The next — and possibly last — Nexus tablet will be one very impressive machine should its rumored spec sheet become reality. This weekend, Android Police published details it received about a rumored device called the HTC "Volantis," or Nexus 9. It's said to have a 2,048 x 1,440, 8.9-inch display, 2GB of RAM, and stereo front-facing speakers. In addition, it's powered by Nvidia's desktop class Tegra K1 processor and it's said to come in at a reasonably svelte 418 grams with a 0.31-inch-thick aluminum design.
That's an impressive list, but the future of the Nexus program itself is in question. According to multiple reports, Google is replacing the Nexus line and its focus on "pure Android" with a program called Android Silver. Handsets in the program will reportedly adhere to a more unified Android experience on the best phones and devices available from manufactures like LG and Motorola. While those reports leave little room for a new Nexus tablet, it is possible that Google is prepping one more device before Android Silver's expected launch next year. Additionally, the rumor does carry some weight. Android Police has a solid track record, and other rumors have mentioned a so-called HTC Volantis tablet with similar specifications in the past. Alternatively, it's possible that the Nexus 9 was in development before Android Silver was created internally, and it has since been scrapped.
The Nexus 9 rumor includes a supposed render of the tablet, but the image doesn't appear to match the specs. It appears to be little more than a stretched out version of the Nexus 5, which doesn't use aluminum construction. That device is also made by LG, whereas the Nexus 9 will reportedly be manufactured by HTC. Android Police's information suggests that the tablet will cost $399 for 16GB and $499 for 32GB, alongside a more expensive LTE version. The tablet's expected to be released alongside the next version of Google's mobile operating system in Q4, so it seems unlikely that the company will reveal it at Google I/O next week. Nevertheless, we'll be keeping an eye out for this tablet.