Rumored Nexus 9 tablet may have its own keyboard

— 11:23 AM on September 16, 2014

We've seen numerous rumors about a next-gen Nexus tablet with a Tegra K1 processor. Nvidia even confirmed the existence of such a device in a legal filing associated with its GPU patent dispute. Now, there's evidence that the new Nexus will have a keyboard in tow. Pictures of the accessory taken by Taiwan's National Communications Commission, a regulatory body similar to the FCC, have been posted at VR-Zone.

The keyboard appears to be similar to the Type Cover for Microsoft's Surface tablet. The layout is a little unconventional, though. Instead of leaving room at the bottom for a touchpad and palm rest, the keys go right up to the edge of the board. There's a big, empty space above them that seems to do little more than put distance between the top row and the base of the tablet. Weird.

Based on the ruler in the pictures, the keyboard appears to be sized for a 9" tablet. I don't see any indication that the keyboard and tablet would be physically linked, though Bluetooth could be used to connect them, just like on the Asus VivoTab Smart we reviewed last year. The lack of a physical connection makes me a little dubious that the tablet and keyboard will be comfortable to use when propped on one's lap. The keyboard area is likely a little too small for serious typing, too, but it probably beats the touchscreen.

Most of the tablets I see in the wild are accompanied by keyboards, so it makes sense for the Nexus 9 to have one of its own. Now, all Google has to do is get around to announcing the thing. The latest rumors suggest the tablet will feature a 64-bit version of the Tegra K1 SoC, 4GB of RAM, and an 8.9" display with a resolution of either 1920x1200 or 2560x1440.

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