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Google Pixel Slate, hands-on: the keyboard’s the best feature


Google makes plenty of Chromebooks. The Pixel ($379 at Amazon) Slate is an try to make a pill that is additionally a Chromebook, one thing like Microsoft’s Surface. Google desires you to consider the Pixel Slate when it comes to its stunning show, its full Chrome browser, its extra tablet-like Chrome OS.

I simply take into consideration its keyboard.

I acquired to spend a while with the 12-inch pill at Google’s New York occasion, the place new Pixel 3 phones and the Google Home Hub additionally debuted. The Slate is clearly designed to go up in opposition to the Microsoft Surface and its workplace-meets-tablet design, however the Slate additionally appears to come back inside hanging distance of the iPad Pro, particularly when it comes to worth.


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Google Pixel Slate pill first look


Last 12 months’s Pixelbook was a wonderful however critically costly Chromebook. The Pixel Slate follows that acquainted sample, aiming for premium in a tablet-meets-Chromebook design.

The Pixel Slate starts at $599, however that is just for the pill, no keyboard or pen stylus included. The keyboard’s an extra $199; the pen, an additional $99. And, the Slate begins with an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage (non-upgradable). You will pay extra for additional storage and quicker processors, all the approach as much as a loopy $1,599 for a Core i7, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB storage.

The browser is its best software program feature

The Slate appears to shine most when Chrome is open. The Chrome browser, as with all Chromebook, is sort of a PC, and very versatile. New split-screen choices open up a number of panes or apps without delay, like the iPad ($345 at Amazon Marketplace) or Surface.

The Slate seems to be fairly, however it’s huge for a pill; with a 12.Three-inch display, that is extra like a laptop computer. The show does look crisp, however the common UI, which goals for a Pixel Android really feel, did not transfer all that easily at the occasion’s demo gadgets. The interface move simply wasn’t as fluid as I anticipated. Or, simply, not iPad-level buttery-smooth. That’s a bit regarding, particularly for this worth. At a elegant product demo occasion expertise, I would anticipate the Pixel Slate to be on its best footing. 

Yes, as talked about above, the Chrome can now do break up display, displaying two panes without delay. Sometimes it appears useful. The new Slate pen is stress delicate and seems like the Surface Pen, however it typically appeared to make digital ink spots on the show when the pen hadn’t even made contact but.


Sarah Tew/CNET

And the keyboard’s the best feature

The keyboard — a separate $200 buy — feels nice, although. The snap-on accent has stable round backlit keys with beneficiant spacing, a big clickable trackpad and a rear magnetic stand that may be angled to virtually any essential tilt. The case can fold up whereas staying connected and double as a folio case. This is fairly ingenious.

It’s mainly the iPad keyboard I’ve wanted for years: one with a touchpad, one which seems like a laptop computer, and one which provides back and front safety to the pill when touring.


The magnetic stand can angle again fairly far, however then there’s a fairly large desk footprint.

Sarah Tew/CNET

It’s not an ideal answer in comparison with a laptop computer — the keyboard and its rear assist add as much as a large desk footprint, very like the Microsoft Surface Pro. It’s additionally not good for laps. But on a desk, it felt nice to sort on.

The Pixel Slate wants it to finish the Chromebook equation, however its additional worth means spending at the least $800, or much more for the storage and processor you may want. The Slate looks as if a luxurious most will not pay for, and never fairly the excellent Chromebook, as a result of it is not as lap pleasant. But that keyboard is an ideal mannequin for the place Apple ought to take its iPad subsequent.


There is a fingerprint reader, although (it is the energy button).

Sarah Tew/CNET

No headphone jack, although — or SD card slot

Just be ready: the Three.5mm headphone jack is not right here. Instead, the Pixel Slate has two USB-C ports. That may be the place all gadgets are heading, however it’ll additionally imply a extremely annoying want for dongles.

There’s additionally no SD card slot, which implies no simply expandable storage. This additionally means you’d higher decide the storage tier rigorously. Google leans on limitless cloud storage, naturally, however there are some issues which are useful to retailer domestically.

The Pixel Slate arrives later this 12 months. We’ll have a full evaluation once we get a mannequin to make use of for longer than a fast demo session. But at this worth, the Pixel Slate has a giant query mark hanging over it: who would purchase this over a Microsoft Surface or an iPad?


  • Starts at $599
  • Intel Celeron, Core m3, Core i5 or Core i7 CPU
  • Up to 16GB of RAM
  • 12.Three-inch Molecular show with 293 ppi
  • eight megapixel rear- and front-facing cameras with Portrait mode
  • Two USB-C ports
  • Support for 4K exterior show
  • Pixel Imprint fingerprint scanner
  • Stereo audio system
  • New model of Chrome OS 
  • Integrated Google Assistant
  • Titan M Security Chip, which encrypts information and passwords
  • Family Link controls 
  • Includes free Three-month trial of YouTube TV ($40 at Google Store)
  • 48Wh battery gives as much as 10 hours of battery life
  • Measures 11.45×7.95×0.27 inches (LWH)

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