Nexus 9 versus the iPad Air 2: Which is best for you?

Google's top tablet takes on Apple's

nexus 9

Now that Google's new tablet, the Nexus 9 is finally out, it's time to compare it to the iPad Air 2. Which is better for you? I've got details and specs.


The iPad Air 2 sports a 9.7-inch screen, nearly an inch larger than the Nexus 9's 8.9.-inch one. Both screens have a resolution of 2048 by 1536. For most people, bigger is better, particularly for productivity and entertainment. so the iPad Air 2 wins here.


Forget the processors that actually drive these two tablets, what really matters is how they perform. Multiple reviewers report that the Nexus 9 can be sluggish at times. Not so the iPad Air 2. Winner: iPad Air 2.


Both Android and iOS have an astonishing variety of apps available for them, so at first you might think this one would be a tie. But it's not. There are more apps specifically designed for tablets for iOS than there are for Android. So the iPad Air 2 wins this one as well.

Operating system

Android comes with Android's latest and greatest: Lollipop, Android 5.0. It's a major overhaul of Android, and it's a beauty, looking far better than previous versions, and easier to use as well. Still, it is Android, which means that it's not as simple to use or as elegant-looking as iOS. But it's more customizable, and Google Now is superior to Siri. So this is a tie. If you care about simplicity, go with the iPad Air 2. For the ability to customize and for Google Now, the Nexus 9 is superior.


The Nexus 9 goes for $399. The iPad Air 2 costs $499. Unless you've got more money than you need, that $100 means something. Advantage: Nexus 9.

Bottom line

The iPad Air 2 beats the Nexus 9 in almost every category. Unless you're an Android fan or price is more important to you than performance and features, the iPad 2 Air is a better bet.

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