higher priced inferior product.....gasp apple haters love doing that to apple right? but now when it is on the other foot we can't do that? How about we compare it to my $250 lynx tablet/pc with win8.1 on it....(hardware wise it looses by the way)

25. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

I want to respond to questions but honestly, either they are poorly structured or they just don't make sense. First, the very reason why tablets exist is not because they want to be your PC, rather a way of handing off computing tasks easily without dealing with all the rattling fans and the heavy hardware. Quoting from the first iPad announcement it sits right in the middle, between your laptop and your smartphone. It's not much, but its convenient and easily the reason why PC sales have been taking a dive and losing market share to tablets. Microsoft doesn't seem to get this and it's detailed here by Vox if you're so inclined.

37. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

That Vox argument is pretty one sided. The REASON why Apple's iPad was a hit was because it was different, something new & more compact. The tablets of the time were TEXT book sized. Also technology shrinks & Microsoft is ACTUALLY doing something great. They are giving you a PC in a tablet body. I bet that pretty soon MacBooks will come in tablet form because that's just where technology is moving. The future is FULL BLOWN PC's in tablet form, the entertainment tablet as we know it will go extinct for these full blown PC's in tablet form.

39. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2279; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Keep in mind that the SP is for certain types of users. For users who want a tablet that can do a lot more than the mobile tablets, the SP is best for them. Yes, they're late at making pRofits with the tablets more and more users may buy these tablets in the future. And with the logic of the article link yOu've posted, you might as well throw your phone away and buy a camera, camcorder, photo editing program, hi fi, calculator, etc etc etc. but you stick to your iPhone, as they can barely do anything other mobile OS's can do.

33. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Ohh my... This guys is complaining about hissy fits when he himself is throwing a temper tantrum... Heyyyyy Please put the Cheetos down, you are definitely not Chester Cheetah... lol Wow & he has the gall to say I am in the corner... He has been in the corner wearing his dunce cap especially with that post!

18. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Then you are clearly stuck in your ways. I don't even have a i3+ beast in my 11.6in tablet. I have a Lenovo Lynx on a older Atom. It works beautifully on the go and in the home. Yes i still have a desktop, but my laptop which technically blows this thing away, hardly gets taken out anymore. I use my Lynx with the optional dock, to do spread sheets, to do word docs. To edit financials of the smaller companies i handle as the weekend warriors me and the wife are for finance. I also use it to play my simple games, to watch netflix when the wife is on the tv and i dont want to get up to use the desktop or pull out the 6lb laptop. Does it slow down? at times, but to state no one in their right mind will do what you kind of pointless. The Nexus 9 is catching up to graphics that are 2004 pc graphics...yay?! (x360 and ps3). So 'hardcore' gaming is still stuck to 'android' hardcore graphics that again will not automatically start producing just for the Nexus 9 but for a plethora of devices that sadly are NOT flagship chips. Simply being at 799 there is no other offering that can 'beat' the surface pro 3. Even the samsung tab 12 runs higher for 'less'. Basically everything you stated, applies to the nexus 9, and to boot my setup cost under 400, with mouse and keyboard (bluetooth) and 2yr warranty.

36. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

To me is flabbergasting that people can't compare tablets to tablets. My point has & will always be that Google & Apple tablets are for fun. They are EXTREMELY limited in the productivity world. Some fans are trying to make these cheap entertainment tablets as something more than entertainment. When I say that the Surface Pro 3 does more than the Google & Apple tablets is because it's actually a PC. It has all the tools to be a work machine. You are right at $799.99 the SP3 is a great choice for the person who needs a TRUE productivity machine! +1

43. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Catching up to the 360? Hate to break it to you, but the CPU in the Nexus 9 is as good as an i3 from 2011, and the GPU is the same exact GPU architecture on the desktop now. The K1 can run DirectX 12 Games. It's as competitive as the xbox 1.

34. eharris560

Posts: 78; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

It has a fan

38. eharris560

Posts: 78; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

@tech2 the yoga 3 has a fan or something in that blows air. Skip the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro and go for the Surface Pro 3 instead - app link: wpcentral:show?article=skip-lenovo-yoga-3-pro-and-​go-surface-pro-3-instead

9. bigdawg23

Posts: 467; Member since: May 25, 2011

I completely agree with you. I wish Android App Developers would finally start developing more apps for Tablets. There are too many apps that still use a phone version and nothing special for a tablet. Despite all the Apple haters, everyone has to admit its nice to install one app from a store that works with both a phone and tablet but yet have totally different function. As an example Directv and NFL Sunday Ticket has two Android apps One for Phone and one for Tablet. You get a lot more out of the tablet view.

28. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Thats the fault of the developer. Fragments allows one app to scale across multiple devices, with different functions on Android. Fragments was introduced with its been there since Honeycomb, ICS. Tivo did it right, they discontinued their tablet only app and redesigned their phone app to work with both phones and tablets.

30. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Just doing a quick Play Store search, Netflix, Kindle and Adobe also did it right.

2. TimCook

Posts: 450; Member since: Oct 23, 2014

Nobody said the nexus 9 is here to rival the Air2. Don't get me wrong, the nexus 9 is a good tablet but in my opinion the Air2 is in a league on its own. I am not even sure if the nexus 9 is the best Android tablet considering the Tab S with the smoled screen.

5. pulkit1

Posts: 354; Member since: Jul 03, 2014

Nexus 9 is a next generation android tablet and showcases what is in store for future android tablets . It can not be compared to Tab s and display alone does not make a tablet great . I just can't get how people think skinned android can beat stock. Google spends better bart of a year to optimise android and then companies put their half baked and heavy android skins on top of it in months .

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