Just when you thought things couldn’t possibly get juicier on the Google Nexus 9 front, the stock Android-running tablet allegedly produced by HTC jumped back into the headlines, towing an extra-productive optional keyboard cover along for the ride.
No reason to candy-coat it, Android slates, regardless of their steady rise in mainstream popularity of late, remain nichey devices. Compared to iPads, their sales numbers are a drop in the growing desktop PC replacement ocean. And don’t get me started on profits, as the gain margins for relative bestsellers such as Nexuses almost don’t count in the grand scheme of things.
Of course, blaming it all on Apple’s marketing muscle is only bound to defer the evolution of the gadget class, so instead of complaining and waiting for miracles to happen, Google and HTC seem ready to take affirmative action.
Namely, give Android a productivity and functionality edge over iOS. Enter the Nexus 9, aka HTC Volantis, Flounder or T1, expected out in a matter of weeks with a number of neat optional accessories, including a keyboard folio that sounds awfully familiar.
That’s because the docking station/protective case shamelessly rips off both Apple’s iPad Smart Covers and Microsoft’s Surface Pro Type Covers, ultimately delivering an accessory that’s at the same time elegant and greatly beneficial for getting work done. Slim and handy. And last but not least, versatile.
According to inside information picked up by Android Police and in part confirmed by @upleaks, the keyboard case should pack its own 450 mAh battery, use Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity to wirelessly hook up to the N9, and measure an incredible 5 mm thin.
Capable of seamlessly forming a triangle to prop up the yet to be announced tablet, the cover reportedly features keys around 3 mm high, which isn’t ideal for rapidly typing long blocks of text, but it’s still amazingly close to the feel and productiveness of a classic mini-laptop.
A bunch of sketches show a bit of how the Google Nexus 9 could look when accompanied by the accessory, and we must admit, we’re pretty psyched. Time to start taking Android seriously, Apple. You too, Microsoft (assuming you didn’t already). Too bad El Goog refuses to once and for all throw the 64-bit-powered beast in the iPad-dominated arena.