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CNET First Look
Google Nexus 9 is a premium no-frills Android tabletThe solid and simple addition to the Nexus tablet family runs the latest Android Lollipop 5.0 OS
[MUSIC] The Google Nexus 9 is undeniably one of the best Android tablets out there, but is it the best? I'm Xlomara Blanco for CNet, let's take a closer look. In partnership with Google HTC manufactured the Nexus 9 and it looks rather average. I was underwhelmed by its design, though its still a solid piece of hardware with a premium feel. It has a pair of front facing speakers, headphone jack on the top edge, and micro USB ports on the bottom. The power button and volume rocker on the top right corner are almost flush to the tablet's edge and are tricky to find without looking. Though it's slightly lighter than the iPad Air 2 it's noticeably girthier. It's rounded edges make it comfortable to hold and the smooth matte finish on the back feels good against your fingertips while providing a soft grip. It houses a speedy in video tegra k1 system on chip with 2 gigabytes of ram and 16 gigabytes or 32 gigabytes of internal storage. With no expandable storage option. The 8.9 inch rocks a 2048 by 1536 pixel resolution and HD video looks visibly sharp with life like color. However the displays 4 by 3 aspect ration adds to letterboxing when watching wide screen video. It's the first tablet to run Android Lollipop 5.0 and the first operating system is one of the Nexus 9's best features. The revamped user interface is draped in cool grays and blues, with trendy flat icons and a stationary Google search bar on the home screens. Considering its speedy specs, the Nexus Nine delivers with fast performance. Large games load within seconds. And even when many apps are open in the background, it chugs along unphased. I encounter some apps and games that consistently lagged and crashed. But it's more likely because they're not optimized for Android 5.0 yet. The eight megapixel rear camera is impressively sharp, though the native camera app is rather bare bones. And the 1.6 megapixel front-facing shooter is a little fuzzy in focus, yet produces well-exposed photos with realistic colors. The tablet starts at $3.99 for a 16 gigabyte model and is available in 4G LTE capable versions. Ultimately, determining the best tablet depends on your unique needs, and there isn't a one size fits all slate. With that said, those looking for a premium pure Android tablet, should definitely put the Nexus 9 at the top of their list. So check out my full review for more information. I'm Xiomara Blanco, and this has been the first look at the Google Nexus 9 Tablet.