Google has announced its first Android tablet since 2015's Pixel C. And even that model was way beyond the heyday of Google Nexus tablets a decade ago.
Are we due a tablet renaissance? The Google Pixel Tablet is a bit more than just a tablet, able to turn Transformer-like into part of a smart home with ease.
But if you want to use it to stave off boredom on a train journey, no problem. Google says it will last up to 12 hours of video streaming between charges. And with this array of abilities, it can do just about anything any other Android tablet can. Let’s take a closer look.
1. A speaker dock comes included
Google calls this a tablet, but it’s much more of a smart display-tablet hybrid. The speaker dock part is included, and when the two are brought together you end up with something not dissimilar to a Google Nest Hub Max, at least from arm's length.
The speaker has a 43.5mm (1.7in) driver, the same spec as the Google Nest Hub (2nd gen). So, yeah, it’s not going to sound quite as beefy as the Next Hub Max, but will do the job for getting down with some tunes as you make dinner.
The tablet itself has a tasty quad-speaker system, but you’ll get better results with the dock. Just place the Pixel Tablet on the dock and the two cling together using magnets. And, yep, the base charges the tablet's battery. You’ll also see the interface change to suit, becoming more like a Nest Hub. You can Chromecast content right to the screen, treating it like a mini TV.
2. It has a high-resolution 11-inch screen
OK, so the Google Pixel Tablet doesn’t have quite as tidy a sound system as some of the most bulky Google smart home gear, but it does have the tablet staple — a great screen.
It’s an 10.95-inch LCD with resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. This is miles better than the 1280 x 800 pixels of the Nest Hub Max, giving it that true tablet flavour.
Sure, it’s not an OLED, but its colour depth stats are good and with 500 nits of brightness, the visual punch in a well-lit room will be similar to that of a Samsung Galaxy Tab S8.
We’re also glad to see Google use a 16:10 aspect ratio, making it a bit more square, more iPad-like, than the classic widescreen shape of your TV. This offers a better sense of space when using apps.
3. It’s dang powerful
The Pixel Tablet has the same Tensor G2 processor as the Pixel 7 Pro. This makes it one of the few Android tablets with mid-tier pricing and flagship performance, like the OnePlus Tablet.
It’s going to glide through those tough games and, while we’re yet to try this first-hand, should get on famously with Fortnite.
All models have 8GB RAM, so all you need to worry about is whether you want 128GB or 256GB storage. Hmm. There’s no memory card slot on this tablet, so give that one a minute’e consideration.
4. The rear has a ceramic coating
How a tablet feels to hold matters. Google has put more thought into this area than many. The Pixel Tablet has an aluminium rear suffused with ceramic “nano” particles using a process called Anodic Electro-Deposition.
The result is a super-thin, super-tough ceramic layer on the outside that lets Google give the Tablet a colourful coat without using a paint or dye layer liable to get scratched off.
You can pick between Rose, Hazel and Porcelain. Or green, off-white and mild pink if you want to cut through the marketing.
5. Stylus support means it’s ready for digital art
You may miss one of the Google Pixel Tablet’s features if you don’t look a little closer. Deep down in its list of specs is support for USI 2.0 styluses.
What does that mean? USI stands for Universal Standards Initiative, meaning you’ll be free to get any USI 2.0 compatible stylus you like, should you want to turn your Pixel Tablet into a digital drawing and painting canvas. These are also usually way cheaper than Apple's iPad Pencil.
USI 2.0 pens typically support up to 4096 pressure levels, for pro-grade fidelity in a tablet that, on the surface, isn’t really made for art and design work at all.You can pre-order the Pixel Tablet now.
- Read more: our Google Pixel 7a review