We’d been expecting these devices for a long time, with Google first teasing them during the release of the Pixel 6a at its I/O developer conference earlier in the year. It was also during I/O that we got an early look at the Pixel Tablet, even though it was confirmed the slate wouldn’t be arriving until 2023.
I wasn’t expecting Google to mention the Pixel Tablet at its Made By Google – highlighting a device at two large events when it’s not coming out soon is odd – but I was proved wrong.
While Google did mention the tablet and delve into some of its features, a lot of the device remains a mystery. Display tech, price, extra skills and firm release dates are all missing and I can’t help but wonder why Google is showcasing this device so much ahead of launch.
Features for the tablet highlighted at the event included a docking mechanism that turns it into a Nest Hub Max-type device and a textured real panel design. It was also confirmed the tablet would use the same Tensor G2 chipset as the Pixel 7 series.
The magnetic docking mechanism seems fairly neat and I can see people swapping out a Nest Hub for one of these as a way of combining two devices into one, but that aside my excitement for this tablet remains low and I am not sure why Google is taking so long to release it.
From the outside, there don’t seem to be many standout features for Google’s first Android Pixel tablet. It has a fairly modest look that is a stark departure from the eye-catching Pixel line with its striking camera visor, and from the images I have seen the front could be mistaken for may cheap Android tablet on the market.
Having the Tensor G2 is nice, but judging by Google’s deep-dive into the chip a lot of the benefits here revolve around phone call Ai and camera performance – two things I am not crying out for in a tablet.
Google also hasn’t really delved too much into the software – an area that really lets Android tablets down. It has shown off some screenshots of the Material You elements and the heaps of customization we’ve become accustomed to on Android phones, but what about apps that are built for the larger screen? or multitasking elements like you’d find in iPadOS 16 or on the recent Samsung Galaxy tablets.
Of course, all this could change when the tablet is officially announced. But, currently, it’s hard to really see what the Pixel Tablet will offer that isn’t already available either on an iPad or on another Android tablet.