Google has announced the Nexus 9, its newest tablet, debuting Android 5.0 Lollipop.

It squares up against the iPad, quite literally, making a few important changes over previous Nexus tablets.

We've drilled through the specs of the new device and here's all the important stuff you need to know.

The Nexus 9 supplants the Nexus 10. The older tablet broke new ground in 2012 with its 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution display, and has lead a long life in Nexus terms, despite its muted launch in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Also phasing out is the smaller Nexus 7. Again it was initially launched in 2012 and updated in 2013.

As the name suggests, the Nexus 9 is around 9-inches. It's actually 8.9-inches with a resolution of 2048 x 1536, so it offers 287ppi.

If that resolution sounds familiar, that's because it's the same resolution as the iPad Air (2013), although on the smaller display the pixels are more tightly packed than Apple's device.

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It is also a 4:3 aspect, a marked departure from the 16:9 or 16:10 devices we've most commonly seen on Android. If nothing else, that sees the Nexus 9 literally squaring up against the iPad.

The first 64-bit Nexus device, built to work with Android 5.0 Lollipop's 64-bit support, it's powered by an Nvidia Tegra K1 processor, with two 2.3GHz cores and a Kepler GPU.

There's 2GB of RAM and there will be 4G LTE or Wi-Fi only versions. There are options for 16 or 32GB of storage.

There's a 6700mAh battery, promising 30 days of standby or 9.5 hours of video playback, which sounds pretty typical for this type of device.

Build by HTC, the Nexus 9 measures 153.68 x 228.25 x 7.95mm and weighs 425g (Wi-Fi version). It's not the slimmest or lightest tablet around: Samsung Tab S, iPad Air and Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet are all slimmer.

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It has a soft-touch back which is rather like the Nexus 5 and 6, meaning it should be nice and grippy. It comes in three colours - black, white, and sand.

There's an aluminium frame around the edges that gives it premium touch points. 

The Nexus 9, alongside the Nexus 6, is the launch device for Android 5.0 Lollipop. This not only brings native 64-bit support for the K1 hardware, but brings a range of new functions too.

Lollipop uses Android's new material design which aims to be consistent, more visually engaging, as well as offering more natural transition and touch responses.

Lollipop brings enhanced notifications, more lockscreen functionality, a focus on battery life, more security options and support for guest profiles, amongst a host of other updates.

Android 5.0 will also be rolling out to the Nexus 4, 5, 7 and 10 in the coming weeks.

Wanting to make you more productive, there's a keyboard folio cover for the Nexus 9. This gives you a full chiclet keyboard that magnetically attaches so you can work on the move, with two different positions for flexibiliity.

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In addition, there's a standard magnetic cover that doubles as a stand, letting you fold it up. Cleverly it will stick to the front or back of the tablet, so easy to stow when not in use.

The Nexus 9 goes on pre-order on 17 October, starting at $399. It will be available from 3 November. International release and pricing is still to be confirmed.