Google Pixel Tablet could be the perfect smart home hub
OPINION: Google just had its first I/O event of 2023, unveiling a bevy of new software features and products, but it was the new Google Pixel Tablet that caught my eye above everything else for how it could change the smart home game.
I’ve been a bit obsessed with the possibilities of smart home tech for some years now – initially investing in the very first Amazon Echo when it finally made its way to the UK, before adding more products along the way as well as dabbling with the Google Home ecosystem with a handful of Nest speakers too.
If there’s one thing I’ve come to learn in that time, it’s that versatility is the key factor when it comes to deciding which smart home products are my favourites – how easily they integrate themselves with not only my other smart home devices, but also my main pieces of tech like my phone, smartwatch and more.
It’s this mentality that has led me to ditch some smart lights in favour of others, as well as pawn off entire smart speakers if they don’t fit the mould correctly. With that experience in the back of my mind, the Google Pixel Tablet looks like it could be the most versatile smart home device yet and if true, it could end up replacing the majority of my existing smart speakers.
For starters, Google is offering a seemingly uncompromised, full Android experience on the Pixel Tablet. Compared to the janky and very slow UI that populates Amazon devices like the Echo Show 5, this sounds like a breath of fresh air, and unlike the Echo Show, I’d actually be inclined to interact with the Pixel Tablet by touch.
After all, sometimes it’s just so much easier to dive into an app and get to the exact playlist or recipe that you’re after via a touchscreen, as opposed to using voice controls which aren’t always as accurate as they could be. This is helped by the recently redesigned Google Home app which is impressively sleek to look at – following the same minimalist aesthetic that populates all of Google’s Material You design traits.
What really sells the Pixel Tablet to me however, above all else, is the charging speaker dock that’s included right out of the box. This nifty accessory will not only wirelessly charge the tablet in the same vein as a MagSafe charging station, but it also serves to boost the audio and allow the tablet to operate like a dedicated smart display.
Just picture the scene, you come home, pick up the Pixel Tablet and catch up on some YouTube videos on the sofa before docking it in the kitchen to see a new recipe as you cook. Just take it off the dock on your way to bed – catch up on a bit of messaging before you retire for the night and then set it down on the charging dock by your bedside table to become a makeshift alarm clock.
So long as all that works as well as it should, the Google Pixel Tablet could become the new smart home hub to beat, and I can’t wait to try it out.