Google started selling the Nexus 9 tablet last month, advertising that the optional keyboard accessory was coming soon. Well, soon means now because you can buy the official Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio for $129 directly on Google Play. The company says orders ship within one to two business days.
My colleague, Kif Leswing, found much to like about the Nexus 9 tablet, including fast performance, dual front-facing speakers and a work-friendly 4:3 display aspect ratio with high-resolution screen. Of course, you’ll likely get more work done with the Keyboard Folio, making it an appealing option.
Less appealing to me, however, is the price. Yes, the accessory attaches automatically to the tablet with magnets. And it’s nice that you have two viewing angles when using the keyboard, plus it protects your device’s display. The mechanical key design is taken from [company]Google[/company]’s Chromebook Pixel, as well, which is one of my favorite keyboards.
A $129 accessory for a tablet with a $399 starting price seems out of whack, though.
The keyboard option for [company]Microsoft[/company]’s Surface Pro 3 — which is more of a must-have accessory to me — is also priced at $129. That’s for a tablet/laptop hybrid that starts at $799 and can quickly rise to $1,299 or more. (The keys are also backlit — not so on the Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio.) And many Surface Pro 3 buyers think that the keyboard should be included at no charge; I can see their point since it enhances the experience so much.
There are plenty of portable Bluetooth keyboards on the market that will work with the Nexus 9, most of them priced under a hundred dollars. Google would have made the Nexus 9 more appealing overall if this Keyboard Folio cost $79 or $99. It’s a nice keyboard — I got to try one last month at a Google press event — but that $129 price tag is likely going to put a crimp in sales.