Australia doesn’t always get things first, but we’re usually not far behind, and Google’s Nexus 9 tablet is an example of this, with an availability of now for the next generation of Google’s competitor to the Apple iPad Mini.

We’ve covered the Nexus 9 tablet before, but just in case you didn’t hear, the latest tablet from Google is one made by HTC, a change from the previous Nexus tablets (Nexus 7) which were handled by Asus, with Google relying on the company for some of its improvements to mobile devices, such as the BoomSound front-facing speakers used on HTC smartphones, as well as an aluminium casing, itself a departure from the plastic many are used to seeing on Android tablets.

The screen is also a change from the 7 inch displays Google has used in the past, with an 8.9 inch screen relying on a 4:3 aspect ratio, different to the widescreen format we’re so used to seeing, putting the Nexus 9 closer to the iPad in terms of how much screen real estate will be seen.

Inside the tablet is a 64-bit processor, 2GB RAM, and either 16 or 32GB storage, with a couple of cameras provided also, making it possible to snap pictures with either an 8 megapixel rear camera or a 1.6 megapixel selfie camera up front.

Most importantly, it’s the first tablet in Australia to receive Google’s Android 5.0, also known as Lollipop. While quite a few Android devices will receive the operation system upgrade, it won’t likely happen for a while, and this gives the Nexus 9 a clear edge in terms of being bleeding edge.

The keyboard isn't likely to be included in the box, but one will be made.

We’re hoping to have a review of Google’s Nexus 9 shortly, but if you can’t wait, you’ll find the Google Nexus 9 in stores now for a recommended retail price of $479 with 16GB storage and WiFi on at Telstra stores, while other variants can be found online at Google’s Play Store, including a 32GB model WiFi model ($589) and a 32GB WiFi/4G model ($719).