Pixel Slate: The hybrid tablet from Google that challenges iPad Pro and Surface

Designed for professional users, it comes on the market in five different versions. Wide screen and well balanced colors, has an aluminum and glass body

First there was only Apple with its iPad Pro models. Then Microsoft also arrived, with its Surface Pro. Now the market of hybrid tablets designed for those working on the move is enriched by a new, aggressive, competitor: Google. During the Made by Google event held in New York on October 9th 2018 (during which the new Pixel 3 and the Google Home Hub were presented , among other things), the Mountain View giant took away the veils from Pixel Slate , the first tablet presented for three years now.

As said on the New York stage by Trond Wuellner, one of the Google men who worked on the development of the device, Pixel Slate is not born to be a laptop in the body of a tablet or a smartphone with a screen larger than usual: the goal of the Google hybrid tablet is to give a whole new experience to those who want to buy it.

How is the Pixel Slate

And, to read the technical features of the Pixel Slate you can better understand what the Mountain View house manager meant. The Google hybrid tablet was designed to be the perfect “gaming partner” for people who work on the move and look for a device that can carry with ease (Pixel Slate weighs just 700 grams) without being forced to give up the power and computing capacity of a real computer.

This is combined with the experience of optimized use of Chrome OS, now considered a mature operating system and that has nothing to envy to the various iOS or Windows 10 (operating systems mounted by iPad Pro and Surface) on the usability and of the applications available to users. In short, a product that, at least to read the technical data sheet, appears complete from all points of view and ready to challenge the two most direct competitors on equal terms.

Pixel Slate Features

Made of anodized aluminum and equipped with a 12.3-inch LCD screen (resolution 3000×2000 pixels) protected by Gorilla Glass 5 glass, the Pixel Slate mounts the same Intel processors that we usually find on laptops of every brand and model (and not SoC with ARM architecture that we find on board the tablet or some latest generation Windows 10 laptops). Accompanying the processors we find at least 4 gigabytes of RAM (up to a maximum of 16 gigabytes in the peak model) and SSD disks starting at 32 gigabytes to reach 256 gigabytes.

The two cameras have both 8-megapixel Sony sensors, although the front has a wider viewing angle to make video calls without black spots and take group selfie without major difficulties. In the power button is also hidden fingerprint sensor, which allows you to unlock the device without having to enter passwords or codes of any kind. The 48 WHr battery guarantees, according to Google, a range of at least 10 hours of continuous use.

Pixel Slate technical sheet

  • Weight and dimensions: 202.04×290.85×7.0 mm for 700 grams
  • Processor: Intel Celeron 8th Gen., Intel Core m3, Intel Core i5, Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 4, 8 or 16 GB
  • Storage memory: 32, 64, 128, 256 GB
  • Display: Screen viewing Molecular Display 12.3-inch LTPS LCD with 3000×2000 pixels resolution
  • Connectivity: 802.11g / n / ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2
  • Cameras: 8-megapixel rear with f / 1.8 aperture; 8-megapixel wide-angle front with f / 1.9 aperture
  • Battery: 48 WHr with autonomy of more than 10 hours of continuous use

Pixel Slate Models

As can be seen from the technical data sheet, five Pixel Slate models will arrive on the market, which will be differentiated by the installed processor or by the amount of RAM and storage space that will be available to the user. For the rest, the features of the Pixel Slate will remain the same. The base model will have an 8th generation Intel Celeron processor, 4 gigabytes of RAM and 32 gigabytes of storage; the second will have the same processor accompanied by 8 gigabytes of RAM and 64 gigabyte SSD; the intermediate model mounts an 8th generation Intel Core m3 processor with 8 gigabytes of RAM and 64 gigabytes of operating system and file space; the fourth will have an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor with 8 gigabytes of RAM and 128 gigabyte SSD; the top-of-the-range model features an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor accompanied by 16 gigabytes of RAM and 256 gigabyte SSDs.

Pixel Slate Operating System

To “move the ranks” from behind the scenes we find Chrome OS, the operating system developed by Google for Chromebooks. Obviously, the operating system has been optimized for use on a hybrid tablet and will be equipped with two different profiles of use: the first activates a graphical touch mode, in case it is disconnected from the keyboard and mouse; the latter activates a “computerized” graphic mode, in case you connect it to a Bluetooth keyboard. This alternation allows you to use the device without difficulty, whether you decide to integrate the “original equipment” with a keyboard, or whether you want to use the device as a “hard and pure” tablet.

In tablet mode, the main screen of the device is dedicated to the drawer of the installed applications, with a portion (at the top) reserved for Google Assistant and some suggestions on the most used apps. In computer mode, however, you will be faced with a “normal” interface with a low Start bar and a large dedicated space

Pixel Slate, Prices and Availability

At the moment, the release of the Pixel Slate is expected only in the United States with prices starting at $599 (excluding accessories, which we’ll see shortly). The availability of Google’s hybrid tablet on other markets, therefore, is not yet known …

  • Pixel Slate with Intel Celeron, 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB SSD – $599
  • Pixel Slate with Intel Celeron, 8 GB of RAM and SSD of 64 GB – $699
  • Pixel Slate with Intel Core m3, 8 GB of RAM and 64 GB SSD – $799
  • Pixel Slate with Intel Core i5, 8 GB of RAM and SSD 128 GB – $999
  • Pixel Slate with Intel Core i7, 16 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD – $1599

Peripherals and accessories Pixel Slate

At Pixel Slate prices there is then to add the amount that will have to be spent to complete “the package”. Although Chrome OS has been optimized to be used as a tablet, the device is designed to perform at its best once connected to an external Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

Or the Pixel Slate Keyboard, a keyboard designed by Google engineers to better integrate with the newly presented hybrid tablet. The Slate Keyboard, which also acts as a cover for the tablet, connects to the device via a magnetic connector which also triggers the switch between the two different graphic modes. Equipped with round buttons, it also provides the user with a large touchpad that replaces the external mouse. Pixel Slate also supports the Pixelbook Pen, the smart pen that will allow you to write notes and texts on the fly, draw sketches or any other action may come to mind.

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