The last non-iPad tablet that I was excited about was the second-gen Nexus 7, released in 2013. Since then, hardware has gotten better, but tablet-optimized apps haven’t. After a short hands-on with the upcoming Google Pixel Tablet at Google I/O 2023, I think this could be the Android tablet to beat.
Hardware That’s as Great as Any Pixel
- Dimensions: 10.2 x 6.7 x 0.3in (258 x 169 x 8.1mm)
- Weight: 17.39 oz (493 g)
- Display: 10.95-inch, LCD, 60Hz refresh rate, 2560×1600, 276ppi, 500 nits brightness
- Battery: 27Wh
- RAM: 8 GB LPDDR5
- Storage: 128 or 256GB UFS 3.1
- Processors: Google Tensor G2, Titan M2 security coprocessor
- Rear camera: 8 MP, ƒ/2.0 aperture, fixed focus, 84-degree field of view
- Front camera: 8MP, ƒ/2.0 aperture, fixed focus, 84-degree field of view
Picking up the Google Pixel Tablet at I/O 2023, I was surprised by how premium it felt. The frame is made of metal, but the back is coated in a ceramic material that’s smooth and easy to hold. Around the front, depending on which colorway you choose, you either get white or black bezels.
Looking around the rest of the device, you’ll find four speakers (with two placed on each side that provide stereo audio), a power button (which doubles as a fingerprint sensor) and a volume rocker in the top-right corner, and a USB-C port on the left edge.
I went hands-on with a unit running Android 13 that’s optimized for tablets. Basically, there are better split-screen features (including window resizing) for using two apps at once, a notification shade that separates the quick controls to one side and notifications to the other, and a dock that you can bring up at any time to open a new app.
Overall, the software experience felt right at home with the rest of the Pixel lineup—it handled like an extension of the Pixel 7a that I just finished reviewing. Thanks to the in-house built Tensor G2 CPU and 8GB of RAM, it was smooth, and the interface was all decked out in Material You.
Obviously, one thing I couldn’t test is battery life. The Pixel Tablet has a 27Wh battery that Google claims can last up to 12 hours of video streaming. I’ll have to put that to the test later. To charge the device, you can simply place the tablet down on the included dock (more on that below) or plug in a USB-C cable (sold separately).
As far as the Pixel Tablet’s cameras, it appears as though they’re identical 8MP sensors. I didn’t have a chance to test them, but I don’t expect much from a tablet. Google will likely use some of its computational photography smarts to improve any pictures you take, but expect these cameras to primarily excel at Google Meet video calls.
Great for Content Consumption and Smart Home
Being a horizontally oriented device, the Google Pixel Tablet is undoubtedly great for watching movies and TV shows. With its 2560×1600 resolution, 276 pixels per inch 10.95-inch LCD display, you will thoroughly enjoy anything on YouTube, Netflix, or any other streaming service.
One neat feature I didn’t test is the tablet’s built-in Chromecast. Just like with the Chromecast With Google TV, you can Cast videos, music, and other audio from streaming services directly to the Pixel Tablet using your phone. The only caveat here is that the tablet needs to be docked for this functionality to work.
Oh, and if you’re worried about someone in your family picking up the tablet and going through your personal files or messing up your streaming preferences, don’t worry—the Google Pixel Tablet has multi-user support.
Additionally, when docked, Google’s tablet can act as a smart display, giving you quick access to your smart home devices and providing you with useful information. Simply tapping on the Google Home icon on the lock screen brings up every item connected to your account, allowing you to turn things on or off, view your security cameras, and more.
Finally, let’s talk about the Google Pixel Tablet’s two first-party accessories. First is the charging dock that comes with the tablet. This base unit holds the tablet magnetically, provides 15W of power through pogo pins, and has a hidden 43.5mm speaker.
The other is the optional $79 Pixel Tablet Case. This accessory is made out of soft-touch plastic and adds a kickstand to the back of the tablet. Google claims that the kickstand can be set to almost any angle, making it easy to prop up the device wherever you take it. Best of all, you don’t need to remove the case when placing the tablet back on the charging dock.
Google Pixel Tablet Case
Keep your Pixel Tablet protected while adding a kickstand to your device.
Pre-Order the Google Pixel Tablet
I’ve only spent a short time with the Google Pixel Tablet, so I can’t definitively give my opinion on if it’s worth buying just yet, but keep an eye out for our full review. I have a feeling it won’t be the greatest for artists or productivity, but it should be great for watching Netflix, monitoring your smart home, and scrolling through recipes.
RELATED: Google Pixel Fold Hands-On: The Wider Form Factor Makes for a Great Foldable
In the meantime, if you’re interested in buying the tablet, the 128GB model is now available for pre-order for $499. Alternatively, you can double the storage and get the 256GB version for $599. Both configurations are available in Porcelain (white), Hazel (dark slate green), and Rose (sandy pink) and begin shipping on June 20, 2023.
Google Pixel Tablet
Google's latest tablet can double as a smart display and is the ideal size for content consumption.
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