It’s been a while since the last Google Tablet, and what a comeback: the Pixel Slate is a 12.3” tablet that runs on Chrome OS, the same operating system that not only powers Chromebook laptops, but can also run Android apps. This means that the Pixel Slate is a potent productivity computer, like iPad Pro or Surface Pro.
The design language of the Pixel Slate reminds us of the new Pixel 3 Phones, and there is a definite family resemblance. The way the edges are cut and the colors + materials tie everything together and make it very tempting to own them all as a set.
The Pixel Slate would look like an Android tablet, especially if you don’t have any frame of reference for its actual size. At 12.3”, its size allows for the integration of an Intel Core i5 or Core m3 or Celeron processor that can access up to 16GB of RAM. In terms of disk space, you have up to 256GB of flash storage available.
8th Gen Intel® Core™ m3, i5 or i7 processor, or Intel® Celeron® processor
RAM and Storage
4-8-16 GB pf RAM, 32GB – 256GB of SSD
Two USB-Cs for charging
Size and weight
290.85 x 202.04 x 7.0 mm, 721g
Google has not included a 3.5mm audio connector, or a microSD card reader. For the microSD, we can understand that a microSD might not have the expected performance for an Intel platform. However, not including a 3.5mm jack is sure to spark some controversy. While it is true that many users have switched to wireless earphones, many more others still like a wired connection. It’s up to you to decide, but there was surely enough room for both features.
As an option, you can get the folio keyboard for an additional $199. Yes, it’s not cheap, but it is one of the rare back-lit folio keyboards for ultralight computers. For anyone doing serious typing, the keyboard is a must and should be included during the initial evaluation of this product as a potential purchase. If you don’t need a keyboard, you might want to think as for whether an Android or iPad tablet could get the job done.
Chrome OS has become extremely popular, and it should work great on a tablet, but it has been designed for and performs best as a computer OS with keyboard and trackpad.
During the launch, Google showed that the folio keyboard which uses a magnetic stand. The cool thing about the stand is that you can set it at any position along the back cover, this controlling the display incline to get the best viewing angle. Folio keyboard usually aren’t designed for that, and it can be quite frustrating. Google solved this problem with an elegant, simple and thin design.
Overall, the Pixel Slate is a very well built, attractive tablet for Chrome-OS and Android users. Although the user experience is entirely different from Windows or Mac OS, Chrome OS has found a place in the consumer computers ecosystem by focusing on simplicity and security. It is excellent at running web apps and websites, and Android can cover for nearly all other needs.
If you want to have an idea of what Chrome OS devices can do, read our full review of the Google Pixel Book. We’re looking forward to putting the Pixel Slate to the test!