Google’s latest tablet, built by HTC, is now available for purchase at some retailers — and based on early reviews — it’s worth buying.
The Nexus 9, which has a 8.9-inch screen and runs Google’s latest Android operating system, called Lollipop, can be purchased at Best Buy or directly from Google on its Google Play store, reports AndroidPolice.com.
The tablet is still listed as a pre-order at Amazon, and visitors to BestBuy.com will have to pick it up in the store when purchasing it online. In other words, it is not available for shipping.
The $400 Nexus 9 is receiving high praise, with BusinessInsider, revealing that it “feels like the first real high-end tablet to join the Nexus lineup. Its design feels elegant and durable, the screen is super sharp, and its a pleasure to use.” Likewise, Engadget calls it a contender, but that HTC fell short of knocking it out of the park: “On the one hand, Android 5.0 Lollipop is refreshing, what with its snappiness and welcoming redesign. On the other, I can’t help but feel a little frustrated that Google and HTC compromised on the Nexus 9’s screen, speakers and design.”
Best Buy is charging $479.99 for the 32GB Nexus 9, and $399.99 for the 16GB version. Black is currently listed as “in stock,” whereas the white version is sold out. Best Buy is still taking pre-orders for the 32GB LTE/4G version. The tablet was expected to be available more broadly in stores starting today after being announced on Oct. 15.
Google also started selling the Nexus Player today, a streaming video device for the TV that rivals other devices, like Amazon’s Fire TV or the Roku, although availability is limited. The Nexus Player costs $99.
The Nexus 9 marks the return to tablet manufacturing for HTC, which took a three-year hiatus after disappointing sales of its last tablet called the “Flyer.” HTC has had a long-standing relationship with the Android-maker, reaching back to the very first Nexus smartphone, which came out in 2010.
The Nexus 9 has a 8 megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1.6 megapixel front-facing camera. An optional Nexus 9 keyboard will magnetically attaches to the tablet, and folds into two different angles and can rest on your lap like a laptop.