Unveiled at its Nexus event in September, Google’s Pixel C is a tablet that wants to be a laptop — and it’s built by the same team that made the widely-praised, albeit expensive, Chromebook Pixel.
Since 2012, Google has released a tablet each year alongside its Nexus phones, beginning with the Nexus 7 (2012) to the Nexus 9 (2014). Though the search giant didn’t showcase a Nexus-branded tablet when it released the Nexus 6P and 5X this year, it did offer a peek at the Pixel C.
Here’s everything we think we know about the device so far, and a few official specs.
A high price and unknown release date
Google said the tablet will be released by the end of the year, and the only and most recent official update on the device came from the company’s Senior Vice President of Android, Chromecast, and Chrome OS, Hiroshi Lockheimer, in the form of a tweet.
Unofficially, a rumor from Dutch-tech site Tweakers says that Google will begin selling the Pixel C on the Google Play Store on December 8. It’s not the most reliable of rumors, so treat it with a degree of skepticism.
Although we don’t know when it’s coming, we do know that the Google Pixel C tablet will cost $500 for 32GB of storage, and $600 for 64GB. The keyboard will add an additional $150, which means it will cost a you a minimum of $650 for this tablet-laptop combo – a steep price. Google is expected to release the device before the end of 2015, but no set launch date is currently know.
All-powerful specs for a tablet
At the event, Google revealed that the 10.2-inch Pixel C sports a 3:4 aspect ratio, packs in 2,560 × 1,800 pixels, and is powered by a Nvidia Tegra X1 quad-core processor, and 3GB of RAM.
The high-end tablet has also been spotted on a GFXBench and Geekbench benchmark. While we are unable to verify the claims made by both sites, the GFXBench listing shows that the device may be running Android 6.0.1, and could have an octa-core processor running at 1.9GHz.
The benchmarks show that the NVIDIA’s Tegra X1 is indeed a powerful beast. The Pixel C allegedly clocks at 1,395 on the single-core test, and 4,345 on multi-core test. For comparison, the Nexus 9 hit 1,884 and 3,204 on single- and multi-core benchmarks, respectively with its Tegra K1 processor.
The GFXBench listing also shows that the Pixel C’s rear camera has a 7-megapixel camera, and its front camera sports a 2-megapixel sensor. The site also suggests that the device will not have NFC or GPS capabilities.
A sleek tablet and keyboard combo
Jeffrey Van Camp/Digital Trends
In our hands-on of the Pixel C back in September, we found that the Pixel C has a beautiful aluminum design and looks very much like a union of the Nexus 9 and the Chromebook Pixel. Google is pushing the tablet as a productivity device, offering a keyboard that pairs with the tablet through Bluetooth. The keyboard connects with the Pixel C via magnets.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to open or close the Pixel C when it’s connected to the keyboard as you would with a laptop. You’ll have to pull it apart and reconnect it, which seems like a design oversight. The magnets are strong enough to keep the pair together, and it is easy to pull apart with little effort.
The keys on the keyboard have enough travel and give plenty of click and feedback. The highlight feature of the duo, though, is that the keyboard will charge itself when connected to the tablet, which comes out to around 10 hours of battery.
The Pixel C uses a USB Type-C charger, like the Nexus 6P and 5X, and also brings in a feature from the Chromebook Pixel, where if you tap the tablet, LEDs will light up showing how much battery is left.
We’ll continue to update this post as we get more information about Google’s Pixel C.