Since its debut 13 years ago, the iPad has consistently held a firm grip on the global tablet market. Often dominating a huge portion of all tablets sold annually. Android tablets from brands like Samsung and HUAWEI have struggled to match iPad’s success. But Apple has always been faster, hauling out products with better functionality and faster OS upgrades. Even Google made an early entry into the tablet market with its Nexus tablet series, but that too ground to a halt.
Now, introducing the Google Pixel Tablet 2023; the latest addition to the Android tablet market, after Google’s long break. This roughly 11-inch screen tablet comes in three refreshing colors: Porcelain, Hazel, and Rose. Priced at $499, the Google Pixel Tablet has a standard tablet design with a 10.95-inch LCD display and bezels that match the color of the tablet. Along with a resolution of 1,600 x 2,560 and a 60Hz refresh rate. While it may not be as impressive as other tablets out there with OLED panels and higher refresh rates, the LCD screen is chosen to avoid screen ghosting issues. Mostly, the display offers good viewing angles, cool colors, and sufficient brightness for outdoor use.
Let’s look at some of the outstanding features of the Google Pixel Tablet; including the most raved-about Dock.
The Google Pixel Tablet has a back made of aluminum with a textured feel and a nano-ceramic coating. It has connectors for attaching it to the dock, which also serves as a charging speaker. Just like the Pixel 5, Google has a fingerprint sensor and volume rocker on the top edge when held in landscape mode. The USB-C connector for charging is on the left side, and there are silicone bumpers on the bottom for protection.
The tablet offers convenient hands-free assistance. By simply saying “Hey Google” users can play music and videos. Or get answers to questions, control smart home devices, manage tasks, and much more. In terms of software updates, the Pixel Tablet has a solid operating system update arrangement: a minimum of 3 years. So that users can have access to Google’s latest features and improvements. Pixel Tablet users will also receive security updates for a minimum of 5 years, to protect the device against potential security threats.
Software and Performance of The Google Pixel Tablet 2023
The tablet has four speakers on both sides that deliver clear audio and stereo sound, but it lacks a headphone jack. It features an 8-megapixel webcam for video calls and a rear camera for basic photography needs. It is said to offer decent performance for most tasks but tends to get warm and has a slightly lower battery life compared to similar tablets. The battery life of the Pixel Tablet is decent. When it is undocked, the device can last up to 12 hours after charge.
The performance of the Pixel Tablet is really impressive, considering how overinflated most of Google’s products are when it comes to performance. The tablet runs on the same powerful Tensor G2 chipset as the Pixel 7 series, along with 8GB of RAM. Google has also made significant improvements in optimizing the tablet for wider screens. They have worked on enhancing the experience of using over 80 popular apps on the Pixel Tablet, such as Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram, Calculator, Chrome, Netflix, and more.
While Google’s apps(Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Chrome, etc) have been optimized for the tablet, many third-party apps still lack tablet-specific designs. The Pixel Tablet runs on Android 13 OS with a similar interface to Google’s Pixel phone. And from what we know, the tablet is primarily focused on providing users advanced productivity features, which if you pay close attention to, aren’t that avant.
The Famous Google Pixel Tablet Dock
The standout feature of the Pixel Tablet is its speaker dock, which seamlessly transfers audio from the tablet to the dock’s louder speakers. The fact that the Google Pixel Tablet includes this Dock that also charges the tablet makes the device all the more impressive. The tablet can equally be used as a smart display when docked, with voice commands and access to Google Assistant. It supports multiple users and has a kids’ mode too.
As for the Pixel Tablet, the Charging Speaker Dock enhances the tablet’s audio experience, but it basically falls short compared to other dedicated smart speakers. It is more suitable for background music or podcasts at low to medium volumes, but lacks loudness and clarity at higher volumes. The dock beyond our expectations has limited functionality and cannot be used independently when the tablet is not docked. It’s frustrating that the dock lacks any built-in intelligence as well.
Google’s inclusion of the dock with every tablet increases the product’s overall cost. If the speaker dock is a mandatory part of the purchase, it should offer better sound or more features, ideally both.
When the tablet is attached to the dock, it can function as a smart display, showing a screensaver and providing access to Google Home device controls. The dock also serves as a Chromecast target for casting media to the tablet.
Pixel Tablet VS Nest Hub
Sadly, we cannot help but notice the similarities to Google’s Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max. Versatile smart displays that combine a smart speaker with a touchscreen. Powered by the Google Assistant, they offer a wide range of features. You can access news briefings, view weather conditions, control smart home devices, play music and podcasts, watch videos, cast content, use it as a digital picture frame, participate in video chats, create a home intercom system, answer your doorbell, assist in cooking, monitor your sleep, translate languages, control the display with hand gestures, and personalize your experience with voice and face recognition.
What We Think?
The Pixel Tablet is a decent midrange Android tablet that comes with a charging dock for added functionality. Its performance is impressive for its price range, and although the display isn’t technically remarkable, it still looks good. However, Google’s decision to only sell the tablet with the dock seems like a big mistake. Although Google says the Pixel Tablet is not a Nest Hub Max upgrade, it gives off that vibe and even functions similarly in some ways.
A number of people may purchase the device, assuming they’re getting a high-end smart display that can be detached for mobility. Unfortunately, they will be disappointed because the Pixel Tablet is not a substitute for a dedicated smart display, which puts it in an awkward position. Moreover, the audio quality from the Pixel Tablet’s Charging Speaker Dock falls short of what one would expect from an approximately $500 smart home gadget. Google has come up with an intriguing concept with the Pixel Tablet, but its execution is lacking. Most people would prefer the option to buy the tablet alone without the dock. While many people may still desire the dock, it shouldn’t be a requirement for everyone.
- Display: 10.95 inches, 2560 x 1600 pixels
- Processor: Google Tensor G2
- Weight: 493g
- RAM: 8GB
- Storage: 128 / 256GB
- Camera: 8MP for rear and front
- Operating system: Android 13
- Camera: 8MP front and rear
- Ports and Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, USB-C, UWB
- Dimensions: 258 x 169 x 8.1mm
- Battery: 27Wh
- Colors: Porcelain, Hazel, Rose