Today we are checking out the Pixel Slate, the latest tablet from Google that can basically replace your computer depending on what you do. Most of the modern tablets are now offering this laptop functionality, personally, I’ve been using this for just over a week and it kind of replaced my computer.
The Google Pixel Slate isn’t exactly cheap and the cheapest version goes for about $600 and the most expensive one costs around $1,500 plus you have to buy their keyboard and the pen separately so this can become a $2,000 tablet.
I was able to get my hands on the midrange model the one with the Core i5 processor paired up with 8 Gigs of RAM and 128 Gigs of internal storage and for what I do with it this is more than enough power. I basically used it for emails, web browsing with a bunch of tabs open up also while having a couple of applications open at the same time and I even did some light video editing.
This tablet is running Chrome OS but you also have access to all the apps available on the Google Play Store so for example for video editing I use the power director and it works fine for some light video editing but I don’t think this tablet could replace my Mac for video editing.
Hardware And Design:
As a tablet, it is fairly big and somewhat heavy but the weight is very well balanced so whenever you’re holding the tablet it just doesn’t feel that heavy.
The aesthetics are really solid, it is almost matte black with kind of matte dark blue all the way around. The aluminum chassis is very symmetrical with almost no branding at all, just a subtle G logo at the top corner. The corners are rounded and the back is not slippery which is great but I do warn you that this tablet is a fingerprint magnet.
On the front, we have a 12.3 inches IPS panel with a resolution of 3000 x 2000. The bezels are somewhat large considering today’s standard but I don’t mind those that bad because it makes it easier to hold the tablet and not touch the screen at the same time.
The display is one of the best that I’ve seen on any tablet. The colors look absolutely gorgeous, the viewing angles are great and the screen gets bright enough so you can use the tablet pretty much anywhere but there is some reflection depending how on the light hits the screen but overall this is a really nice looking screen.
There are two speakers, they are both front facing and once again these are probably the best that I’ve heard on any tablet. They get loud enough and the bass is good, watching something on Netflix, for example, is a great experience on this tablet.
We also have a power button that has embedded fingerprint scanners so now you don’t have to enter your password every single time, you can just touch that fingerprint scanner and the tablet unlocks. The volume buttons are located on the left and we also have two USB C ports one on each side of the tablet. The USB C ports offer great functionality you can basically plug in any USB device and can also charge the tablet at the same time.
The performance is what you would expect to get from a Chromebook. I had a bunch of tabs open in Chrome and had some apps open next to those tabs and there was almost no lag for pretty much everything that I have done.
Of course, you have access to all those extensions in the Chrome Web Store and as I said earlier you also have access to all the apps available in the Google Play Store. Now some apps aren’t exactly optimized for tablets they’re made for phones so whenever you open some apps they might look a bit strange on the tablet but hopefully, that will be addressed on in in the future and more apps can probably be optimized for the tablets.
Chrome OS does not feel as smooth when you’re using it in the tablet mode that’s kind of ironic because this is a tablet. Although, Chrome OS is new too and is mostly optimized for the desktop experience.
They’re still tweaking the software and it’ll probably get better in the near future with updates. But right now if you’re like running 10 apps in the background and you’re trying to switch between those apps you will definitely feel that the tablet it’s slowing down and that’s not something that usually happens in the desktop mode.
Keyboard And TouchPad:
Moving on to the keyboard which you will have to buy separately attaches to the tablet with magnets and every time you attach the keyboard the tablet switches to a desktop mode so it gives you a more laptop-like experience.
The tablet feel is more like a Windows machine like we can move apps on the screen, you can make the window smaller or bigger and so on. It feels more like a laptop and this is the way that I have been using the tablet 95% of the time.
There is a magnetic flap on the back that attaches to the back of the tabletop which allows you to move it higher or lower so you can adjust the viewing angle and as long as you use these on a desk it works really really good.
The keyboard has round keys that are backlit. It will take you a few days to get used to the round keys but once you start getting used to it you will notice that you’re typing a bit faster than you would on a regular keyboard and as I said if you’re using these on a desk it works really really great.
Also, the touchpad works really good as well but if you’re coming from a Windows machine it may take you a day or two to get used to the new gestures for example; to right click you actually tap on the touchpad with two fingers and so stuff like that but after a couple of days of using this you shouldn’t have any issues.
Now if you don’t use this on a desk and you try using it on your lap as you would on a standard laptop well then it doesn’t work and the keyboard kind of moves left right and sometimes it even presses on the touchpad by mistake so make sure to keep that in mind.
I was kind of hoping that the cameras would be just as good as on the Pixel 3 phone but they aren’t that good. There is a portrait mode in there as well so if you do want to take pictures with this tablet you can but don’t expect the pictures to look that amazing. I mean they still look good for a tablet but not as good as on the Pixel phones.
To conclude this video, the pixel slate is an absolutely amazing device. I love the screen and the speakers on it which provide really good media streaming experience. The battery life is also great and the performance in desktop mode is on point but keep in mind that it costs around $1,300 for which you can get a good laptop that can run full-sized desktop apps.