Hardware

Google Pixel Slate tablet: Cheat sheet

The Pixel Slate is a Chrome OS tablet that includes two cameras, a fingerprint scanner, and up to an Intel Core i7 processor.

The Pixel Slate is Google's latest Chrome OS tablet, which combines the power and productivity of a desktop into a tablet form that can double as a laptop, Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of hardware at Google, announced at a Tuesday Google event in New York City.

This Google Pixel Slate cheat sheet has the details you need to know to determine whether this tablet is right for you. We'll update the guide periodically as new information about the device is available.

SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)

What is the Pixel Slate?

The Google Pixel Slate is Google's latest convertible 2-in-1 Chromebook, announced at an October 9, 2018 Made By Google event in New York City. Formerly referred to as codename "Nocturne," the Pixel Slate features two cameras, a fingerprint sensor, and an Intel Celeron, Core m3, Core i5, or Core i7 CPU. The Pixel Slate tablet runs on Android Pie. It is designed to be versatile, and can be used as a tablet or laptop, with a new Pixel Slate Keyboard available for purchase as well.

The Pixel Slate "is a completely new experience, giving you powerful productivity in a fresh, mobile form," Trond Wuellner, director of product management at Google, said at the event.

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What features does the Pixel Slate include?

The Pixel Slate is a 12.3-inch, 7mm-wide tablet with rounded edges. It weighs 1.6 pounds, and comes in a midnight blue color. It also has a perfectly balanced center of gravity, making it more comfortable to hold, Wuellner said. It has two USB-C ports, and support for 4K external display.

The display includes 293 pixels per inch, for a total of 6 million pixels—the sharpest picture in the category, Wueller said. Pixel Slate also includes a custom display that allows for 100x faster movement of electrons compared to a standard display, making for better colors and resolution.

The dual stereo speakers are at the front of the device, to direct stereo sound toward the user. The device also includes a custom-designed sound profile for more crisp highs and clear lows.

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The Pixel Slate includes an 8MP rear camera and front camera, both of which incorporate machine learning algorithms for better photo taking, including portrait mode. The front-facing camera was also designed for video chatting (or a group selfie), with a wide angle lens to fit more people in frame. A sensor with larger pixels also allows for better low-light performance. It also includes up to 10 hours of battery life. The Android tablet does not have a headphone jack.

Pixel Slate features an all-new Chrome OS, with a UI optimized to be simple and easy to use on a touch screen. It gives users a full desktop experience, not one designed for a phone, Wuellner said. A split-screen feature aids in multi-tasking. Google Assistant is also more deeply integrated into the device, and users can use their voice to dictate emails, find restaurants, play shows, and more.

Built-in virus protection and OS updates in the background offer users the latest security and features without interrupting their work. The Pixel Slate also includes a Titan M security chip, which encrypts data and passwords.

The power button doubles as a fingerprint sensor, so users can unlock the tablet the same way they would a Pixel phone, by touching the top.

Users can access the G Suite and millions of other Android apps in the Google Play Store on the Pixel Slate.

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What is the Pixel Slate Keyboard?

Google also announced the Pixel Slate keyboard, which users can connect to the Pixel Slate device with just a snap, no pairing or charging required to turn it into a laptop form. The detachable keyboard is full size and backlit, with rounded, quiet keys and a full-feature trackpad. The keyboard cover is a folio that can be adjusted to any angle, so users can use it as a laptop or tablet, and at their desk, on a plane, or at their kitchen table. The folio also turns into a slim, protective case.

The Pixel Slate also supports use of the Pixelbook Pen for writing or drawing on the tablet screen.

SEE: IT hardware procurement policy (Tech Pro Research)

Who is the target audience for the Pixel Slate?

Chromebook users, professionals, and those in the Google device ecosystem are the target audiences for the Pixel Slate. The front-facing camera's video chat capabilities could make it a useful device for remote workers or those who make frequent conference or video calls. And the ability to attach a keyboard and access the G Suite could make it a useful device for business travelers who want a smaller device to carry with them on the go.

The latest version of Chrome OS found on Pixel Slate can run full developer tools and full-powered Linux applications, which might make it an attractive device for developers as well.

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How does the Pixel Slate differ from the Pixelbook?

The Google Pixelbook laptop is also a high-performance Chromebook that can be folded into a tablet, and was released in October 2017. It runs Chrome OS, and is powered by an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, and holds up to 16GB of memory and up to 512GB of storage. It was the first laptop with Google Assistant built in, and included support for a Pixelbook Pen.

The Pixel Slate can also run on an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, and hold up to 16GB of memory and 256GB of storage. However, it includes all of the additional features mentioned above, including an upgraded display and speakers, a fingerprint scanner, and dual camera setup.

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What are the Pixel Slate specifications?

These are all of the Pixel Slate specs, as noted by ZDNet:

  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • Display: 12.3" Molecular Display
  • Audio: Dual front-firing speakers for better surround sound
  • Processors: Intel processors
  • Memory & Storage: 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB RAM
  • Dimensions & Weight: 11.45 in (290.85 mm) • 7.95 in (202.04 mm)
  • Materials & Color: Midnight Blue
  • Battery: 48Wh battery
  • Camera: 8 MP with wide FOV
  • Wireless Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2x2 (MIMO), dual-band (2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz)Bluetooth 4.2
  • Security: Fingerprint Sensor
  • Sensors: 3-axis Gyroscope/ Accelerometer
  • Ports: Two USB-Cs for charging, 4K display output and quicker data transfer; Accessory connector for Pixel Slate Keyboard

How much does the Pixel Slate cost?

The Pixel Slate starts at $599, and goes up to $1,599. The Pixel Slate Keyboard costs $199, and the Pixelbook Pen is $99. A purchase of a Pixel Slate includes three months of YouTube TV for free.

SEE: All of TechRepublic's cheat sheets and smart person's guides

What are the major competitors to the Pixel Slate?

As a high-end tablet, the Pixel Slate's main competitor is Microsoft's new Surface line announced earlier in October, including the Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop 2, and Surface Studio 2. The Apple iPad Pro, which may also get a refresh this month, is another top competitor.

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Where and when can I buy the Pixel Slate?

The Pixel Slate and Pixel Slate Keyboard will be available in the Google Store and major retailers in the US, Canada, and the UK later this year.

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Image: Google

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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