Nexus 9
HTC Nexus 9 range in black, white, and 'sand'Google

Deciding on a high-end tablet got a little bit trickier this week with the introduction of two new tablets, the HTC Nexus 9 and the Apple iPad Air 2.

We compare the specs of the two tablets:

iPad Air 2 vs HTC Nexus 9 Design

Apple has managed to make its iPad Air 2 quite thin at 6.1mm - 18% slimmer than the iPad Air - and it weighs in at a claimed 0.96 pounds (444g).

The HTC Nexus 9 is somewhat thicker at 7.9mm, but just slightly lighter at 436g for the LTE version (which thanks to the magic of weight conversions, is also rounded up to 0.96 pounds).

Other dimensions are 240 x 169.5mm of the iPad Air 2, versus 228.2 x 153.7mm of the Nexus 9. The screen size is the differentiating factor here, but the iPad Air 2 certainly makes a good impression with its sleek design.

iPad Air 2 side view
iPad Air 2 boasts being the thinnest tablet in the worldApple

iPad Air 2 vs HTC Nexus 9 Display

The iPad Air 2 uses a 9.7in IPS display with resolution of 2048 x 1536 and a pixels per inch (ppi) density of 264.

The Nexus 9 uses an 8.9in IPS display with resolution of 1536 x 2048 and a slightly higher 281ppi.

Despite the slight difference in pixel density, we expect both tablets to offer a similar viewing experience. In this regard, it will be a matter of personal preference on the screen size.

HTC Nexus 9 tablet side view
HTC Nexus 9 tablet is still a slim contender, but not as sleek as the iPad Air 2Google

iPad Air 2 vs HTC Nexus 9 Hardware

Powering the iPad Air 2 is Apple's new 64-bit A8X processor and 1GB RAM, a beefed up variant of the A8 found inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple claims this gives their new tablet a 40% faster CPU and 2.5 times the graphics boost over the original iPad Air, but the exact specs are not yet known. It's rumoured to be a six-core Imagination PowerVR GX6650 graphics processing unit (GPU).

The Nexus 9 uses an Nvidia Tegra K1 System-on-chip (SoC) that has a dual-core 2.3GHz Denver CPU and a Kepler DX1 192-core GPU. The Nexus 9 uses 2GB of RAM.

The RAM difference seems stark on paper, but actual performance can boil down to good implementation of operating system and graphics software. While the Nexus 9 has shown impressive benchmarks, we're yet to see any iPad Air 2 results. Until then, we won't know how the two tablets measure up.

However, readers can rest assured that they're both powerhouses setting the bar for graphics and multi-tasking.

For internal storage, iPad Air 2 offers 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB variants, while the Nexus 9 offers comparatively paltry 16GB and 32GB variants.

iPad Air 2
iPad Air 2 comes in silver, gold, and space grey.Apple

iPad Air 2 vs HTC Nexus 9 Camera

The iPad Air 2 uses an updated 8 megapixel (MP) iSight camera with improved low-light capability, but no LED flash. It features a number of Apple tweaks, such as burst mode, slow-motion, face-detection, exposure compensation, and autofocus. There's a 1.3MP camera up front for video calls.

The HTC Nexus 9 uses an 8MP rear camera with back-illuminated sensor, autofocus, and LED flash. It has a 1.6MP front-facing camera.

Both cameras are capable of recording Full HD video at 30 frames per second.

iPad Air 2 vs HTC Nexus 9 Pricing

In the UK, the iPad Air 2 will cost as follows:

Wi-Fi only:

  • 16GB - £399
  • 64GB - £479
  • 128GB - £559

4G + Wi-Fi:

  • 16GB - £499
  • 64GB - £579
  • 128GB - £659

In the US, the iPad Air 2 starts at $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, with the 16GB Wi-Fi plus cellular starting at $629.

Official prices have not been announced for the Nexus 9 at the time of writing, but it is expected to fetch $399 for the 16GB model, while the 32GB edition will be priced at $499. IBTimes UK has made projections on the possible launch price of the Nexus 9 in the UK.