The Google Pixel Tablet is not what you think it is and that’s a good thing | First impressions

The Google Pixel Tablet is not what you think it is and that’s a good thing | First impressions

The Google Pixel Tablet is not just another tablet. While most brands want to sell you tablets that can transform into a laptop with a keyboard and stylus both sold separately, Google is making no such claims (it’s not even selling a first-party keyboard or stylus at this point). With the Pixel Tablet, it is trying to break many stereotypes that Apple and Samsung have been drip-feeding us for all these years and while tablets have come a long way, not one has come close enough to replacing your laptop— yet.

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So instead of chasing the unicorn, Google chose to make do with something more attainable. The Pixel Tablet can turn into a smart display “hub” for when you’re not using it as a tablet. All thanks to an out-of-the-box innovation which makes you think, why other brands, those who’re into making tablets more religiously, didn’t think about first. Google calls it a “charging speaker dock” and— this is the most impressive part— bundles one with the Pixel Tablet at no extra charge. You will be able to buy a spare dock separately, too, which makes sense if you’re planning to use it in multiple locations.

No false claims, no unrealistic expectations

The deal is simple. Most of it is given away by the naming itself. The dock is a charger and a speaker in one. Basically, it is multipurpose. You’ll plug it to a point (the wall adapter ships in the box) and it is supposed to stay there. You’ll attach the tablet to it magnetically using a pogo pin connection and then when it’s locked, it will automatically trigger a “Hub Mode”, turning it into a smart display letting you use it as a digital photo frame while also giving you access to smart home controls, and hands-free Google Assistant. Think of it like an Amazon Echo Show, only here the display— which is the tablet itself— can be taken apart easily and used stand-alone. Spoiler alert: Even Apple is reportedly working on a similar product for the iPad.

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Talking of specifics, the charging speaker dock has a 43.5mm full-range speaker and can charge the tablet at up to 15W.

google pixel tablet first impressions
The charging speaker dock ships in the box.

“With the Pixel Tablet, we’re taking everything we’ve learned from years of making Pixel and products for the home and combining it into one great device,” Google says about the setup, adding that “it reimagines how a tablet can actually be helpful all the time in your home by pairing with a new charging speaker dock.”

To sum up, the Pixel Tablet and charging speaker dock combo when put together can become an “enhanced” speaker (the tablet itself has 4 speakers), a photo frame, and virtual assistant including controlling station for your smart home devices.

Perhaps an even bigger highlight is the price that Google is charging for the entire “package”. The Pixel Tablet costs $499 which roughly translates to Rs 41,000. This undercuts both Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 as well as Apple’s iPad Pro and we mean that after taking into account the hardware. TL;DR: the Pixel Tablet doesn’t feel short-changed.

The tablet has as 10.95-inch LCD display with 1.6K resolution (2560x1600p) and 16:10 aspect ratio. The panel can peak 500nits and supports stylus input. Under the hood, you get Google’s Tensor G2 chip paired with 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and a choice of 128GB or 256GB of UFS3.1 storage. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, UWB (ultra-wideband radio) and Google Cast. The Type-C port is Gen 3.2. Rounding off the package are 8MP rear and front cameras.

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The Pixel Tablet has been a long time coming. The tablet was first announced last year but Google did not really talk much about it leading into its I/O 2023 launch. The silence was quite baffling in fact, leading many to write-off the tablet even before getting their hands on one. Now that it’s here, there’s enough reason to believe Google had the last laugh. It may not become a break-out success, but the Pixel Tablet does give you an alternate take on what a tablet can be. Here’s hoping it can drive others to think out-of-the-box, too. Not everybody wants and needs a tablet that’s a wannabe laptop, but no-one can contest the merits of pure “value” and Google Pixel Tablet looks like it has a lot of that going for itself— at least on paper.

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