Nexus 9 keyboard case and 4:3 aspect ratio suggest productivity focus for Google’s next tablet

nexus 9 cover mock

There won’t be many people surprised if Google launches a new Nexus tablet when it debuts its Android L software later this year. Google has used its Nexus 7 to showcase Android 4.2 and 4.3. What it hasn’t done, however, is created a small keyboard attachment for its tablets. That appears to be at least one change coming with the widely expected Nexus 9 slate.

Android Police is confirming a weekend tweet from @upleaks, which said the Nexus 9 would have several choices of official cases including one with a keyboard option:

The covers aren’t anything new; Google previously offered a case attachment for the Nexus 7. The keyboard folio would be new and likely a more feasible option for a 9-inch tablet as opposed to the currently available smaller 7-inch model. Android Police shared the following image to show what the folio attachment may look like.

nexus 9 keyboard folio

The case design appears similar to the official Apple iPad Smart Case, complete with triple-folding cover that doubles as a stand. Unlike Apple’s iPad accessory, however, Google’s is expected to have a full hardware keyboard. Although it’s not shown in the design image, it’s likely the Nexus 9 tablet would sit in the middle hinge; either in a slot or perhaps with magnets. The micro USB port on the side of the hinge suggests an internal battery, which would be used to power a Bluetooth radio says Android Police.

Another reason that a keyboard such as this may not have made as much sense for the Nexus 7 is that tablet’s 16:10 aspect ratio. It’s a very wide device in landscape mode when you’d want to use a keyboard but there’s not much vertical working room. The case suggests a 4:3 aspect ratio for the Nexus 9, which would provide a better workspace for productivity apps that might require a keyboard.

Old Nexus 7

 

That’s not to say the Nexus 9 won’t make for a good consumption device like the Nexus 7, but if Google is going to boost the screen size, it makes sense to give consumers a reason to do so. Between the improved Google Docs and other Google services, productivity might be that very reason.

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