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The Nexus 9 is finally a tablet you should buy

We've reviewed a lot of devices here. More phones than I can remember. A whole bunch of tablets. But things got a little weird in the fall of 2014 with the release of the Motorola Nexus 6 and the Nexus 9 tablet. And the source of that weirdness was Android 5.x Lollipop. Or, more specifically, the initial builds of it — especially on the NVIDIA Tegra K1-powered Nexus 9. And to be fair, not everyone saw the same software problems we experienced. But for us, the Nexus 9 would essentially become unusable a couple weeks or so (if that long) following a fresh install.

Here's how I put things after three months with the Nexus 9:

The one telling thing about software on the Nexus 9 is just how poorly things start to run after a bit. We've talked about bugs. We've talked about encryption — which in Lollipop is turned on by default — taking longer to write to memory.I don't care what the reason is. It's simply unacceptable and is the sole reason why I can't recommend the Nexus 9.Reboots offer a temporary reprieve. But it doesn't take long before it can take six seconds or more between tapping on a notification and the corresponding application finally opening. You get used to it. You learn to grit your teeth and just wait. But it's not a good experience, at all.

That was from late January 2015. We're now in the summer months and we've got Android 5.1.1 (build LMY47X) on the Nexus 9. And things are much better.

Nexus 9 hardware, 8 months in

First, though, let's revisit the tablet itself. The Nexus 9 sports an 8.9-inch display — OK, 9 inches — with a 4:3 aspect ratio. That's a deal-breaker for some of us here, but I wasn't one of them. And while I very much enjoyed the smaller size and 16:9 aspect ratio of both Nexus 7 tablets, I quickly adjusted to the N9. I've watched movies and TV shows. Countless hours of YouTube. I've read books. I've played games. The Nexus 9 has always been pretty comfortable to hold, and I've either gotten used to the CPU heat I mentioned in my three-month look, or it's been helped some by software tweaks.

And as I also mentioned in January, the air gap I had in my early unit wasn't ever a big deal — and indeed it appears to have been minimized in later hardware runs.

I'm using the foldable "Nexus 9 Cover" on the Nexus 9. It's a $39 magnetic cover that only protects the display — and that means much of the tablet has been left exposed as it's been left bouncing around in my gear bag. After six months of abuse in this fashion I can say it's held up pretty well. I've got a few cosmetic issues — mostly with a protective plastic coating coming off the matte finish, and a few dings in other places — but nothing I wouldn't call expected wear and tear after this much time. Certainly none of it affects the operation of the tablet. (And after further inspection one trouble spot is at the micro USB port. Here's to hoping the next Nexus tablet is sporting the new reversible USB-C standard.)

The general consensus on the Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio, however, is that it's too cramped for any real daily use.

The cameras, for me, have mostly remained unused, save for some occasional Hangouts time. (But I tend to avoid video calls on Hangouts and instead use FaceTime with my family.)

As for battery life, the 6700 mAh Li-polymer battery easily gets me through a day. I generally plug in the tablet overnight (it lives on my nightstand while I sleep), so I'm not really missing wireless charging or anything. Elsewhere with the internals, I'm glad I've got the 32GB of storage – which to us should be the standard minimum now — and the 2GB of RAM seems adequate.

And that leads us to ...

Nexus 9 software: Finally, Lollipop isn't painful

Nexus 9

I've never really had a problem with the way Android 5.x Lollipop looked. Material Design is an excellent direction for Google as a whole, and mobile in particular. And for whatever reason I've always enjoyed having a more spartan UI on my tablets. (On phones I tend to put up with more junk. Go figure.) My last three tablets have all been of the Nexus variety, up to and including the Nexus 9.

But after a couple weeks of use, my Nexus 9 would grind to halt. A restart would help things a little, but soon enough apps would take a ridiculous amount of time to load. Switching between apps left enough time to boil an egg. (Or so it seemed.) Think of a basic function that you take for granted. Opening the app drawer. Hitting the back arrow. It all took way too long. And I still have no idea if that lag had anything to do with the full-disk encryption, just general software wonk, or what. As I said before, none of that really matters to me as a user.

So there was just no way in hell I could recommend the Nexus 9 to anyone.

That's changed with the Android 5.1.1 update. The Nexus 9 is now running exactly how I'd expect it to. And as an added bonus Google has begun fixing adjusting my other major gripe — interruptions and the way it handles muting a device. I still think having a proper mute action attached to the volume keys is a must, but at least we're back in the right direction. (And notifications are less of an issue for me on a device I don't keep in my pocket most of the day anyway.)

So with that, we're now happy to recommend the Nexus 9 as an Android tablet you should buy. The hardware has held up reasonably well to punishment, and the software has finally gotten up to our standards after the latest updates. If you're looking for a larger Android tablet, the Nexus 9 should now be in the conversation.

109 Comments
  • I was lucky to never have software issues, so it has been great since launch for me. I like the 4:3 ratio, it seems to work really well for surfing the web and I dont mind black bars while watching netflix and playing some games. I recently took the tablet on my first business trip ever and it did a great job of keeping me entertained in the evenings in my hotel room.
  • I didn't have any software issues until update to the Android N preview although I would get some hotness in the CPU area. After updating to the beta though, lag and freezing was so bad I had to roll back to Marshmallow with a factory reset. After that it was running smoother than ever.
  • As a Nexus 10 and an iPad Air 2 owner, and someone who had a Nexus 9 for less than a week and has a Surface 3 provided by my employer. I can say I personally love Android on my phones, but for tablets it just doesn't feel right. It still looks good and works fast, but its not nearly as optimized for the larger aspect ratios and screen size like iOS is. The Nexus 9 took Android tablets in the right direction form factor wise, but than overcharged for terrible plastic "quality" making the iPad Air 2 the better "bang for your buck". But the iPad Air 2 and both Nexus 9 and 10 can't compete with the productivity, speed and quality of a Surface 3 and other 8.1 hybrid tablet/laptop devices, but these cost nearly double sometimes! Still waiting for that perfect balance in this market! Posted from my HTC One M9 via Android Central App
  • How has been your experience with the Surface 3 so far? I intend to buy one soon, so I would greatly appreciate a feedback Posted via the One M9
  • I have a surface pro 3 and I love the thing to pieces. Can't wait to get Windows 10 on it. I'm assuming the 3 is pretty similar in experience. Just smaller and lighter. If I were choosing today I would probably go surface 3 since I already have a desktop for my heavy lifting. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Microsoft did a really good job with those 2 tablets. I want a Surface 3 to replace my Xperia Tablet Z, and I'm gonna buy a new spec-heavy laptop to replace the one I have, since the battery is failing me Posted via the One M9
  • Same I use it all the time Posted via the Android Central App
  • My girlfriend got a surface pro 3 and I think it's a pretty nice device as a laptop replacement. Seems a bit big for my preference to use as a content consumption device though. And I find it easier to use Android apps for a lot of what I do rather than the browser as windows apps really aren't quite to my liking. Posted via the Android Central App
  • @floriyann... I would wait month or two to buy a Surface Pro because the Surface Pro 4 should be out soon. There are rumors that it'll be released with Windows 10. I have the Surface Pro 3 for my work computer and I really like it for the most part. I have the docking station with a full size keyboard and mouse connected and 3 Dell U2414H monitors connected to it via DisplayPort daisy chaining... the productivity I have with this setup is absolutely great... I have the i7 512GB version and it runs everything I ran on my desktop before just as well. People talk about how the Surface Pro 3 is a 2 in 1 device, but nobody mentions the docking station which makes the Surface a 3 in 1 device (a tablet, laptop and desktop all in one). I don't care what anyone says... Android tables or iPads don't come anywhere close to the flexibility or the power of the Surface Pro 3 tablets. I made a quick video here showing the Surface Pro 3 connect to three external monitors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vI-c1_oS_hY The down side the Surface Pro 3 is not the best tablet... and it is not the best laptop... and it is not the best desktop. To use it solely as a tablet the Surface is a little on the large and heavy side. To use it solely as a laptop the screen is a little on the small side and the keyboard is not as good as a lot of ultrabooks out here. To use it solely as a desktop it runs too hot for very intensive tasks and doesn't have to video processing power of a dedicated graphics card... but if you're looking for one device to replace all 3 of these devices there's nothing else that comes anywhere close to the Surface Pro 3 with the docking station, especially in a work environment.
  • I have the exact same situation. Surface Pro 3 with the dock and multi screen setup and I agree with you completely. As a desktop/laptop it is great. Fast, thin and light. It sucks as a tablet though. The app store is basically useless and completing the simplest tasks is frustrating. Finding/checking notifications, finding settings or choosing WiFi is painful. It quickly makes you miss Android. Hopefully Windows 10 helps in this regard, but from my experience it still isn't a great. As laptop, the Surface Pro 3 is almost unbeatable. As a tablet it leaves something to be desired. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Do you find yourself wanting for app? Since you have a 12 inch screen I would think the surface would have the features most people need available as web sites or windows applications. I am very frustrated with mobile apps that have limited functionality versus there web site or full windows apps.
  • Overall, the Surface 3 is an excellent tablet. I am very pleased with the Surface 3. Link to a post on my blog concerning my Surface 3 observations:
    http://www.jimtravis.com/wordpress/?p=2444
  • I have a somewhat mirrored experience with the Nvidia Shield Tablet, which has a very similar processor and may be exactly why it is so similar. When the Shield first came out, it was pretty sluggish, didn't work right and prone to crashing - now, after the 5.1 update, it's like a completely different device, that runs smooth and fast and without issues. There is still a small bug with the OTG functionality of the Micro-USB Port but other than that - I can actually totally recommend it now!
  • I completely agree (and plan to write something about it for AC). The Shield Tablet was pretty quick with 5.0 but still experienced random bits of sluggishness at the most mundane tasks, just as Phil experienced on the N9. After 5.1, it's like a brand new tablet. Everything is so smooth it's amazing that this is the same hardware.
  • just upgraded my shield tablet to 5.1.1 and it fixed the optimizing apps on reboot and screen turning on when fully charged issues. I also found there is/was a recall for faulty battery and am waiting for a new tablet to show up (I have never had any problems with mine). love my shield, didn't love my Air 2 (tablet was great but Apple universe is not for me), and when my Asus laptop dies it won't be replaced. I upgraded my Dell desktop to Win 10, ran it for a while, then shut it off. I probably use my Android tablet 6 or more hours a day. the Samsung S2 will more than likely be my next purchase, but the dual boot Chinese tablets are starting to appeal.
  • Bought an lte version off eBay a few weeks ago, and it is working amazing. Battery life is a bit week, but the overall experience has been positive Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wow, how wonderful 8 months later and the software is almost all the way there. Plus you can still pay the original MSRP for the Nexus 9. Good grief, the Nexus 6 is now priced correctly but not the Nexus 9 - what the heck?! You can argue that the Nexus 6 is as good a phone as is available today. You can not argue that the Nexus 9 is as good or better than an iPad Air; unless you're simply an unabashed Android fanboy. Tablets are dying a slow death and an overpriced/undersoftwared Nexus 9 isn't helping.
  • My thoughts exactly. I love Android on the phone, but there still aren't any compelling apps for tablets. You can pick up an iPad Air refurb for like $300... So the Nexus 9 would be an okay deal for $250, maybe. You'd have to be crazy to pay $400. Also, for media consumption, it's a pretty bad deal anyway due to the lack of available/expandable storage. Last trip I took, I bought a Galaxy Tab S and big MicroSD and loaded it up with movies. I returned the Tab S because it is way overpriced and Android apps just don't work on 10" tablets, but it's still a better deal than the Nexus 9.
  • I don't think anyone said it was as good or better than the iPad Air. The primary reason I have an Android tablet instead of an iPad is because I'm invested in the Android/Google ecosystem and don't want to invest in another. I think the iPad is clearly superior in it's role purely as a tablet, but it's not enough for me to create additional accounts, install iTunes, and interrupt my workflow. Since that is the case, I'm thankful that there are Android tablet experiences are decent enough.
  • Amen for this. I'm not going to jump into an entire new ecosystem to get the current "best" tablet. I do a small amount of productivity stuff on it, and tons of games, videos, etc. I never had the major problems some folks have suffered, but I have seen faster responses and better battery life with 5.1.1. All in all, it is and has been a really good tablet, which just got better with age. Posted via Android Central App
  • I was the same, waiting for upgrade for months.. And even 5.1.1 didn't help me. When before 2 weeks Skype was unloaded from memory during the call after switching to another app my patient got over. I went to the shop to buy iPad Air 2 and put nexus into the box. I have never wanted Apple before and I was a big supporter of android but unfortunately Google has forced me to switch with this bad experience while tablet for almost 600 euro has been unusable. After almost 2 weeks wit iOS I can already say that it is not comparable. iPad is much more faster and stable, I am able to use it in every business without any issues. As I stated above I was really a big supporter of android and nexus, I have got several devices from them, but I would say that n9 has been the worst business I did in my whole life.
  • I love Android as much as anyone else here, but if it's bigger than 8" there's little point to having anything other than Windows on it at this point.
  • I have to agree, I've owned enough tablets to come to this conclusion as well.
  • Except there are actual tablets apps for Android. Windows is a huge pain on a tablet. There is no upside to a Windows Tablet other than being able to dock it and have a desktop. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Couldn't agree more. Dumped my 8" Samsung for an Acer 11.6" tablet with windows 8, and now Windows 10. Soooooo much better experience. It's like going from a toy to real computer. Everything works...flash video, MSOffice... Normal web browsing.....Windows 10 is solid... and basically ready for prime time. a great tablet experience.
  • I hated my N9 stuck with it for six months and then gave up on it. I knew they would eventually fix it but waiting that long put such a sour taste in my mouth I had to get rid of it. My Z2 was excellent from day one.
  • I personally feel ipad and Windows are much better optimized for tablets than Android even in the case of the Nexus 9. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I need more content from you Phil. Your co workers/employees are getting out of line. Posted via my Note 4...(AC App)
  • What do you mean?
  • I enjoyed the heck out of my Nexus 9. I did experience a small bit of the lag explained above as well as the hot spot on the back from the processor. But when the update came in, mine cleared up and was a joy to use. I carried it around with me from home to work and back. Until one day I completely forgot my Nexus 9 on the roof of the car (thought I had put it in my bag as I had intended to do). Well, getting onto the freeway, I heard the thump and the car next to me told me something fell off the car. I knew right away it was the Nexus 9 when I didn't see it sitting in the passenger seat nor felt it in my bag. When I got back around to it, a car or two or three had run over my Nexus 9 and shattered the screen. The tablet still turns on, but I can't unlock it since the touch sensors are all wacky. Local repair spots say they are not yet able to order replacement parts to fix it amd HTC wants $200...yeah, no.
  • I hope the original review gets updated to avoid confusion. That's something I don't like about web reviews. They always present someone's opinion at a snapshot in time when the device was first released. I could go read the Samsung S3 review now and think it was a fantastic phone which might seat my decision about getting it for $0 on a carrier plan. ( that's just an arbitrary example - and I havent actually read the review or looked for it on a plan - but you get my point) Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's an incredibly large undertaking to update reviews (think about how many dozens of devices we've reviewed in just the past few years), and no matter how often you update them, they're always going to be "out of date". The point of a review is to completely capture how a device works at that point in time, and that's why the reviews have time stamps so you know when they were first published. That's also why we do "xx months on" posts, update roundtables, as well as those like this one we're commenting on, here at AC for a variety of devices — to keep readers informed on how a device has progressed after it was released and reviewed.
  • I understand that completely. I have since done some more experimenting, simulating a new reader finding out about a given device. I discovered the way your site organises devices like with Androidcentral.com/nexus-9, simply searching for nexus 9 on your site or simply googling it. Surprisingly (to me) all three prominently show this new article which is very good for readers. The only and most important landing spot that doesn't have any link to the 3 month update or this one is the review itself which I think is even more important. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm in the market for a new tablet for the wife after her 2012 Nexus 7 became such a slow dog after update to Lollipop, even 5.1.1 so after that I'm a bit reluctant to look at the N9 but rather a Samsung TAB S 10" My main reservation with the TAB S is updates as my old TAB 2 10" got one update to 4.2.2 and that was it but it does run way better than her N7. I may take another look at the N9 as I've always like the Nexus line of products..
  • If you're looking to save money, the tab S 10.5 is going to atleast get 5.1.1 according to what I've read. It's on 5.0.2 right now. The tablet itself is phenomonal, but personally if I didn't have one I'd hold out for the Tab S2 or get the tab S 8.4 since portrait view is definately better on android regardless of size. the 10.5' aspect ratio just doesn't look right in portrait view, which is why I usually only use it in landscape
  • Just another reason to never be an early adopter, especially for nexus devices. Good to see they finally got most of the issues worked out. 
  • Too bad they haven't addressed the big issue of it being completely overpriced.
  • I agree .... Best thing to do if you really want one is wait for best buy to put on sale and buy open box .... Or Craigslist .... But still underlying issue is price .... Maybe if it was 32 GB and 64 GB for those price points but still bad .
  • Yeah it could probably use a $50 or $100 cut... and considering they did that with the Nexus 6 it'd be nice to see on the N9.
  • Well see it sometime in q3 I guess Posted via the Android Central App
  • I didn't have a lot of the issues in the earliest days; some lite bleed, but it's minimal and a non issue app pending. It was sluggish at times, but never unusable. The upgrades OS has really smoothed out the experience though - I'm really enjoying that! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I really wanted to like the Nexus 9. My Galaxy Note 10.1 is showing its age and I wanted to replace it. I had a terrible experience with the Nexus 7, but thought I'd give the Nexus 9 a go. The charger for the first one stopped working within an hour or so and it kept hanging, requiring a reboot to get it to do anything. Google shipped a replacement but there are two dead pixels right in the middle of the screen. I'm really disappointed in how poorly Nexus tablets are made and would agree that Android on a tablet just isn't a great experience. I really, really can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm very much considering an iPad.
  • Well, being an owner of both a Nexus 9 and an iPad Air 2 I can say that the latter one gives a way more satisfactory feeling. The N9 is a nice tablet but it's nowhere near an Air2.
  • I'd like an iPad - the hardware's fantastic, and I like the large screen multitasking gestures - but I just can't get my head around iOS. I think it's mainly the file system thing.
  • I still haven't figured out what problem a tablet solves in my life. I mean the occasional game that works better on a larger touch device, but that's about it. My N5, rmbp 13 (work dev), and Razer Blade (play dev, gaming) are all I need. I don't see a need for tablets to exist, but that's just my opinion.
  • I got mine a week ago with the expansys deal that you guys posted and I love it.
    I use it mostly for gaming, photo editing and Web browsing.
    I don't know how fast it was when it was 1st sold but now on 5.1.1 its very fluid. If anything I think it's mostly an android 5.0 issue (the 1st lollipop firmware for my old Z2 wasn't great either) Z3+ dual sim
  • What about the Nexus 10? Posted via the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 running Lollipop 5.0.1 on the T-Mobile Network.
  • If you are after desktop like productivity, nothing beats a windows Surface tablet. As much as i love Android, when you put a windows Surface tablet next to an android tablet it is like comparing a child's toy computer vs a real laptop. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The mostly negative reviews the N9 got prompted me to go with an iPad Air in the fall. I like it a lot, so I'm happy with my decision, but I'm happy the N9 finally has its act together. Posted via the Android Central App
  • As an android "fanboy" I think you made a good decision on the iPad Posted via the Android Central App
  • This gives me a little hope, which I have had each update followed by it being dashed to peaces, but maybe it won't take 10 to 15 sec to respond offer input is made on my nexus 7 (2012). So far lollipop has killed this tablet for me. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It would be nice if the update actually worked with a stock device. Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm waiting for another Nexus 7" tablet.
  • Would loved a beefed up spec nexus 7 with front facing speakers. 
  • Me too
  • I'd love an 8 - 8.3 inch version, those front facing speakers, and a return to a 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Sadly , this mirrors my experience with the Nexus 10. It is finally usable with lollipop now. It and the less than stellar reviews of the N9 have kind of soured me on Google tablets.
  • I wish the HTC Nexus 9 would have received Blinkfeed for download.
  • Nope. It's a nexus device and Blinkfeed is exclusive to Sense 5 and up. You can always find methods of installing Sense Home if you want Blinkfeed but trust me: you do NOT want a phone optimized launcher running on the Nexus 9 Posted via the Android Central App
  • I love my original Nexus but my Nexus 7 FHD has mostly been collecting dust for the past few months. Although it is better spec wise, I have had constant performance and stability problems with it. I know its a software problem because even after a factor reset and firmware upgrade it still crashes in the same way. It has gotten to the point that I switched to a Tab S and all of its laggyness.
  • I'd say you are better of with the Dell 7840 certified return with the same warranty as new, paid $185 for mine and it smokes the Nexus 9. I've had 3 N9's and was very underwhelmed with each one. I'd dare say that I preferred the LG G Pad GPE over the N9 Posted via the Android Central App
  • I like the aspect ratio. Other than that it's a $200 tablet at this point.
  • Just picked up one for my son to replace his N7, what a great tablet!
  • Not to mention that it supports the Dell Active Stylus (used for the Dell Venue 8 Pro) including palm rejection and erase function. It was discovered on XDA Forums, but not listed anywhere on Dell's site.
  • Agree completely, I had the Nexus 9 for a few months, held out for 5.1 hoping it would fix its horrible issues. It improved things but only made it less bad! Got shot of it and got the Dell and haven't looked back, great device.
  • Picked one up w/ coupon for just shy of $230 to my door. Had one previously but was tired of waiting for Lollipop to rollout so I returned it. Build quality is right up there with the iPad, battery life is great, killer screen, and is ridiculously thin. Not getting burning hot when playing a game is a plus too. Chin aside, this is the tablet to get if you can find a deal. Info on pen support:
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/dell-venue/general/dell-venue-8-7840-sec... Posted via the Android Central App
  • I just can't get over having a speaker on one side of the tablet only. My current has the speakers all the way down at the bottom, and it drives me crazy when it's in landscape orientation when I'm watching video
  • I've had 4 of them so far (all returns/exchanges), horrible backlight bleed and constantly getting quite warm in comparison to other tablets. Along with cosmetic issues such as the back being a bit "bendy". The only benefit to it is that it is a Nexus.
  • Like many others here, my experience has been pretty much identical to Phil's. The lag was a real annoyance, especially when compared to my N5 and N7, but I really do like the extra-sharp screen. Now that it's working as well as the others, I like it much better. It's still small enough to travel well, and I usually take both the N7 and N9 on trips so my wife can use the N9. Two areas I disagree with Phil: 1) ASUS should have included wireless charging. I was stunned when I put it on the charger and nothing happened. Granted, I should have read the specs, but I just thought since the N7 had had wireless since July 2013, all future Nexus devices would just follow suit. 2) While there's nothing wrong with the 4:3 form factor, whenever I'm watching anything on the N9, the black bars remind me that the picture COULD be bigger and more enjoyable IF we had a 9-inch 16:9 form factor. Constantly reminding me.... Still love the N7, btw.
  • Someone tell me if Google is going to make a 2015 Nexus 7...
  • Nothing even rumory in those respects.
  • Huawei and LG are rumored to be working on Nexus devices. Probably one Nexus 5 and... ?
  • I have a N9 and it runs like a champ. No issues whatsoever. I do prefer a smaller design, which is why I have Shield Tablet and a G Pad 8.3 GPE that I just scored from Swappa. Will probably sell the N9, but I love the display. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Phil, I agree with most of your recommendations, but the Nexus 9 is still not a good tablet. Browsing with Chrome still heats the tablet up quickly and drains the battery at an epic rate. The I/O speeds are still abysmal when the Play store is updating apps, and lastly the build quality is still not near the price this device commands. Google should have used a Tab S as a Nexus device, at least the build quality although plastic is still leaps and bounds better than the Nexus 9 and let's face it the Tab S Screen is crazy good, I can only imagine what the device would be with a pure version of Android.
  • Here, here.... I love both of my tab s's. Why google didn't use those as nexus devices make no sense. I have used a N9, I still prefer my N10. It's smooth as silk on 5.1.1. Not clunking like that N9 I won't buy anything with nvidia gpu's. Seems to be nothing but problems Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'll third that. I've got a Tab S Pro 8.3. While I really hate the physical buttons, the Touchwiz software, and the placement of the speakers to one side of the screen, I've got to admit that Samsung makes amazing looking displays. It's the only reason I haven't sold my tablet yet.
  • I'm willing to admit that the Nexus 9 is a beautiful peace of hardware if at all bland looking. The software has always been a strong point and has been the most enticing to me. The one sour note would still have to be the price tag. Even after significant price drops it's still too expensive to be a nexus. The great price points have always resulted in high demand and great sales numbers for nexus devices. With the hefty price tag it's wearing now I'm willing to bet that there are still only a few people willing to shell out the cash besides die hard pure android fans and developers. The nexus 5 and 7 were in the hands of everybody and their sister and grandparents knew of them. Having a much smaller profit margin may have been a smarter move for HTC and/or Google. This was proved right not only with recent startup OEM's like OnePlus but every other previous nexus product Posted via the Android Central App
  • I like my Nexus 9 also got it for $180 on EBay, but only 16 GB Posted via the Android Central App
  • I would love to see an eventual comparison between this, the likely better Dell Venue 10, and the new (and seemingly well received so far) Asus Chromebook Flip 10 inch Chrome OS convertible.
  • Not for me at this point, I'm waiting for Samsung's Tab S2. I've grown to profoundly dislike on-screen buttons, and Samsung's Amoled screens are simply unbeatable. Hopefully they will be smart enough to keep expandable storage too.
  • Coming from an iPad and full iOS user, I love my Nexus 9. However even with the 5.1.1 update I still get those UI lags that you refer to.
  • I gave up ages ago. I like how they've decided to fix it now that. It's almost time for it to be replaced. Idiots. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly. It's inexcusable that Google should wait this long to fix a problem with a nexus device. They have some of the best programmers and developers in the world. Why is their OS always half baked and only usable by the time another major release is coming ? Fix what you have Google Posted via the Android Central App
  • That first pic with the yes-I-actually-use-this-thing gouge in the back cover is awesome. It's a nice reminder to us that AC staff actually have to get stuff done with technology and aren't just staring at it marveling at how shiny it is. Plus, chicks dig scars.
  • Chicks may dig scars but swappa buyers won't. As much as I'm relatively alright with cosmetic damage (though I tend to gripe about any blemish on my devices for a bit), resale value dips down for every single case of wear and tear Posted via the Android Central App
  • This device is definitely on my "one of these days" list. Although, by the time I'm actually ready to buy it, we'll probably be looking at whatever device replaces it. :-) In the meanwhile, I'm limping myself along by "very roughly approximating the experience of owning a Nexus 9" with an old HP Touchpad running Cyanogenmod12 (Android Lollipop 5.0.2 - using the Google Now launcher). Now that I have a stable build on it, it actually works really surprisingly well! There's some slowness (now I know what Sonic the Hedgehog would've played like on Super Nintendo) :-) , and there are a few apps that register as incompatible (unfortunately, among them are the new Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps that I'd really want). The screen is certainly not as good as the newer devices, but it's fine (and the built-in speakers are actually really good for a tablet). Big picture, it's a really solid experience! So solid, in fact, that it pushes the Nexus several rungs down on a priority list that also includes a cheap iPad mini (to be replaced with a high end iPad Air 2 later), a cheap Chromebook (to be replaced with a higher end Chromebook later), a PSVita and a NOT cheap Windows 10 gaming PC. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm a multi-platform guy (Google, Apple, Microsoft, Ubuntu, Nintendo, and PlayStation), and want to have myself as close to "fully immersed" in each ecosystem as I can be short of winning the lottery, or saving up for like 5+ years, and then going out and buying a ton of devices all at once. Since I don't have a gaming worthy PC, and since I have nothing in the way of iOS or Chrome devices, and since Vita is the only one left for me to get to have the complete set of 7th and 8th gen console/handheld gaming platforms, those all take priority over the Nexus. As far as why I want to spend money on cheap iPads and Chrome now, rather than saving up for good ones? It's all about getting my foot in as many doors as I can as quickly as I can. Once I have that cheap iPad and Chromebook, the pressure's off, like it is with my Android situation, and I can plan and scheme for the higher end replacements later. I'm in the same boat with Windows 2-in-1s. I have a perfectly suitable Nextbook Flexx 11 that will do me til I can get enough coin scraped up for a Surface. And that Surface is probably an even lower priority than the Nexus, to be honest, as satisfactory as I find the Flexx. I don't know, once I have all the cheap things, I can worry about figuring out the priority order of the finer things later (beyond that the gaming PC is definitely first.) Posted via the Android Central App
  • I guess this all springs from the fact that to varying (and fluctuating) degrees, I have a measure of love for all these platforms, and have never been good at making "A or B" decisions. The only answer that generally works for me is "A and B", or to invoke a currently popular meme, "¿Por que no los dos?" - only for me it's "¿Por que no los todos?" :-) Yeah, this is nothing new for me. It's the way it's always been as my console gaming collection demonstrates. Among the 30, 35 game consoles I have ranging in age from a mid 70's off-brand Pong clone to the current gen systems, I have ALL of the major US systems, several of the more minor US systems and even a few Japanese systems (including the afore mentioned Pong Clone - "APF-TV Fun", to be exact). But I'm less a collector, and more a hoarder. I don't have them to have them, per se, I have them to have access to all they offer. And I suppose this Apple, Google, Ubuntu, Windows thing is just a new manifestation of that same tendency. Here we go again! :-D Posted via the Android Central App
  • Google is supposed to be trying to attract DAW companies and I certainly find MAGIX Music Jam on android is much easier to use on a tablet, but it needs loads of space and there just isn't enough hard drive space in their tablets yet.
  • Google should have never trusted HTC for a nexus tablet. HTC has a bad rep in tablets in the past. This is their first reattempt in years for a reason.
  • I had very similar issues with my 9 not too long after I bought it. I was regretting my purchase and it was too late to return it. So I lived with it. Then came the "savior" update to 5.1.1. Not much better in my opinion, so I went searching for help. I was told to try a cache partition wipe. So that I did. Still not much help. Then was told to do a factory reset. I resisted this for a long time as I didn't want to set up my tablet all over again. I finally had had enough and did the factory reset. Wow, what a difference it made. Well worth all the time and trouble of setting it up as before. Now I finally love my 9 and don't regret my purchase.
  • I was planning on buying an iPad Air 2 a couple of weeks ago but my laptop suddenly stopped functioning so I thought "I'm not gonna be able to do much with an iPad Air if I don't have a functioning computer with iTunes installed". The only other tablet that interested me was the Nexus 9, so I went ahead and bought a 16 GB version. I don't have much experience with Android on tablets (I've been using my dad's iPad for a couple of weeks since my laptop broke) and I am surprised by how awesome the Nexus 9 is. It's pretty much a Nexus 5 stretched out to 8.9 inches, but it is just perfect for watching YouTube videos, reading and for social media. There aren't as many apps optimized for the Nexus 9 as there are for the iPad, sure, but all the apps I care about are either optimized for the Nexus 9 or have alternatives that are optimized. I don't even think I need a computer anymore at this point. I can gladly say that I'm happy about my purchase. I just need to get the keyboard cover for it now. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The light bleed in the two I tried and ultimately returned was astonishingly bad. The tablet, as a whole, was just poorly designed and made in my opinion. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Use the N9 with keyboard folio every day. It's great.
    Im 6 foot with largish hands (use the N6 no worries) and I find typing just fine. It's a learning curve, fof sure, but it works for me. It's not a 'laptop' replacement, but if you use desktops or 15-17 inch laptops, it's a great addition. I do most of my emails, first drafts, editing, reading, social and gaming on it.
    The main issue I have is uploading content to sites which is a bit slow compared to a decent laptop. I get that it's not everyone's cup of tea but as someone who likes to lay around on the couch and work instead of sitting at a desk it's lightweight enough to be comfortable, and the heat is away from you lap. The two positions are surprisingly versatile. Not saying there aren't problems. Still can't get the latest update, and mouse support is a bit dodgy sometimes, but I work around it by using a cheap stylus with a metal band that can connect to four or five different spots on the folio and tab. I also own the magic cover which is good for cleaning the screen and fits in the folio for extra protection while travelling. Also can set up the tab on a pile of books and use the keyboard like a mini desktop (or use a full size keyboard) From a productivity perspective, I like the focus that apps bring (no 100 tabs issues). Buy I still need a traditional desktop for final touches. My work day
    N9 - 50%
    N6 - 25%
    15 inch laptop - 25%
  • Not a fan of the 4:3 ratio, would of been nice to of been able to look at it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I really want one, but I've got a Nexus 6 and love it, so much so that my Nexus 7 has been collecting dust. The Nexus 9 would offer substantially more screen real estate but I'd worry I wouldn't use it enough to justify the price. Posted via Android Central App
  • I had the same thought when they first announced it, but to be fair, 4:3 feels better for web page browsing and viewing documents which is what I usually do with mine. Yes, black bars suck on media, but it really is not THAT bad that it makes the device undesirable. A tradeoff really. I say give it a shot if you can.
  • I only had my nexus 9 for a couple of weeks until the poor build quality caused me to send it back. The screen had a light band that was about 1/2 inch wide running the full length of the screen. The buttons wobbled when you pressed them. The back was starting to discolor from heat. The software seemed fine. All of this might. have been OK at 350 USD, but not at 500 I love my nexus 7 and like the iPad air 2. But, after playing with a Surface 3 pro I am thinking of giving the Surface pro 4 a hard look. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Will give this a consideration now
  • Price is why I went with a 64gb iPad Air 2. Got it onsale for $399 on black friday.
  • While the software hiccups were annoying, my Nexus 9 has been a great experience overall and got a lot better over time with 5.1.1. Great battery life, a beautiful screen, nice size for portability, great FF speakers, and I have not has a bad of a time with the build quality concerns like others (granted mine is in a folio case). I definitely recommend. This tablet has gotten a bad rap it did not deserve as much since day 1.
  • I'm so glad that this is now a recommended tablet... because my nexus 9 was just stolen out of my car last night... I get to buy it again! Hoorrrraayyyyyy! Also, android device manager is kind of useless for a wifi only tablet, isn't it?
  • I've been waiting for a deal on this ever since I missed the Best Buy deal. The Expansys deal is still available, believe it or not. The lack of a US warranty and a less than easy return policy is the only this that is making me hesitate...
  • I was an early adopter on the N9 and while I loved it for many reasons, it just didn't seem quite good enough to justify the price. My experience with it since then has been good, not great. I'm now considering selling it and picking up either a Chromebook (Toshiba 2 probably) or a Surface 3. Need to have a computer around the house, and the N9 doesn't cut it. Any recommendations or things I should consider? I'm super deep in the Google ecosystem and have no need for Office apps.
  • I am an old nexus lover.
  • Phil, I really wish you would have spent some time with multiple user accounts before posting this. If you had, you wouldn't be praising it. The tablet still slows to a crawl when two usershave logged in
  • Nexus Phones and Tablets are now on sale only at NexusPhoneDeals:com
  • I came across this follow up review looking for new Nexus tablet rumours, basically none are to be found. I can't believe Google didn't announce any new tablets, I'm holding out for one.
  • Not now, Google seems to be dropping support for Nexus tablets after 3 years, so getting this now leaves you only 2 years. Advice? Wait for the next one. Update: Well that advice was for if you were upgrading. If you don;t have one this is fine for an existing purchase, but if you want to upgrade because your Nexus 7 2012 just got support dropped, then a tablet that is 1 year into it's 3 year life, not so smart an upgrade.