The HTC 'Volantis' could be the last Google Nexus tablet

Specs have leaked for an 8.9-inch HTC made tablet, rumoured to be the next Google Nexus.

nexus-9-volantis.jpg
A 'cleaned up' version of the leaked Volantis image made by Android Police. Android Police

Rumours have been flying for some time now that HTC is making the next Google Nexus tablet, with industry insiders tipping that it might come with an 8.9-inch screen, matching the latest offerings from Apple and Amazon. This seems to be supported by specs and photos leaked to Android Police over the weekend.

Codenamed the 'Volantis' the 8.9-inch tablet is 7.9mm thick, weighs in at 418g (or 427g for the LTE version), is constructed with an aluminium frame and, perhaps most importantly, has a giant Nexus logo on the back in the leaked photos.

The spec sheet points to a rather impressive device. There's a Tegra K1 processor packed in and the screen is 2,048x1,440 with a 281 ppi and a 4:3 aspect ratio. Forward-facing stereo speakers, an eight megapixel rear camera and 2GB of RAM round out the rest of the specifications.

Of course, it's always wise to be wary of "unnamed sources". The Verge notes that the image supplied to Android Police looks remarkably like a stretched out Nexus 5 (made by LG) and certainly the white back seems more plastic than aluminium.

There's also the fact that Google seems set on discontinuing the Nexus program. Multiple sources are saying that the company will scrap the Nexus line in favour of Android Silver -- high-end devices from a variety of manufacturers that will adhere to a strict Android experience. This sounds a little like the Android Play Editions of phones such as the HTC One, but is apparently set to go further, with LG and Motorola tipped to offer the first Silver devices.

That could conceivably still leave time for one more Nexus device, although Android Police reports that the Volantis is set for a Q4 2014 release, timed with the next iteration of Android, which might put it a little late in the game.

Still, the rumour has a lot of detail: there's even pricing. Apparently a 16GB Volantis will cost $399 (AU$425, £234) and the 32GB will sit around $499 (AU$531, £293). The LTE version could cost significantly more.

Google I/O kicks off this week, running from June 25-26 in San Francisco. We'll be keeping a keen eye out for any additional information about the Volantis/Nexus 9 or the Android Silver program. Until then, this rumour might need a grain or two of salt to help wash it down.

 

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