What is the Google Pixel Slate?

January 09, 2019

Mid last year there was a wealth of speculation Google was set to abandon its push for a share of the tablet market. Less than six months later these predictions were proved wrong, with Google unveiling its latest addition to the Pixel range - a tablet going by the name of the Pixel Slate.

This new kid on the Google block is widely tipped to be a game changer. It uses Chrome as its operating system and according to The Verge, signals Google is getting serious about challenging Windows and the iPad, and is now ready to take a tilt at markets beyond the education and enthusiast sector.

So, what is the Google Pixel slate and how does it shape up in a tablet world dominated by Apple and the iPad?

Google Pixel

Since Google first announced the Pixel range in 2013, it has been successively rolling out a lineup of smart phones, laptops and more recently tablets.

The Pixel push heralded the company’s first real foray into developing and manufacturing their own dedicated line of hardware.

Now, after years of running the Android OS, Google has announced a new tablet that is set to feature all-improved Chrome software. That’s a big deal, The Verge notes, because: “Despite its success on phones, it has been clear for some time that Android can’t really compete on tablets”.

Known as Pixel Slate, this new device blurs the lines between tablet and computer and is looking to tap into that all-familiar all-things to all-people trend. The move comes almost five years after Google last released its less than well-received Pixel C.

So, what can the Pixel Slate do?

What is the Pixel Slate?

Google Pixel Slate

In a nutshell, Google Slate is a 12.3-inch tablet, featuring what Google has branded a “Molecular Display” with 3000 x 2000-pixel resolution. Basically, that’s a low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) LCD touchscreen with six million pixels.

The Pixel Slate runs Google Chrome software with Google Drive and its associated programs built-in. For many people, that will make the Slate ideal for working on the go. Drive is up there as one of the more popular Cloud-based software options for word processing, document editing, spreadsheets etc.

Meanwhile, Slate is also happy to run a host of other Android apps.

Weighing in at 1.6lb (726g) and 7mm thick, the Pixel Slate base model features 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and comes with an Intel Celeron processor. From there the spec’s and price tag increase, with the top of the line featuring 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor.

That puts the premium model up there with a decent laptop in terms of processing capability. And in between you can select the 8th generation Intel Core M3 processor or the Core i5.

Cameras and speakers

The Pixel Slate features two cameras; one at the front, one at the rear, both of which are 8MP.

Meanwhile, it has dual front-facing audio speakers and two mics. That’s probably so you can have a decent chat with the inbuilt Google Assistant and she can relay the information you require in audible, soothing and all-knowing tones.


There’s good news and bad news when it comes to ports and jacks, as The Verge notes. Pixel Slate comes complete with two USB-C ports which are capable of fast-charging and 4k video output (yay!). It also has a custom keyboard connector.

But what’s missing might elicit a sigh or two. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack as Google believes in this day and age it’s all about wireless and Bluetooth. Also noticeably absent is the SD Card slot.

Google Pixel Slate Stand

Looking to deploy a Pixel Slate for your business?

Battery life

Primarily, Pixel Slate is a tablet and it ships just as that. The compatible keyboard is not included in the purchase price, nor is the Pixelbook Pen. They will set you back an additional US$199 and US$99 respectively.

Ten hours is the reported battery life, which isn’t too bad. And Google notes when you need a boost, you can get two hours from a 15-minute fast charge.

What’s in the box?

Primarily, Pixel Slate is a tablet and it ships just as that. The compatible keyboard is not included in the purchase price, nor is the Pixelbook Pen. They will set you back an additional US$199 and US$99 respectively.


This brings us to the price (breathe deep, because it’s not on the cheap side). The Pixel Slate starts out at US$599 and then as the configurations increase, so too does the price tag, with the upper echelon retailing for $1599.

That’s before you add the keyboard and the pen, which both arguably add a lot more functionality to the package.

Meanwhile, Pixel Slate is only currently available in the US after hitting the market in November. There’s no word when or if it will be sold in Australia, while the UK looks set to get it later this year.

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