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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Tablets

Nexus 9 tablet makes entrance on Google Play

The Wi-Fi-only version is available, but you'll have to wait if you'd rather own the LTE edition.

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The Nexus 9 is the first device to offer the Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system. Josh Miller/CNET

Tablet buyers looking for the new Nexus 9 can now purchase the Wi-Fi version on Google Play.

The Nexus 9 is available in black or white, with the 16GB edition selling for $399, £319 or AU$479, and the 32GB version for $479, £399 or AU$589, although that version is showing as sold out in the UK.

The 8.9-inch tablet will be "coming soon" in sand color and as a 4G LTE model, according to Google Play. The 32GB LTE model will sell for $599, £459 or AU$719.

The first device to run Google's new Android 5.0 Lollipop mobile operating system, the Nexus 9 is available 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, according to Android Central.

Manufactured by HTC, the Nexus 9 is powered by a 64-bit 2.3GHz Nvidia K1 processor and sports a 2,048x1,536-pixel screen. Instead of the usual 16:9 aspect ration, the Nexus 9 adopted a 4.3 ratio, similar to that of Apple's iPad. An 8-megapixel camera with LED flash is on the rear, while a 1.6-megapixel camera faces front.

Buyers will also find a pair of stereo speakers on the front outfitted with HTC's BoomSound technology, along with microphones on the top and bottom of the tablet. Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC (near-field communication) tech come along for the ride.

Google is offering a Keyboard Folio as an accessory for $129 or £110. When closed, the folio acts as a protective cover. When open, it functions as a full keyboard that pairs with your tablet via Bluetooth.

Android 5.0 Lollipop brings a new design motif to Google's mobile OS. Adopting a new aesthetic called Material Design, the latest Android version offers brighter, richer colors with shadows to give the illusion of greater depth. Other features licking off Lollipop include a new notification setup, enhanced multitasking, and a new battery saver mode, according to Google Play.

With a screen size of 8.9 inches, the Nexus 9 finds itself plopped in the middle between traditional 7-inch-screen tablets and larger devices typically with display sizes of around 10 inches. As such, the Nexus 9 could offer competition to both of Apple's latest slates: the iPad Mini 3 with a 7.9-inch screen and the iPad Air 2 with a 9.7-inch screen.