A new day and we've got a shiny new Google Pixel Slate in the office and we are ready to take it for a run. The device was announced a couple months ago. The Pixel Slate is Google's answer to taking on the iPad Pro and Surface. The new 2-in-1 rage is upon us, with devices like the recently reviewed HP X2 1013 G3. If you want one of these devices it will cost you between $600 - $1600, depending on the model you choose. Android tablets are now a thing of the past for Google, and Chrome OS is definitely the way forward.
The Pixel Slate has the same style of box as the Pixel Book, which seems like Google trademark now. It is strong and strangely heavy. In the box, we have the Pixel Slate, a data/charging lead, power adapter and a 3.5mm headphone jack to USB-C converter. Yes, there is no standard headphone port on this device, just like there isn't on many flagship devices these days. I personally feel we haven't reached the transition period of not needing this useful port, too many people have the older headphones that they rely on - anyway moving on.
The screen is a 12.3" LCD vibrant and colourful display. Resolution is at 3000 x 2000 LTPS touchscreen with Pixel Pen support. Its bright at 400 nits, but not as bright as the iPad Pro 12.9, which is 600 nits.
At the heart of the device is an 8th Generation Intel Core m3, i5 or i7 Processors. If you don't need this amount of power, then you can always go for the Intel Celeron processor option. The Included RAM depends on the processor of choice but can be 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB. Storage options are 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB.
You get a premium feel from this solid slab of tech with the fingerprint sensor commanding a good position at the top. You unlock the screen by pressing the power button and it scans your finger-print at the same time and your in! For connectivity, we have two USB-C ports and a Pogo Pin Accessory connector.
A detachable keyboard is not included in the price for the Pixel Slate and I really wish Google had reconsidered their pricing to Include one. A trackpad really would bring this piece of tech to life and further differentiate it from being a mere tablet.
Google claims that the Pixel Slate has a battery life of 12 hours with its internal 48Wh battery with a USB-C connector PD power. The battery life of the Pixel book wasn't that great, so we will test if Google is actually accurate about this one in our full review.
For cameras, we have a rear 8MP f/1.8 camera and also a front 8MP f/1.9 camera that is supposed to be ideal for selfies and for video conferencing. Google Duo is the companies choice of video streaming app.
We have two forward facing speakers which initially I was a little sceptical about, but I do have to admit that I am warming to them now. The sound is loud and very crisp with the mids presented well, but, as with all tablets, the bass left me a bit wanting. The overall sound is miles ahead of the HP X2 1013 G3 that we have recently reviewed.
We are testing out the top of the range Intel i7 with 16GB RAM and 256GB storage. As expected the tablet did not have any issues for any browser-based work. You are able to use the Chrome browser and extensions to their full capabilities. This is not something that you are able to do with either the Android or iOS operating systems. Full desktop OS's like Windows and Mac do however ha
Google has Android App support and this is still a little hit and miss, with most apps not supporting the split screen functionality and some not working correctly altogether. The app developer is required to tweak the app to make it respond correctly and feel at home on the Chrome OS.
We expect software updates to come in for the device thick and fast over the coming weeks and months with the usual bug fixes and performance optimisations.
At the moment I'm unable to test the keyboard with either the Google Pixel Slate keyboard or the Bryde G-Keyboard as I'm waiting for those to make an appearance via their respective manufacturers. As soon as they do we will have full reviews of them.
Full Pixel Slate review coming soon.