Pixel Tablet: Google’s latest has a twist — but will it find an audience? | Technology News

As smartphone screens got bigger and laptops got more powerful, tablets went through something of an identity crisis.

Once positioned as an obvious middle ground between computer in pocket And the one on your lap, the thinking behind them seems to be getting more and more confused.

The iPad is for people who want a keyboard and a powerful processor (but not a laptop?), and those who want a small screen (but not a big phone?).

Samsung Makes tablets, occasionally with a stylus, while also making phones that fold into screens that are even bigger than some tablets.do not forget amazonKindle and Microsoftarray of surfaces.

If just thinking about it gives you a headache, you’re not alone. As someone who has recently helped research buying a new family tablet, it’s harder than ever to know which model to choose, as use cases vary wildly.

but it didn’t stop Google From coming up with another use case for the tablet – what if it was also a smart home display?

The Pixel tablet launches today at £599 in a field that’s more crowded than ever. It comes with the same chip as the company’s flagship Pixel 7 smartphone, an 11-inch screen, and an array of optimized apps.

But the standout feature is the base, onto which you can slap the tablet with some powerful magnets and effectively turn the device into a home hub.

You can see information like the time and weather, have it cycle through photos, play music from the built-in speaker, control your lights, and its “Hey Google” voice assistant is always listening.

The tablet is designed to rest on the dock when not in use
Tablets are designed to rest on a dock when not in use…

no docks, no dice

The idea is that instead of having it teetering on the arm of a couch, next to your bed, or worse, at the mercy of your kids, you can place it on a pedestal and make it the center of your smart home.

Google is so committed to the idea that you can’t buy a tablet without a dock.

It’s a radically different approach from the ones taken by other tech companies, and one that aims to take aim at Amazon’s dominance of the smart speaker market almost as much as Apple does with tablets.

Of course, at £599, it’s much more expensive than the average home hub – even pricier ones like Amazon’s Echo Show and Google’s own Nest Hub.

Google has long produced excellent and popular smartphones, and its Pixel line is one of the best For anyone who likes the Android OS.

But the search giant never found a solid foothold in the tablet space, and its previous attempts offered a much different tone than what it’s releasing today. Launched in 2018, the Pixel Slate was a pricey Frankenstein-esque product designed to combine a tablet with a Chromebook, and it was discontinued after just two years.

Skeptics will no doubt suspect that a similar fate awaits the Pixel tablet.Google certainly has a history of killing products and services, and not just misguided tablets, its glass earphones and Stadia gaming platform (died two and three years later, respectively) are the most striking examples.

Undocked Pixel tablet performs just like a regular tablet
…and use it as a regular tablet when you pick it up

But as you might expect, its executives are bullish on the Pixel tablet, and its technology is impressive.

Thicker bezels and a matte finish make it nice and grippy, though it doesn’t feel as premium; Really fast; Eight megapixel cameras on the front and back, especially good for video calls; Google promises the battery can support 12 hours of video streaming.

While Android has never been as comfortable on a tablet as it is on a phone, during our hands-on time we’ve found that popular apps — from Google’s own YouTube and Gmail to others like Disney+ and WhatsApp — have aged fairly well. Optimization, you can use split screen.

The Pixel tablet also supports multiple accounts, which is better for family sharing than Apple’s iPad, which should help reassure parents.

Best of all, the dock works as advertised, turning the tablet into an attractive fixture in your living room, complete with very solid speakers for music, radio, and podcasts.

read more:
Google’s first foldable phone has an eye-watering price tag…
…but it’s still a bit cheaper than Apple’s new headphones

Given the increasingly cluttered space between smartphones and tablets, Google’s decision to push into the smart home market proved to be a masterstroke.

Given its new product history, we’ll know in about two years.

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