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Nexus 9 now on sale

Google's latest tablet, built by HTC has landed on a number Google Play stores around the world with prices starting at $399.

gadgets Updated: Nov 04, 2014 11:41 IST

Google's latest tablet, built by HTC has landed on a number Google Play stores around the world with prices starting at $399.

Anyone who owns an HTC One smartphone knows that the company knows a thing or two about design and with its first tablet for a number of years HTC has quite rightly decided to educate those who may not be familiar with its work as to its aesthetic capabilities.

Although not quite up there with the iPad Air in terms of premium materials and obsessive attention to detail, the Nexus 9 does have a proper quality feel, thanks to its metal frame and a soft-textured plastic rear casing and the whole thing is only 7.95mm thick.

It's also an interesting form as it's the first Nexus tablet to sport a 4:3 aspect ratio display rather than the more cinematic 16:9 ratio. So it's squarer than other Android tablets and not quite optimized for Hollywood Blockbuster playback.

HTC Nexus 9. Photo: AFP

But that's a good thing because it is instead optimized for pretty much everything else. The aspect ratio is better for multitasking, and for typing without obscuring the screen. Unsurprisingly, it's the same aspect ratio that Apple uses for its tablets.

As well as display ratio, the Nexus 9 is also the first Android device to come out of the box running Lollipop, the latest and most advanced version of Google's smartphone and tablet operating system.

Other features that consumers will actually appreciate include a very decent rear-facing 8-megapixel camera complete with LED flash and stereo front-facing speakers that use HTC's BoomSound Technology to compensate for their diminutive size. Powering everything is a pretty serious 64-bit Nvidia K1 Processor that is good enough for some notebooks, so speed won't be an issue.

The Nexus 9 with 16GB of memory, with a black or a white rear panel is available to order for $399 (€399) in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, South Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Switzerland.

A 32GB version will cost $479 and could be worth the extra money as like all Nexus devices, the Nexus 9 doesn't have a memory card slot for storage expansion.