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Released in 2018, Google’s Pixel Slate is so much more than a tablet. It is a 12.3-inch desktop-class web browser that starts from $599 and comes with a detachable option keyboard, priced at $199. It comes packed with an outstanding screen and solid sound quality. However, it still does not perform extraordinarily well when it comes to the Android apps on it.
This article is a Pixel Slate and Pixel Slate Keyboard review where we review the two products in detail and discuss their performance, design, and configurations so you can make an informed decision if you are planning on purchasing this product. So without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Pixel Slate Review
Pixel Slate doubles as a tablet and a desktop computer when you attach a mouse and keyboard to it. It comes with a huge library of apps so you can make do when web apps don’t do the trick for you. Moreover, it comes with two USB-C ports that will allow basic file management. Overall, Pixel Slate checks more boxes than iPad Pro. Although it does not perform better than an iPad Pro, it definitely has fewer restrictions than an iPad Pro.
1. Pixel Slate Configurations and Price
The base model of Google Pixel Slate starts at $599 and can go as high as two grand. The $599 model features 4GB of RAM, an Intel Celeron CPU, and 32GB of storage. The model that we tested packed an Intel Core i5 processor, 128GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM and cost us $999. You will have to throw in an additional $199 if you want to get a Pixel Slate Keyboard and an extra $99 if you want a Pixelbook Pen. However, it’s completely optional and is only recommended for people who have to type and draw a lot.
While 32GB storage may exhaust your cloud-based Chrome OS, you cannot get 64GB of storage with a Core i5 processor because this option only comes with a Core m3 processor, which is not a very reliable CPU to be used as your primary machine. But if you use your Pixel Slate for minimal usage, you can go ahead with this option.
Moreover, you may want to consider getting Google’s Preferred Care warranty for an extra $149. With this warranty, Google will throw in an additional year of hardware coverage (in addition to the 1-year manufacturer warranty), 24/7 technical support, as well as two accidental damage repair claims to be made within a two-year period.
So if you decide to opt for this configuration, it will cost you $1,198. With decent hardware, you can buy your Pixel Slate with various configurations starting from $599 to go all the way up to $2,000 for a fully loaded model.
2. Pixel Slate Design
Google Pixel Slate comes in a dark Midnight Blue hue which gives it a sleek and elegant look. Crafted using anodized aluminum, its body seamlessly blends into any setting and also feels durable and strong. Although you may find its bezels a bit chunky, especially if you also use an iPad Pro, they are not big enough to make it appear outdated.
When connected to the Pixel Slate Keyboard, you wouldn’t find the Pixel Slate too portable because the keyboard almost doubles up its weight and thickness. As a result, your Pixel Slate becomes even bulkier than the Google Pixelbook, Surface Pro 6, and the Galaxy Book 2.
Without the Pixel Slate Keyboard, the Pixel Slate measures 0.3 inches in thickness and weighs 1.6 pounds, which makes it even lighter than the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 and the Microsoft Surface Pro 6. However, it is thicker and heavier than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which was released in 2018.
3. Pixel Slate Display
Pixel Slate comes with a 12.3-inch screen with outstanding color details and depth. I watched a YouTube video of my favorite show, Arcane, and I noticed intense and vibrant colors with crisp details that altogether offered an immersive visual experience.
Its screen offers 120% of the sRGB color spectrum, which is slightly above average and higher than that offered by Pixelbook. However, it is still lower than the Galaxy Book’s 200%, Surface Pro 6’s 136%, and iPad Pro’s 128%
In terms of brightness, it offers pretty great results of 337 nits, beating that of an average premium laptop and coming very close to that of the Galaxy Book 2. Although the screens in Surface Pro 6, Pixelbook, and iPad Pro are much brighter than the Pixel Slate, its display does offer decent brightness when viewed from different angles.
4. Pixel Slate Ports
Despite being ultra-thin and sleek, the Google Pixel Slate features dual USB Type-C ports, which is enough to teach Apple a lesson. In addition to this, these ports even support external storage, something that an iPad Pro with a single USB Type-C port does not. So you can actually use the Pixel Slate more practically than just relying on cloud storage. This makes it far more superior than the Surface Pro 6, which requires you to buy an additional $80 adapter for it.
Moreover, since the Pixel Slate does not have a headphone jack, it comes with a Type-C to 3.5mm audio adapter. Whereas the Pixel Slate Keyboard can be connected via the Pogo port that is present on its bottom edge.
However, there was one bug in the Pixel Slate’s external device support. After I imported a big size file into my Slate, it rebooted. Apart from that, the file transfer process was seamless.
5. Pixel Slate Chrome OS
The Pixel Slate Chrome OS experience is particularly good. For instance, the settings menu and the system notifications resemble those on an Android device that can easily be pulled down. Another great feature is the on-screen keyboard that features a mini squiggle at the top in tablet mode. When you tap on this squiggle, it will open up the handwriting mode, which lets you type by doodling or handwriting with a pen or your fingers. It converts the text as you doodle at a much faster rate than Windows does.
Moreover, if you have a Pixel phone, you will find that the Android messages are synced into the Chrome OS. Moreover, you can use your Pixel phone to unlock your Pixel Slate by just using a single tap. This will remind you of the seamless features that are offered in the Apple ecosystem.
You can find the Chrome browser at the center of the slate, which offers a more fulfilling experience than that offered by the Mobile Safari on iPad Pro. The Chrome browser opens up smoothly without any issues.
Another reason why you may like Chrome OS on Pixel Slate is that all of the system updates and maintenance activities are performed automatically in the background. Moreover, these updates are only made when you restart your computer, which means that none of your progress will be lost.
Pixel Slate Battery Life
The battery life of the Google Pixel Slate is very reliable and long-lasting. The unit we tried lasted for almost 10 hours, which is pretty impressive as this time beats the average of 8 hours and 13 minutes. It performs even better than the 9 hours and 20 minutes of battery life offered in Surface Pro 6. However, it is still lower than that of the iPad Pro and Galaxy Book 2, whose battery lives are 13 hours and 14 minutes and 10 hours and 41 minutes, respectively. However, your Pixel Slate will even outlast the battery life of Pixelbook.
Pixel Slate Keyboard Review
Priced at an additional $199, the Pixel Slate Keyboard is a backlit keyboard that will be an absolute delight to type on. Offering a near-average typing speed, this keyboard is definitely going to become one of your favorite two-in-one keyboards. You will quickly get used to the round keycaps, and the people around you would appreciate how silent the keys are when you type on them.
The trackpad offers a smooth scrolling experience and also responds to the three-finger swipe gestures to view all the windows that are open. The keyboard’s unique folds allow you to get way more positions than any other folding folio, giving a hard time to that of the Surface Pro.
Also, it uses magnets to connect to the back of the Pixel Slate with a really strong grip that can attach itself to any metal surface. I found out about this when I was trying to slide the keyboard around a metallic table.
So that’s pretty much all about the Pixel device and its peripheral. We hope this Pixel Slate and Pixel Slate Keyboard review covered everything that you were looking for. It is a beautiful device with so much to offer. From great battery life and impeccable display to practical ports and beautiful design, the Pixel Slate has a lot in store for you. You will fall in love with the amazing typing experience that the Pixel Slate Keyboard offers.