Google's Nexus tablet is now bigger in size and price Weight: 425g | Dimensions: 228.2 x 153.7 x 8mm | OS: Android 5.0 | Screen size: 8.9-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Dual-core 2.3 GHz | RAM: 2GB |Storage: 16/32GB | Battery: 6700 mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera:1.6MP +ves - neg Ideal Aspect Ratio (4:3) Slightly me more expensive than previous versions OS – Android 5.0 Lollipop Display quality is below top standards

The Nexus 9 is a bit of a strange one - it's both the replacement for the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10, without really being a sequel to either thanks to the all-new 8.9-inch screen.

For the eagle eyed among you, you may notice it's jumped up a place in our rankings. That's because it can now be picked up for around £210, making it highly affordable. It'll likely be replaced in the next month when Google launches a new tablet - but for now it's a good steal.

It's mirroring the iPad range by going for a 4:3 screen ratio (which means wider viewing for web browsing, but annoying black bars above and below when watching movies!) so this means you’ve got a wider device that's not quite able to be gripped in one hand.

But that doesn't mean it's not a great tablet, helped by the fact it's also made by HTC. The brand has brought over its Boomsound speakers for greater front facing audio, and the screen is certainly and a good high resolution too.

When it comes to the new specs, I'm talking about the latest Nvidia 64-bit processor, a decent 2GB of RAM, dual front-facing speakers and a decent battery to keep it all up and running for a little over nine hours.

Even with those internal specs, Nexus 9 has a hard time measuring up to theiPad Air 2 in almost every category. Its own Android competition includes theSamsung Tab S, which flanks Google's 9-inch option with 10.5- and 8.4-inch sizes, and the sleek Sony Z3 Tablet Compact.

What Nexus 9 has going for it more than hardware is the fact that it's the biggest and so far one of the few ways to drive headfirst into the Android 5.0 Lollipop update along with the Nexus 6. Even better, it's been upgraded to Android 5.1.1 and will be among the first with Android M later this year.

It's about time HTC engineered a Nexus tablet or any modern-day tablet for that matter. After all, the crafty designers at the company brought us the polished-looking HTC One M9.

No surprise, the Nexus 9 includes a metallic frame around the perimeter of this larger device. It's nice as long as you don't expect that all-metal design to continue around back.

Even though the all-metal design wasn't carried over from the HTC One M8, at least the powerful BoomSound speakers point the audio in the right direction and sound just as good as on the phone.

The speakers slots don't have me worried, though. It's the lack of a micro SD card slot that is the biggest design omission. There's no expandable storage whatsoever, meaning the 16GB model is going to be a tough sell if you use even a little bit of non-streaming multimedia.

I've actually come to expect this on many Android tablets (although usually the mid-range ones), so once again, the extra cost of the 32GB model is the only way to safeguard yourself from larger apps or big HD movie libraries.

The Nexus 9's battery life actually bests that of the iPad Air 2, giving Google's tablet a rare win in the annual Android vs iPad slate comparison.

Its 6,700 mAh battery is rated up to 9.5 hours of Wi-Fi browsing and movie playback. The iPad Air is supposed to get 10 hours when performing the same exact tasks and teardowns have revealed that Apple squeezed in a 7,340 mAh battery.

At full brightness, our Nexus 9 battery tests concluded that a 90-minute Full HD video took the battery life down to 82% from its original 100% charge. That's a small 18% drop-off that the iPad Air 2 just didn't match. Apple's device went down 21% (to 79%) while running the same 90-minute video.

In other real-world testing, the Nexus 9 lasted a day and a half before I needed to recharge it.

Battery life is less of an issue on a tablet than a smartphone, and the Nexus 9 is no slouch.

I was able to get stream a full HD-quality movie during a 90-minute flight, surf the internet and play a game on a 45-minute train commute and edit documents during a 20-minute Uber ride.

Planes, trains and automobiles - and I still had close to 50% battery life at full brightness.

Gaming obviously depleted the battery faster than the typical browsing and movie watching, so, while traveling, I retired from Real Racing 3 more quickly than I would have normally.

Google went from incremental updates like Android 4.4 KitKat to the fullAndroid 5.0 with Lollipop, and the new operating system is pre-installed on the Nexus 9. This was the first device on which you could play with all of its new features, though it's starting to trickle out to other devices now.

OUR VERDICT

Google Nexus 9 is an 8.9-inch upgrade to last year's Nexus 7 and a great introduction to Android Lollipop. It just doesn't measure up to the iPad Air 2 in more ways than one.

nuxus nuxus1