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PaulOBrien

Nexus 9 Review

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n9promo.jpg

 

 

Introduction

 

In a tweet around 18 months ago, my frustration with the current crop of tablets came to a head and I reached out to HTC - “Please please PLEASE @HTC make a 8.9" HTC One Tablet. I'll be first in line with my hard earned”. How interesting then that i’m sitting here today, reviewing almost exactly that. Granted, it’s a Nexus device rather than a HTC ‘One’ tablet, but i’m pretty excited to put it through it’s paces.

 

This isn't HTC's first tablet, although you could be forgiven for thinking so. Back in the midsts of time came the (Gingerbread!) HTC Flyer, a 7" device which was ultimately updated to Honeycomb. It was chunky, metal, heavy and great. Then there was the HTC Jetstream, a 10" device in the same vein that was only released on AT&T in the US. I liked that one too.

 

Who can forget HTC's first Nexus, the much loved Nexus One, with its bulletproof metal construction. Ah, good times. Anyway...

 

Why 8.9”?

 

As phones themselves have increased in size (I use a 5.2” Xperia Z3 as my main device), I feel the benefits of a 7” tablet have diminished. Simply put, they are not that much bigger! The obvious answer to that is a 10.1” device, such as the awesome Xperia Z2 Tablet. The problem is, with Android tablets almost exclusively offering a screen with a 16:10 ratio, they very quickly become unwieldy and tiring to use.

 

I don’t watch much video content on my device. If you do, then this ratio makes more sense… I browse the web, read and write documents and read magazines in the Readly app - a 4:3 ratio screen just works so much better for that kind of usage. It also happens to be the ratio used on a certain Apple range of tablets…

 

With that in mind, my go-to device recently has been the Xiaomi MiPad. OK, so it runs MIUI which isn’t to everyone’s taste, but the screen is the ‘right’ ratio and 7.9” in size. It also rocks the 64-bit capable Nvidia K1 processor and Kepler GPU, previous utilised in the Shield Tablet and also inside the Nexus 9.

 

Review device

 

The device I am reviewing is final hardware, however at the time of writing (2nd November) the software itself is still being refined by Google / HTC. With that in mind, I have not included the software / battery life parts of this review and will add those when the retail software becomes available.

 

Pricing

  • 16GB WiFi (black / white) - £319 (Play Store / Amazon)
  • 32GB WiFi (black / white) - £399 (Play Store / Amazon)
  • 32GB WiFi (sand) - £399 (Play Store / Amazon)
  • 32GB LTE (black) - £459 (Play Store / Amazon)


    Let’s take a quick look at the Nexus 9 specifications…

     

     

    It goes without saying that the most interesting aspects of the device are the processor and the shiny new version of Android - the other specifications are largely par for the course. Note that the Nexus 9 doesn’t have a microSD slot, so choose your storage capacity carefully.

     

    I’m pretty surprised there is no 64GB option, given the more premium pricing of the device.

     

    Hardware - around the device

     

    Make no mistake, this device looks and feels like a Nexus that happens to be made by HTC. This is in rather stark contrast to the Nexus 6, which looks and feels like a Motorola device (a super-sized Moto X / G) that happens to have a Nexus logo stamped on the back. Is this a good or a bad thing? That depends on your perspective…

     

    So let’s have a look around.

     

    The front of the Nexus 9, coated in Corning Gorilla Glass 3, is free of any branding whatsoever. Dominated by that screen, it has the front facing camera located centrally at the top and HTC BoomSound speakers on the very top and bottom of the device. The light sensor sits to the right of the camera and at the bottom there is a notification LED.

     

     

    n9back.jpg

     

     

     

    The back of the device is plastic (although clearly with metal in there somewhere as the cover and keyboard cases attach magnetically) and looks like a cross between a Nexus 5 and a Nexus 7. The soft-touch finish also is very similar, as is the horizontal Nexus branding. A small grey HTC logo (in portrait) at the bottom just above the various certification marks is really the only hint that the Nexus range has transitioned to a new manufacturer for this generation. The camera and flash are sited at the very top left of the back, sticking up from the curved edge (see below). A rather strange design detail.

     

     

    n9camera3.jpg

     

     

     

    If there’s one thing we know about HTC it’s that they know how to make metal devices and this expertise manifests itself in a metal edge to the tablet. On the right hand side we have the power and volume buttons (which dont have a great deal of travel and as a result feel slightly unconvincing) and the secondary microphone, the bottom of the device has an ‘inverted’ microUSB port as well as the main microphone and the 3.5mm headphone socket is up top.

     

     

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    If the design is somewhat uninspiring, you'd expect from HTC is that at least the device should be well built. In reality we are seeing reports of movement in the plastic back panel and considerable bleed on the screen, which is very disappointing.

     

    At 425g the weight is about right for its class, the iPad Air 2 weighs 437g and the 10” Xperia Z2 Tablet comes in at an almost identical 426g, although both have larger screens. As you’d expect, this is a considerable increase compared to the 290g Nexus 7 2013.

     

     

    nexuses.jpg

     

     

     

    Software

     

    I will add this part of the review when the final software is available.

     

    In use

     

    Pick up the Nexus 9 and it feels solid in your hand, weighty but not heavy and instantly very manageable. Make no mistake, you’re not going to want to grip both sides of this device with one hand, but while the side bezels aren’t huge, they are wide enough to allow you to rest your thumb on the front of the device without confusing the touch panel.

     

    On a brand new device, after the ‘Google’ boot screen and Nexus boot animation, you are dropped into the customary Setup Wizard which will take you through the process of setting up the device. This is likely your first look at Android 5.0 and material design and it’s a huge overhaul - the wizard is far better looking and better to use than it’s predecessor.

     

    As you enter your details you’ll see the updated keyboard which builds on the already excellent Google Keyboard and you might also spot the haptic feedback when using it. Hallelujah - the Nexus 9 includes a vibrate motor!

     

    The screen on the device is as sharp as you’d expect and brightness is fantastic - the brightest Android screen i’ve ever seen is on the Xperia Z3 and the Nexus 9 can match it. The Z3 does have a particularly cool colour temperature that is noticeably different to the warmer Nexus 9, but it’s not an issue - there’s certainly no yellow tinge. Switching between the Nexus 9 and a Nexus 5 is a real eye-opener as to how screens have improved over the last year! I noticed a few oddities with regards to the screen i’ll put down to the pre-release nature of the software - one where the auto-brightness stopped working completely, a second where the screen flickered slightly (like the auto-brightness was adjusting too frequently) and a third where when adjusting the brightness, the step changes were not smooth.

     

    The Nexus 9 is extremely smooth and responsive in general use. I placed the device alongside a 2013 Nexus 7 and carried out a number of tasks that I know to be particularly intensive and, as you would expect, it completely blitzed its predecessor. Running regular Android apps and multi-tasking around I saw very few lags although I will say it wasn’t ‘buttery smooth’ (to coin a Google phrase) 100% of the time.

     

    With the Nvidia K1 processor inside, of course I had to load up some games and get playing. The result? Silky smooth graphics, immersive sound (you can’t beat front facing speakers for gaming), a quicker depleting battery (inevitable as the device is working harder) and a warm left hand. I have noticed that the top left of the device (when held in landscape, around where the camera is) gets noticeably warmer when the device is worked hard. Perhaps that’s where those 192 graphics cores live. :)

     

    That battery drain is on par with what i’ve experienced on other devices when really giving them a workout and while the device does heat up, it has never done it enough for it to be uncomfortable to hold. Or melt. Or explode. So that’s good!

     

    The Nexus 9 has 2GB RAM on board, which surprised me as I expected to see 3GB on the latest Nexus devices, albeit for no real reason other than BIGGER NUMBERS. The device doesn’t actually feel any worse off for it and perhaps this was a constraint of the packaging of the K1 processor.

     

    Dual band WiFi reception on the device is excellent and I must confess, for me personally the LTE option is appealing, although a £60 premium is certainly food for thought.

     

    The last HTC made Nexus device was the Nexus One - do you remember it? The best thing about it for me was the fantastic multi-colour LED inside the trackball, which made for really cool notification alerts. The Nexus 9 has a notification LED too (it’s something of a Nexus tradition now after all) but strangely, on the software build I have, the LED is used only to indicate low battery and not to actually show notifications. I hope this gets fixed!

     

    The Nexus 9 includes double-tap-to-wake functionality which is something I really don’t like to live without these days. I also configure double-tap-status-bar-to-sleep using an app called ‘All In One Gestures’, but unfortunately this doesn’t work with Lollipop yet. In general I’ve found Lollipop app compatibility to be good, the Nexus 9 also tripped over on Reckless Racing 3 and Boggle in my game testing. I imagine apps will be updated pretty quickly after the full Lollipop release.

     

    We’ll talk more about the software experience on the Nexus 9 later.

     

    Sound

     

    The Nexus 9 is the first device to include dual stereo speakers on the front and they do indeed sound much better than on previous Nexus devices. HTC BoomSound really does do its thing, with far more depth to the sound than on lesser stereo speaker equipped devices!

     

     

    n9boomsound.jpg

     

     

     

    Camera

     

    The Nexus 9 has an 8 Megapixel camera on the back and a 1.6 Megapixel camera on the front. Quality is, as you would probably expect… adequate. If you don’t have another camera on you and you need to capture the moment, it’ll do the job. Auto-focus on the main camera is particularly lethargic, which is disappointing. I will put some sample shots online shortly!

     

    Battery life

     

    I will add this part of the review when the final software is available.

     

    Accessories

     

    There are 2 approved accessories listed for the Nexus 9 - the £35 ‘origami’ style cover and the £110 Keyboard Folio. No, that’s not a misprint - those really are the prices!

     

    I’ve seen both cases in person and while they are both very nice, you don’t get an awful lot for your money.

     

    Available in 3 polyurethane colour combinations with 1 more colour and 2 leather options to follow, the cover is the size of the front of the device and grips magnetically to either the front or the back, with the option to fold in a number of styles to prop up your tablet. That’s it. It automatically wakes the device and has a foldable corner to allow picture taking when the cover is attached to the back but it doesn’t really offer the hardiest of protection for your £35.

     

     

    n9cover2.jpg

     

     

     

    The keyboard cover is actually a cool little thing, although you can imagine a host of cheaper clones being made available not long after launch. It too attaches magnetically to the back of the tablet, but includes a great feeling Bluetooth / NFC connected keyboard and offers all over protection for your device in transit. It allows the Nexus 9 to be propped at 2 different angles and turns it into a genuine productivity station.

     

     

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    One thing I like about both the cover and the keyboard is that they both facilitate using the device ‘naked’ should that be your preference (I don’t really like cases that stay on the device permanently), but let’s just say there’s plenty of scope for 3rd party cases to exist alongside the official offerings.

     

    I will review the keyboard when I get my hands on one! :)

     

    Conclusion

     

    It might seem a little premature to write a conclusion before i’ve finished the review based on the final software, but it’s a good place to collect my thoughts until then. I’m making the assumption that little niggles I have found in the software will be fixed, so I won’t talk about them.

     

    Have HTC delivered on the dream of a genuinely useful Android tablet for me personally? Yes, but they’ve done so more by ticking the right boxes than anything else - fast, 64-bit CPU, good screen with the right size / ratio plus the Nexus moniker and all that brings with regards to updates mean that particularly when I have got hold of the keyboard, it’ll be a formidable tool to have tucked away in my bag.

     

    With that being said, I can’t help think that perhaps Google and HTC (although I suspect HTC just built what Google told them to) have played things safer than they needed to on the Nexus 9. While the design language is consistent and the metal edge and Boomsound are a great addition, there’s no question that the overall look could be described as rather boring now. HTC have some serious design chops and it doesn’t come through here. Although the specs are perfectly sufficient, they don’t feel particularly next-gen (64 bit processor aside) and as Apple move to highlight the quality of the camera on the new iPad, the Nexus 9 shooter is stereotypically tablet - use only in an emergency. The quality issues are also a major concern.

     

    On the software side Lollipop has some great additions and the Google Apps look better than ever, but it is of course down to app developers to do a good job of supporting the tablet. Most of my core apps work well on the Nexus 9 (the material design version of Talon is a particular highlight), but the official Twitter app still sucks and Facebook on a tablet is basically an embarassment. Perhaps it is because of the 4:3 ratio, but I feel that scaled up phone apps do work better on the Nexus 9 than they do on ‘wide’ tablets such as the Nexus 10, but that’s really not a good enough experience in late 2014.

     

    I pledged to spend my hard earned on the tablet if HTC built it. Do I regret that statement? Not at all, i’d buy the Nexus 9 in an instant. But if other manufacturers follow the formula (which is likely what Google hopes) and release similarly sized devices, then the Nexus 9 might be knocked from it’s Android Tablet flagship perch rather quickly.

    • Android 5.0 Lollipop
    • 2.3GHz 64-bit NVIDIA Tegra K1 CPU
    • 192-core Kepler GPU
    • 16 GB or 32 GB ROM
    • 2GB RAM
    • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
    • LTE option
    • 1536 x 2048 8.9" IPS LCD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3
    • 8 Megapixel autofocus rear camera with flash, 1.6 Megapixel front camera
    • HTC BoomSound
    • 6700 mAh battery
    • 228.2 x 153.7 x 7.9 mm
    • 425g (WiFi) / 436g (LTE)
    • Indigo Black / Lunar White / Sand colour options

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Pricing looks similar ball park to Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1.  How do you think they compare (putting to one side the OS differences)?  Used a Tab Pro 12.2 and loved it.

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Thanks for the review Paul, interesting conclusions. Sadly this seems to be the most positive review I have seen so far. The verge, engadget, gizmodo, android police and a couple of others I read we're far more scathing suggesting a decent yet not amazing screen, decent but not amazing build, fairly weak or average battery performance, weak cameras and a device which essentially is not really worth the price tag especially when attempting to share a price bracket with the ipad. Also hoped lollipop would be the lag free ultra smooth android I seem to have waited my whole life for but again I feel this has fallen short.

 

Really quite disappointed to be honest, I was actually willing to entertain the idea of paying £400 (an incredible £80 more than the 16gb to get a paltry 32gb) for an android tablet but from reading the reviews i'll be getting an Nvidia shield I think or just waiting. in fact I would have just bought a hudl 2 if they guaranteed a lollipop update but that seems unlikely.

 

The saddest thing about it all is that it makes me realise that android tablets are still half baked and they are still not worth investing that much money in. The facebook app thing you mention as well is just criminal. As a big facebook user how can i justify spending £400 then end up being forced to use a blown up mobile app?

 

What amazes me about google is how year after year I get excited and expect great things from the nexus line and each time they fall short. It's also amazing how they are clearly attempting to challenge the iPad head on especially when you consider the size/price and then they release something so average and boring and unpolished at launch. Hearing reports of camera shutter delay, bending if you press the back plate, cheap feeling side buttons, slow when changing orientation, lagging OS etc. Fine on a £200 device, on a £400 one though with the stakes as high as they are, doesn't inspire confidence. Sounds like i'm highlighting just the negatives and having not actually been hands on I am being clearly presumptuous, it's just sad to hear reports like this when you see the price tag and consider the opportunity they had with HTC building it.

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Pricing looks similar ball park to Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1.  How do you think they compare (putting to one side the OS differences)?  Used a Tab Pro 12.2 and loved it.

I just don't get on with Android on that 16:10 screen ratio (and, obvs, TouchWiz but as you say we won't go there).

P

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Thanks for the review Paul, interesting conclusions. Sadly this seems to be the most positive review I have seen so far. The verge, engadget, gizmodo, android police and a couple of others I read we're far more scathing suggesting a decent yet not amazing screen, decent but not amazing build, fairly weak or average battery performance, weak cameras and a device which essentially is not really worth the price tag especially when attempting to share a price bracket with the ipad.

I think the screen is excellent but decent but not amazing build is a fair assessment. Any reviews of the battery are basically exceptionally misleading - the final software only dropped yesterday so how anyone can provide a fair and accurate assessment I really don't know.

Weak cameras? Yes, you need to decide if this matters to you.

The thing you have to remember about iPad comparisons is that many of us just don't want to buy an iPad, so comparing to what an iPad costs is basically irrelevant.

Also hoped lollipop would be the lag free ultra smooth android I seem to have waited my whole life for but again I feel this has fallen short.

See above re: software!

 

Really quite disappointed to be honest, I was actually willing to entertain the idea of paying £400 (an incredible £80 more than the 16gb to get a paltry 32gb) for an android tablet but from reading the reviews i'll be getting an Nvidia shield I think or just waiting. in fact I would have just bought a hudl 2 if they guaranteed a lollipop update but that seems unlikely.

The lack of a 64GB or even 128GB option is disappointing and the extra 16GB costs too much - the base model should be 32GB really. The 8.9" 4:3 screen is the seller on this for me.

 

The saddest thing about it all is that it makes me realise that android tablets are still half baked and they are still not worth investing that much money in. The facebook app thing you mention as well is just criminal. As a big facebook user how can i justify spending £400 then end up being forced to use a blown up mobile app?

That's one thing Google just can't control. I hope that with the move to material design, developers take the opportunity to improve the tablet experience in their apps, but time will tell.

 

it's just sad to hear reports like this when you see the price tag and consider the opportunity they had with HTC building it.

I agree 100% that Google have wasted the involvement of HTC on this device. It's like they designed it and just told HTC to build it. Hardware design is clearly not Google's forte. :)

P

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I just don't get on with Android on that 16:10 screen ratio (and, obvs, TouchWiz but as you say we won't go there).

P

I feel the opposite.  I hate 4:3 for reading stuff.  I like to read on things that are similar ratio to a piece of paper, so I always use my tablet in portrait mode when reading websites and books.  Landscape is great for video.

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I just end up with black bars reading magazines on other tablets.

See this screenshot of Readly on the N9 for example... just great.

P

04-Nov-2014_readlyn9.png

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I was previously using the MiPad, which was great, high res and 4:3, but the Nexus 9 is just spot on for my usage.

P

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I was previously using the MiPad, which was great, high res and 4:3, but the Nexus 9 is just spot on for my usage.

P

 

Yeah I actually agree with you that 4:3 8.9 inch is a perfect size for me. I found my nexus 7 just too small and didn't really enjoy web browsing on it at all.

 

The problem is that after reading these reviews I am still reluctant to spend £400 on the Nexus 9 and am essentially left with options which are not ideal.

 

I got my mum a Mipad a while back and i like the form factor and the screen a lot despite it being smaller, was considering it as a viable alternative. BUT after using it there are just some glaring deal breaking issues. Most notably the fact so many apps are incompatible or don't work properly.

 

Instagram: incompatible

4OD: Streams don't work at all

iPlayer Radio: Streams don't work properly

Archos Video Player: crash on start up.

 

The list goes on and on. I know I can side load APK's for incompatible apps but its annoying for updates. Also MIUI on mipad is still ropey and a bit unstable and to be honest i don't trust their engineers to smooth out problems without introducing new ones. Their OTA system for international roms doesn't work properly either. Then of course the huge elephant in the room, weather it will get lollipop, knowing xiaomi it will be a damn long time if at all.

 

Ideally wanted a stock experience and the guarantee of lollipop so the only option I am left with is the nVidia shield really. Which looks OK but it's a little chunky and would prefer 4:3. 

 

Just annoying really, did't think a stock rom, 5.0 update, 4:3 over 7 inches and a realistic price tag was too much to ask for but I appear to be wrong... 

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I find Nexus 7 is the perfect size for reading books on, and OK for browsing.  Also great for always throwing in a bag.

10" or 12" tablet is a bit heavy for reading books a lot, but perfect for browsing.  A bit heavy for always throwing a bag.

Phone is OK for both, but not ideal.  Fits in a pocket, no bag required.

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Just annoying really, did't think a stock rom, 5.0 update, 4:3 over 7 inches and a realistic price tag was too much to ask for but I appear to be wrong...

As I say at the end of the review, basically this is the tablet to go for RIGHT NOW, but if others build on the formula (e.g. Sony), there could definitely be a better option in the future.

P

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I find Nexus 7 is the perfect size for reading books on, and OK for browsing.  Also great for always throwing in a bag.

10" or 12" tablet is a bit heavy for reading books a lot, but perfect for browsing.  A bit heavy for always throwing a bag.

Phone is OK for both, but not ideal.  Fits in a pocket, no bag required.

A Nexus 7 is too close a size to my 5.2" Z3 for me.

P

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As I say at the end of the review, basically this is the tablet to go for RIGHT NOW, but if others build on the formula (e.g. Sony), there could definitely be a better option in the future.

P

 

Yeah lets hope so, still think manufacturers can do better. Sony are really showing android manufacturers the way at the moment but they need to seriously consider updating their skin, looks so tired and out of step with the material design goodness of Lolipop. 

 

Plus Nvidia just posted a video announcing lollipop will officially be hitting the shield this month! That may be too good to resist....with nvidia appearing to be bang on top of updates i'm finding it even harder to justify spending an extra £160 for 0.9 inches, 2mm slimmer and a 64bit cpu considering how often I update this stuff.

 

I know its a cliche to bang on about aswell, but why are there still very few if any metal backed android tablets from the big manufacturers? Why are android manufacturers just so reluctant to do it even on a high end product? I used to think it was a manufacturing restriction yet you can buy at least 2 or 3 different budget Prestigo tablets at maplin all with metal backs.

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THREE HUNDRED AND NINETEEN POUNDS, only 16GB... AND NO SD SLOT? 

You'd have to be clinically certifiable to consider one.

I agree with this. Lollipop has improved SD card support yet for some reason Google decided not to incorporate a microSD slot into the new Nexus devices. This is rather silly really as I think we can agree that 16GB (shared with the system of course) is too small for a tablet. 32GB is slightly better but that increases the price of the device to £399. 

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I agree with this. Lollipop has improved SD card support yet for some reason Google decided not to incorporate a microSD slot into the new Nexus devices. This is rather silly really as I think we can agree that 16GB (shared with the system of course) is too small for a tablet. 32GB is slightly better but that increases the price of the device to £399. 

As with a lot of things in life, depends on your needs.  We have 2 tablets in our household, a 16gb Nexus 7 1st gen and a 32gb Transformer Infinity.  Bother get used primarily for Kindle, browsing the web, emails, and the odd movie when on long trips.  For us, we've never gone close to filling either.

 

My phone, however, has a 64GB card in that holds all my music and I use that a lot.

 

Transferring the odd TV show or movie to the Nexus or Infinity isn't a big issue for us.

 

My Mum has a Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2, and when I got it for her and set it up I loved it (she doesn't want a PC, so a tablet made sense).  Feels really good to me.  Sure I could get another cheaper tablet, but I like the size and feel of the device for use around the house.  If I need to replace the Infinity, the Galaxy Tab line would be something I would look at first.  I'm sure other people hate the device for a variety of perfectly good reasons FOR THEM.

 

So if the Nexus 9 is the right size, weight, resolution, etc. for you and you don't need to have lots of media on your device - it could be perfect.

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... but £399? 

>_< Lol. I think I'd rather take a Hudl 2 and £270 in my pocket :P

 

That's fine for you.  Good that we have choices.

 

Apple's devices are a perfect example of people willing to pay more for a device that they prefer for whatever reason (may be fashion, may be aesthetics, may be a multitude of other reasons).  If someone has plenty of cash, then they will quite likely choose the device they like the most - "logic" often isn't part of the equation, just personal preferences.

 

I love my Galaxy S4.  I don't care about the plastic casing and back, which seems to annoy lots of people - I put it in a bumper case due to my butter-fingers.  I like it because it is a good size for me, I can plug in a nice MicroSD card to hold my music (and easily pop into another device if I want), things run well on it.  Aesthetics of the device itself are a much lesser consideration for me compared with the aesthetics of the way the device works.  I put Nova Launcher on it to remove the TouchWiz interface, and make it act like my Nexus 7 and Transformer Infinity.

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Not for me stick with xiaomi for a while, good read your a fan I see James hates it on the #hangouts :) each to there own

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I think for these prices I'd be looking at the nvidia shield.

 

Is that the K1 64 bit processor?

As we get 64 bit and can address more than 4gb of RAM you would think there would be a push to at least go past that, it's not like that is unthinkable, and as for the rest of the total storage when we are getting massive storage on usb sticks for tiny prices you would think it would be more reasonable.

 

What they should do is cut back the options and do one tablet with enough room to expand for any user.

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I bought the Nexus 9 to do 64-bit development and for that, I'm not disappointed. If I were spending $400 on a tablet and didn't care about using it for dev work, then I would be disappointed. Everything about it is mediocre (except for the speed). I tend to skip a generation of Nexus devices because the incremental changes are just not that impressive. This is the same reason I'm staying with my Nexus 5 and not upgrading to the Nexus 6.

 

In daily use, I find the N9 to be too heavy to hold comfortably for long periods of time. I really find that a tablet is mostly useless in my life. For consuming media I prefer my laptop hooked up to a large monitor. For casual/portable reading I prefer using my phone. The tablet just doesn't fit in between.

 

L.B.

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Nice to see a different perspective on the device (and tablets in general) bitbank.  I am curious what you are doing that benefits from specifically looking into 64-bit development?

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Nice to see a different perspective on the device (and tablets in general) bitbank.  I am curious what you are doing that benefits from specifically looking into 64-bit development?

The N9 is the first consumer device with a ARMv8 CPU and running a 64-bit OS. Google has not published a ARM64 emulator, so the N9 is currently the only way to write and test 64-bit ARM assembly language. I can and do develop 64-bit code on x86, but I'm an optimizer and I write code using intrinsics and native assembly language. When using SIMD/intrinsics/ASM code, I can almost always get at least 2X faster performance than the C compiler for imaging codecs and the other code that I work on. I originally bought a HTC Desire 510 in September to do testing on since it has a Qualcomm 410 (4x Cortex-A53), but HTC is sitting on their hands with the Lollipop upgrade, so I had to get the N9 for my testing.

 

L.B.

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