Which is best for you, the iPad Air 2 or the Nexus 9?

Here's how to decide between the latest tablets.

Apple iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3
Credit: Apple

Which is best for you, Apple's iPad Air 2 or Google's Nexus 9? I've got specs and details.

Screen

A tablet is, in essence, all screen. So this is one of the most important features in making your decision about which tablet is better. The iPad sports a 9.7-inch screen with 2048 by 1536 resolution, while the Nexus 9 screen is about an inch smaller, at 8.9 inches, with the same resolution. Apple claims that the new iPad has an anti-reflective coating which is 56 percent less reflective than the iPad Air's screen. Regardless of whether that's less reflective than the Nexus 9's screen, the iPad Air 2 still wins, because of that extra inch in size.

Weight

The WiFi version of the iPad Air 2 weighs just under a pound, at 437 grams, while the WiFi version of the Nexus 9 weighs in at the tiniest bit lighter, at 425 grams. Those 12 grams are essentially undedectable, so call this one a tie.

Storage

The iPad Air 2 comes with three storage capacities, depending on what you're willing to pay: 16 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB. The Nexus 9 offers you two choices: 16 GB or 32 GB. So unless you've got deep pockets and are willing to pay $699 for the WiFi 128 GB version of the iPad Air 2, rate this a tie.

Cameras

Both tablets have 8-megapixel front-facing cameras that record 1080p HD video. The Nexus 9 has a nominally better front-facing camera, with 1.6-megapixel resolution versus the iPad Air 2's 1.2-megapixel one. That's not a significant enough a difference to mean anything. We'll call this one a tie as well.

Price

The Nexus 9 is a clear winner here: $399 for the WiFi model with 16GB of memory, versus $499 for the equivalent iPad Air 2. Paying less is good. Paying $100 less is even better. Advantage, Nexus 9.

Operating System

For elegance and simplicity, iOS can't be beat. For the ability to customize, Android is superior. As for digital assistants, Google Now beats Siri hands down. This one's like debating religion. iOS fans will want the iPad Air 2; Android fans will want the Nexus 9.

Bottom Line

If you were only to judge base on price and specs, the Nexus 9 is the winner. The specs of the two devices are nearly identical, aside from the iPad Air 2's slightly larger screen, but the Nexus 9 goes for $100 less. But if you're a fan if iOS and all things Apple, the iPaid Air 2 will be for you.

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