In a story we’ve been following for a while, a new leak sheds light on additional details of the in-development HTC Nexus 9, including some truly gaudy specs.
We’ve previously reported on some references in Android code that mentioned an HTC Nexus device as well as a Google mockup that includes what seems to be a Nexus 9 tablet with what might be BoomSound speakers.
Today, noted tipster @evleaks tweeted more details of the HTC Nexus 9, also referenced as Volantis.
— @evleaks (@evleaks) July 2, 2014
Let’s go over this tweet, which is expanded upon at @evleaks’s website, bit-by-bit.
The aluminum unibody is exactly what we’d hope for from HTC. This is the first of several signs that this tablet will quite clearly have the look and feel of an HTC device, which isn’t a bad thing. The BoomSound speakers are the other HTC signature that are a welcome feature addition.
Further, the technical specs are absolutely herculean. A 64-bit Tegra K1 onboard means it is a top-of-the-line processor that NVIDIA claims is more powerful than the sort that ships on gaming systems like Xbox 360 and PS3. After that, we have 5GB DDR3 RAM, which @evleaks notes is not a final number, but shows part of the reason for the move to a 64-bit processor (32-bit processors cannot utilize more than 4GB of RAM).
For comparison’s sake, the current-generation Nexus 7 and 10 come with 2GB RAM onboard. Samsung’s first tablet to exceed 2GB was the just-released Samsung Galaxy Tab S, which comes with 3GB. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Sony Xperia Z2 are the only phones with 3GB of RAM. I am not aware of any mainstream Android devices with 4GB RAM, let alone 5GB.
That means 5GB is probably overkill, unless Google has something in mind for making the Nexus 9 even more powerful. Perhaps if you could run virtual machines on there, perhaps of Chrome OS, you’d be on to something. The screen size doesn’t make a great deal of sense in that regard, though.
Speaking of the screen, the test build apparently has a 1680×1050 screen resolution. @evleaks says to expect 2560×1600, however. While the latter figure sounds very high, it is worth pointing out that this is “only” 339 pixels per inch, according to Third Culture’s ppi calculator. An almost 9-inch screen justifies higher resolution. I’ve previously suggested this pixel density is just about ideal, with anything more being a waste of money and battery. This would be a 16:10 aspect ratio, a slight difference from the 16:9 of past devices.
Finally, the test unit supposedly has a 5MP camera, but @evleaks once again speculates that it will be 8MP at launch. It is unknown whether this camera will include HTC’s “Ultrapixel” technology. I would say something about low megapixel cameras being an HTC signature as well, but who really cares when it’s a 9-inch tablet?
The HTC Nexus 9 is expected this fall and should be the first device to run the new Android “L” release, the 5.0 update announced at Google I/O. For more on Android L, check out our walk-through of its new features.