Google’s vice president of Nest products, Rishi Chandra, shared the company’s vision for ambient computing back in 2019. This vision included a hypothetical smart display that combined a tablet with a speaker dock. Fast forward to today, and that hypothetical device has become a reality with the launch of the Pixel Tablet at Google I/O. In this article, we’ll explore the features and functionality of the Pixel Tablet and its unique design as a smart display with a detachable screen.
The Pixel Tablet: A Hybrid Device
Google is positioning the Pixel Tablet as more than just a tablet. Priced at $499, which includes the speaker base, it’s important to view this device as a hybrid between a tablet and a smart display. While Google has stated that it has moved away from making its own tablets, this new offering blurs the lines with its unique design and functionality.
Design and Features
The Pixel Tablet features an 11-inch screen with a rounded-rectangle shape and a mesh fabric covering the speaker base, reminiscent of the Nest Hub Max. It comes in three color options: Hazel (gray), Porcelain (white), and Rose. The tablet has a nano-ceramic coating that provides a distinct textured feel. While it’s lightweight and easy to handle, it’s intended to be used while docked rather than held in hand.
Smart Display Features
When used as a smart display, the Pixel Tablet offers a range of features. It supports multitasking with optimized apps and a two-column layout for apps like Gmail and WhatsApp. The tablet is powered by Google’s own Tensor G2 processor, enabling AI features such as voice typing, Magic Eraser, and Photo Unblur. Notably, it is the first tablet to support WhatsApp video calls. Additionally, the Pixel Tablet can function as a hub for controlling connected home appliances, displaying photos, and providing access to Google Assistant.
Little Comparision on Pixel and iPad
|Feature||Pixel Tablet||iPad and iPad Air|
|Resolution||2560 x 1600||2360 x 1640|
|Charging Speaker Dock||Included||Not included|
|Processor||Tensor G2 chip||Not specified|
|Media Experience||Optimized apps, better browsing||Standard|
|Potential||Best Android tablet contender||Dominant tablet in the market|
|Pre-order Price||£599||Not specified|
|Launch Date||June 20th||Not specified|
Detachable Screen and Dock
The detachable screen feature allows users to remove the tablet from the speaker base. While the magnets holding the two parts together are strong, separating them requires some finesse. When the screen is attached to the base, the tablet’s onboard speakers are deactivated, and media playback is channeled through the dock’s speakers. The dock also enables Hub Mode, displaying selected photos on the lock screen and providing quick access to connected home appliances.
Additional Functionality and Use Cases
The Pixel Tablet supports Chromecast when docked, allowing it to serve as an additional screen for streaming content. It also proves useful for video conferences, featuring two 8-megapixel cameras and Google Meet optimizations. The device’s Tensor G2 processor adjusts brightness and keeps users centered in the frame during video calls. A separately available case with a kickstand further enhances versatility, making it easy to prop up the tablet or hang it for hands-free use.
Battery Life and Usage
The Pixel Tablet’s battery provides up to 12 hours of video streaming, ensuring long-lasting usage. It’s important to note that the tablet’s screen is not intended for standalone use without the dock, as it lacks essential features like casting capabilities and microphones. However, the battery life and functionality of the tablet make it a reliable device for home use.
Some Important points to Notice:
- Google’s new Pixel Tablet could be a serious competitor to Apple’s iPads in the tablet market.
- The Pixel Tablet features an 11-inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 and a pixel density of 276ppi.
- It has a movie-friendly 16:10 aspect ratio, different from the iPads’ near-4:3 aspect ratio.
- The tablet comes bundled with a Charging Speaker Dock, which serves as both a charger and a speaker.
- The Pixel Tablet is powered by the Tensor G2 chip, offering high performance for gaming and smart home control.
- Google has optimized popular apps like Disney+ and Spotify for a better browsing and media consumption experience on the larger screen.
- The Pixel Tablet has the potential to be the best Android tablet yet and may rival the iPad and iPad Air.
- Pre-orders for the Pixel Tablet are available for £599, with an official launch date of June 20th.
The Pixel Tablet represents Google’s foray into the realm of ambient computing and smart displays. With its detachable screen and versatile functionality, it offers a unique hybrid experience that combines the convenience of a tablet with the practicality of a smart display. While further testing is required to assess its real-world usability, the Pixel Tablet has already piqued interest as an innovative addition to the market.