The Google Nexus 9 full review and specification

The Google Nexus 9 succeeds in checking the necessary boxes to be one of the best tablets of 2014. An HD display? Check. A premium build? Check. Trailblazing performance and the latest, purest version of Android. Check and check.

All of those points come together to make the 8.9-inch slate an appealing adversary to the Apple iPad Air 2 and Amazon's Fire HDX 8.9. It has everything it needs to be a high-end tablet, even if the high caliber of competition means that the Nexus 9 doesn't quite run away with the gold medal. But what matters most is that it concentrates on the essentials, rather than padding itself with the trendy and flashy features that can trip up rivals.

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Fingerprint sensors, 3D cameras and item-recognition software are a few of the fancy bells and whistles that you can find on premium tablets today, but the new Nexus tablet offers nothing of the sort. It confidently settles on packing one of the most powerful mobile processors on the market and debuting the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system. Forgoing high-end gimmicks, the slate's supreme specs speak for themselves -- it prevails as the preeminent premium, pure Android tablet to date.

The Nexus 9 is available direct from Google and starts at $399, £319 or AU$479 for the 16GB model. The 32GB version will run you $479, £399 or AU$589. Later this year a 32GB 4G LTE capable model will be released -- according to Google, it'll cost $599, £459 or AU$719.