We have already rolled out a Nexus vs ZenPad S (Z580CA) comparison article here. To be honest, it turned out not to be a very fair fight. Technology moves fast and in six months a lot can happen. We think comparing the Nexus 9 to the second best ZenPad S (Z580C) will be closer, but we certainly don’t expect the Nexus 9 to fare that well in this fight.
The Google Nexus 9 will get the Android updates first and that is one aspect that Asus and the ZenPad S cannot match. These updates tend to create a sense of inferiority, but don’t stress. Android in the early days saw vast improvement from update to update. These days, updates are essentially tweaks. Nice to have but certainly not dramatic. None the less, in terms of running the most current Android version, the Nexus 9 will beat out the ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580C).
Let’s first have a look at build quality and features. The Z580C is slightly thicker and slightly heavier than the Z580CA model. So comparison wise, the ZenPad Z580C is 6.9mm and the Nexus 9 is 7.95mm. ZenPad is the thinner tablet. With the Nexus 9 being a larger tablet, we have adjusted the scale to reflect the weight on a per-inch basis. So weight wise, the Z580C is 40g per inch and the Nexus 9 is 47g per inch. ZenPad Z580C is the lighter of the two tablets.
Both tablets share the same screen resolution at 1536 x 2048, but the Nexus 9 is larger and thus the pixel per inch density is not as good as what the ZenPad S offers. Asus has 324 ppi whereas the Nexus 9 has 288 ppi. Quality of display is a win for the ZenPad Z580C.
Let’s look now at processing power. Both these tablets share the same amount of RAM at 2GB. Processor wise, the ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580C) has the Intel Atom Z3530 which is clocked at 1.33GHz. The Nexus 9 is packing a more powerful processor that clocks in at 2.33GHz. The Nexus 9 is a clear winner in terms of processing power over the ZenPad S (Z580C).
Looking at storage, the ZenPad S is going to win quite easily over the Nexus 9. Part of the advantage is that the Z580C has a microSD slot which allows for 128GB additional storage. The Nexus 9 doesn’t have microSD slot expandability. Both tablets come with 16GB and 32GB models. The ZenPad S also offers 5GB free lifetime Asus cloud storage. It’s quite clear at this point that