Report: HTC Nexus 9/Volantis with Tegra K1 chip and 8.9-inch display to launch in Q4

June 23, 2014

Nexus 7 (2013)
The previously rumored HTC-made Nexus tablet is back in the spotlight, with a new report allegedly listing its specifications, features, and pricing.

Rumors of a HTC-developed Nexus tablet with a ~8-inch screen began surfacing at the beginning of the year, and caught speed when traces of a device codenamed “Volantis” or “flounder” were spotted in Google code.

According to Android Police, the Volantis is indeed a real Nexus tablet developed by HTC, that will feature high-end specifications and an aluminum body. Here are the specifications listed in the report:

  • Display: 8.9-inch, 2048 x 1440 (281ppi), 4:3 aspect ratio
  • Processor: Nvidia Tegra K1 64-bit
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 16/32GB
  • Cameras: 8MP with OIS, 3MP
  • Build: aluminum zero-gap construction with tapered sides
  • Speakers: front-facing stereo
  • Dimensions: 8.91 x 5.98 x 0.31 inches (226.3 x 151.9 x 7.9 mm), 418g (427g LTE)

The report claims Volantis is referred inside Google as Nexus 9 (the 8.9-inch display size, and that it will launch alongside the L release of Android, sometime in Q4 2014. The device is planned to start at $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version, and $499 for the 32GB Wi-Fi version, while the LTE model will carry an unknown premium.

The image below comes from the leak, but it may not represent the actual device, according to AP.

nexus 8 volantis leak

According to several sources, Google is preparing to wrap up the Nexus program, with Android Silver pegged to take over in the first part of 2015. If the above report is accurate, Google may launch one more Nexus tablet in the autumn, which in past years was the release window of Nexus phones. So far, we haven’t heard anything about a successor to the Nexus 5, and LG recently confirmed that it’s not making a new Nexus phone, though that doesn’t rule out the possibility that some other company has taken over.

The inclusion of a Tegra K1 chip on the Volantis’ spec sheet is a bit surprising, given the issues that Nvidia’s processors have caused in the past. The only other Tegra K1 device on the market now is Xiaomi’s Mi Pad tablet. Nvidia’s Logan-based Tegra K1 chip is 64-bit though, which may be one reason Google and HTC have selected it for the device that will accompany a major new version of Android.

With an aluminum body, crisp display, and high-powered processor, the Nexus 9 seems to target a more premium image than previous Nexus tablets, which reflects in its reported pricing. However, it’s possible that Google is envisioning it as the successor to the 2012 Nexus 10, rather than a sequel to the affordable 7-inch Nexus 7 (2013).

Google I/O, starting this week, may offer us some more clues about what to expect on the Nexus front this year, though the actual announcement of the Nexus 9 seems unlikely at this point.

Comments

  • MasterMuffin

    4:3 is a shame, but holy fuggen shet! 64GB version would be nice if we’re being picky :)

    Also this means that we’ll see Android 4.5 Kitkat in I/O, not 4.5/5.0 “L” :/ I guess the name doesn’t matter if the changes are good.

    • Tjaldid

      I’m betting it is a safe bet that they will make a new Android version specifically for 64-bit (5.0/5.1)

    • Jayfeather787

      I read somewhere that it may be accounting for the soft keys, but I am not sure. Even if it did, I do think that it would be 4:3. I hope that part is wrong.

      • MasterMuffin

        Maybe they’re trying to fight with iPad and iPad Mini and thought 4:3 ratio would be needed

        • Jayfeather787

          Possibly. I don’t like 4:3. I guess I will stick with my 2013 Nexus 7 which is still running strong.

          • Corbin Crutch

            I don’t mind 4:3 TOO much though it’s not perfered. I love the specs and would love to get

    • Corbin Crutch

      I hope it’s 5.0 “L” and that something went wrong with this post….

  • wat

    Seriously there are too many OEMs making 4:3 Android tablets now, it’s not going to make it easier to develop for Android or even develop the OS.

    • jjordan

      Agreed and besides that the 4:3 aspect ratio just doesn’t work with multimedia…which if I’m not mistaken is the main purpose of a tablet in the first place; multimedia consumption.

  • Tjaldid

    there is so much NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! in this article

  • renz

    “given the issues that Nvidia’s processors have caused in the past”

    what issue? just asking

  • Cam

    Fake the image is an enlarged nexus 5 white

    • Anonymousfella

      It’s just a render created by Android Police

  • Who cares anyway

    with a beast of a graphics processor as the K1 you would think they would opt for three gigs of ram

    • renz

      stock android should be just fine with 2GB of RAM. nvidia jetson TK1 only have 2GB of RAM on board and it runs full linux distro (ubuntu) just fine.

  • muddy46

    meh, PPI count needs to be higher for that price point. Same with ram, should be 3GB.

    • Tjaldid

      4GB will be available by years end

      • Marc Perrusquia

        Maybe In some Asian flagships, but it looks like the note 4 will have 3 gigs of ram, and the note series tends to push the bar up for ram, which is then followed by everyone else.

        • Tjaldid

          I will be shocked if Apple doesn’t upgrade from the paltry 1GB that they have

          • crutchcorn

            Shocked

          • Tjaldid

            Yes cheap bastards

          • crutchcorn

            I honestly wasn’t suprised.

    • MasterMuffin

      Why would a device with stock Android need 3GB of RAM?

      • Corbin Crutch

        Because reasons

  • Cole Raney

    Making it smaller (10 inch – 9), metal body, 4:3, and using tegra instead of Qualcomm are all reasons I wouldn’t buy this.

  • RyanBcrazyMon

    There should be a lot more OEM’s putting in the Nvidia K1 quad core 32 bit or the dual core 64 bit IMHO. I mean the quad core variant out performs Qualcomm’s 801, 805 and the Exynos 64 bit 5433. Just look at the benchmarks. If the K1 is good enough to put in Google’s project Tango tablet then hell yes bring on the K1!! Qualcomm Soc’s are barely more powerful than they were a year ago.

  • HIRT

    i hope there’s no thermal throttling again :( egehe

  • Anders CT

    Since when has 2048 x 1440 been 4:3 aspect ratio?

    I don’t mind 4:3. It is certainly a lot better than 16:9, but I would probably prefer 16:10, though.

  • Bob

    64-bit with only 2GB RAM!?

  • milagroful

    Looks like a great device no way Im spending 500 on a tablet. Especially after finding a barely used Nexus 7 on kijiji for so much cheaper.

  • mr Dave

    The article says HTC but the pics are ASUS, I wonder if this is just another dead rumor.