7.1/10
Informr score
The Google Pixel Slate currently has an Informr score of 7.1 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 34 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Verdict

While there’s a lot to love about the Pixel Slate, you’ll find a more compelling experience from Microsoft’s Surface or Apple’s iPad Pro series. But if the Pixel Slate goes on sale -- or Google reduces the price -- it could be an interesting option for those looking for a tablet suited to both work and play.

What's good

  • Beautiful display
  • Sturdy, reassuring build quality
  • Slim design
  • Good audio
  • Two USB-C ports
  • Pixelbook Pen support
  • Multiple configuration options

What's bad

  • Price
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Some Android app compatibility issues
  • Chrome OS only so-so on a tablet
  • Heavy for a tablet
  • Keyboard not firm enough for on-lap use

With Apple and Microsoft putting pressure on the high-end 2-in-1 and tablet markets, Google’s Pixel Slate looks to answer the call for a powerful Android tablet that can double as a laptop. But hitting the balance between tablet and laptop can be tricky. Let’s see if Google succeeded and what reviewers have to say about their latest release.

Design

The aluminum chassis includes 2 USB Type-C ports, volume buttons, and a power/lock button which doubles as a fingerprint sensor.

There’s also a 4-pin connector at the bottom of the tablet (when in landscape) for accessories such as the Pixel Slate Keyboard.

Overall, reviewers loved the design and quality on offer with the Pixel Slate. They noted that it felt reassuringly hefty without being too bulky. They also liked the feel of the aluminum in the hand and complimented the design for its slim bezels and sleek lines.

Display

Around front, you’ll find a 12.3-inch, 2000-by-3000 pixel LCD panel which Google calls a Molecular display. Reviewers loved the viewing experience on the Pixel Slate with its bold colors, excellent contrast, and mostly fluid response.

Reviewers with lower-end Celeron models had issues with the tablet keeping up during heavy multitasking or when playing high-end games.

There were also mentions of reduced contrast at extreme viewing angles. Still, in most cases, you’ll be sitting in front of the tablet to use it.

T3 says, “... the Surface Book-matching 3000x2000 panel, squashing 293 pixels per inch into its 12.3-inch area, does not disappoint even slightly. It’s vibrant without being over saturated, and absolutely razor-sharp when static.

Performance

Powering the tablet, you’ll find a selection of 8th Generation Intel processors ranging from the basic Celeron to the productivity- and gaming-focused i7. Google paired these processors with 4 to 16GB of RAM depending on the variant you choose.

Most reviewers received the i5 model with 8GB of RAM and found it more than enough for heavy multitasking, watching streaming video, cranking out documents, or enjoying the occasional game. That said, even the i7 doesn’t compete with the iPad Pro 12.9 in benchmarks.

Reviewers with the Celeron model complained of frequent stuttering and a generally poor experience. So avoid the lowest-end options in the line up if possible.

CNet tested the i5 variant and said, “At this price, I expected buttery-smooth operations, and that's definitely not the case. It works, but that doesn't feel like enough.

Software

Instead of running Android, the Pixel Slate runs Chrome OS. This means you’ll need an Internet connection for some things, so be sure to have Wi-Fi nearby.

Overall, reviews of the tablet-based version of Chrome OS left reviewers with mixed opinions.

The Canadian Techie says, “Even though Google said they tried to make Chrome OS more tablet-friendly that’s not the case. Chrome OS just doesn’t work well as a tablet interface.

T3 was more positive, saying, “There’s none of the fiddly complexity of Windows’ not-quite-properly-formed Tablet Mode, and none of the almost cartoonish simplicity sometimes displayed by iOS. Once again, this straddles the two pillars of the tablet world, and does so with aplomb.

Storage

Depending on the model you choose, you’ll find 32 to 256GB of storage with no microSD card support. While 32GB might seem low for a “laptop replacement” keep in mind that much of Chrome OS is running in the cloud with the Chrome Browser serving as the hub offering access to a range of apps and features.

That said, you can technically upgrade storage by using an external USB storage option -- such as a flash drive, hard drive, or solid state drive. However, reviewers found drive support hit-or-miss. So you’ll want to research compatibility between the tablet and your intended drive before spending any money.

Cameras

While you’re not likely to whip out your Pixel Slate to take snapshots of your dinner or a meetup with friends, you’ll find 8MP front and rear cameras available for web conferencing, video calls, and the occasional note or selfie.

Reviewers found the cameras average. This won’t replace your point-and-shoot or keep up with the cameras in Google’s Pixel phones.

TechAeris put the cameras to the test and declared “... while the front camera is fine for video chats, the rear camera is average indoors and out.

Battery Life

The tablet includes a 48 watt-hour lithium-polymer battery good for roughly 10 hours of Wi-Fi surfing on a single charge. When the battery is low, you can use the USB Type-C fast charging to gain as much as 2 hours of use with a 15-minute charge.

Better still since the tablet includes 2 USB-C ports, you can still connect other accessories while charging.

Audio

Most reviewers loved the audio experience on the tablet. You’ll find two front-facing stereo speakers which many praised for the overall volume and well-balanced sound. Unfortunately, there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack. Some reviewers received USB-C to 3.5mm adaptors while others did not. So if you plan to use headphones often, be sure to check in advance if they’re included in your region.

Accessories

The tablet offers two official Google accessories to help you get the most out of your tech -- the Pixelbook Pen and Pixel Slate Keyboard.

The Canadian Techie says, “The Pixelbook Pen worked really well, it’s just as smooth as the Apple Pencil and the Surface Pen.

However, other reviewers noticed a slight delay to the input of the pen and described it as feeling sluggish or syrupy. If you’re looking for a tablet for professional graphics work or digital art, Apple’s iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) might be a better option.

The Pixel Slate Keyboard saw similarly mixed reviews. While the round buttons offered plenty of travel and the backlight was great for dimmer environments, many found the base of the keyboard too flimsy for use anywhere but on a table. More concerning, some reviewers had issues with the keyboard disconnecting from the tablet.

Fortunately, with USB-C and Bluetooth, you can hook up your favorite keyboard and mouse without issues -- but these are often less portable than a good keyboard cover would be.

The Takeaway

Overall, the Pixel Slate confused reviewers. The price puts it in direct competition with the high-end options from Microsoft and Apple while the experience just doesn’t match. You’ll also likely need to pick up at least a keyboard to make the most of using it. This adds further to an already questionable price.

T3 says, “It’s a Chromebook in a tablet form factor, turbocharged and spiced up, something for work and for play, but not necessarily something which is going to replace either a dedicated tablet or a full-blown PC.

However, CNet sums up most concerns best, saying, “This is the type of product I want future Chromebooks to be, but not at this price… the Pixel Slate is attempt (sic) at pushing a luxury price on a device that doesn't feel like it earns it.


Operating system
Custom
Processor
Unknown
Screen Size
12.3"
Camera
8+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Techaeris

Google’s Pixel Slate definitely is a mixed bag. On one hand, the higher processor models are great for mobile productivity — with some caveats and issues. Chrome OS is definitely has a nicer feeling on a tablet of this size over Android. While you can do most productivity work using Chrome OS or And...

- Jason Bouwmeester, Techaeris
Gear Patrol

It’s a Chromebook that can double as a tablet, but the tablet experience, with both Android and web apps, isn’t as polished as it could be. Maybe that’ll change with a future software update, who knows? If you want a Chromebook with a 2-in-1 design, then this still feels like a good option, but you...

- Tucker Bowe, Gear Patrol
The Canadian Techie

The Pixel Slate is a good attempt at a Chrome OS tablet by Google. But with issues with not being able to run some Android apps on it and cost of the device and accessories makes products like the iPad, Microsoft Surface Pro or Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 much more appealing.

- The Canadian Techie
T3

The Pixel Slate only really makes sense as an evolution of Google’s own-brand high-end Chromebook line. In that context, it’s a fine successor to the convertible Pixelbook, although that too nestles in a confusing niche given that virtually every other Chrome OS device is both lower power and lower...

- Alex Cox, T3
Cnet

There are a lot of good ideas in the Pixel Slate, but this pricey Google tablet doesn't do enough to distinguish itself from the plenty of other great Chromebook options out there.

- Scott Stein, Cnet


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Screen Size
12.3"

The Google Pixel Slate's screen size is 12.3 inches with 2000 x 3000 pixels resolution.

Processor
Unknown

There is a Intel Celeron 8th Gen processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on the Custom Chrome OS operating system (OS).

Camera
8+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the tablet's onboard 8+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
32/64/128/256 GB

Internal memory is 32/64/128/256 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
48WHr

The tablet is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 48 WHr battery. Google's performance ratings are 10 hours Wi-Fi surfing.

Pixel Slate Specs

Overview
Release date December 31, 2018
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kindom
Networks
No cellular data
SIM card No
Dual SIM No
Operating System Custom Chrome OS
Secondary OS No
Processor Intel Celeron 8th Gen
Internal Storage 32/64/128/256 GB
RAM 4/8/16 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass No
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible Unknown
TTY/TDD Unknown
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 48 WHr
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Battery Charge Time Unknown
Video Playback Time Up to: 10 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 10 hours
Internet Use (Celluar) No
Reading Time Unknown
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Material Aluminium
Colors Midnight Blue
Dimensions [H x W x D] 11.45 x 7.95 x 0.27 cm (4.5 x 3.1 x 0.1 in)
Weight 721 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 2000 x 3000 pixels
Pixel density 293 pixels
Size 12.3 inches
3D No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes Unknown
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touchscreen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging IM
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 1.8
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Main Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Self-timer
Video Recording Formats
MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
Aperture f/1.9
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, M4A, WMA, WAV
Radio Unknown
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, FLV, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack No
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Unknown
Apps
To-Do / Task List Unknown
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter Unknown
Weather Unknown
Stocks Unknown
Maps Unknown
NotePad Unknown
Voice Memos / Recorder Unknown
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps
More
Additional comments

Variations:

Intel Celeron Processor
Storage: 32/64 GB
RAM: 4/8 GB

8th Gen Intel Core m3 Processor
Storage: 64 GB
RAM: 8 GB

8th Gen Intel Core i5 Processor
Storage: 128 GB
RAM: 8 GB

8th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor
Storage: 256 GB
RAM: 16 GB

Related Links Google Pixel Slate Reviews
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Critic Reviews


Techaeris

A solid Chrome OS device with some issues

from Techaeris

Google’s Pixel Slate definitely is a mixed bag. On one hand, the higher processor models are great for mobile productivity — with some caveats and issues. Chrome OS is definitely has a nicer feeling on a tablet of this size over Android. While you can do most productivity work using Chrome OS...More

Google’s Pixel Slate definitely is a mixed bag. On one hand, the higher processor models are great for mobile productivity — with some caveats and issues. Chrome OS is definitely has a nicer feeling on a tablet of this size over Android. While you can do most productivity work using Chrome OS or Android Apps, there’s still some “full-blown” software like Photoshop or Lightroom that you’ll be missing.

Read full review

Less

Gear Patrol

Google’s new, direct rival to the iPad Pro

from Gear Patrol

It’s a Chromebook that can double as a tablet, but the tablet experience, with both Android and web apps, isn’t as polished as it could be. Maybe that’ll change with a future software update, who knows? If you want a Chromebook with a 2-in-1 design, then this still feels like a good option,...More

It’s a Chromebook that can double as a tablet, but the tablet experience, with both Android and web apps, isn’t as polished as it could be. Maybe that’ll change with a future software update, who knows? If you want a Chromebook with a 2-in-1 design, then this still feels like a good option, but you should know that there are much cheaper Chromebook alternatives also out there.

Read full review

Less

The Canadian Techie

Chrome OS doesn’t work well as a tablet OS

The Canadian Techie

The Pixel Slate is a good attempt at a Chrome OS tablet by Google. But with issues with not being able to run some Android apps on it and cost of the device and accessories makes products like the iPad, Microsoft Surface Pro or Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 much more appealing.

Read full review

The Pixel Slate is a good attempt at a Chrome OS tablet by Google. But with issues with not being able to run some Android apps on it and cost of the device and accessories makes products like the iPad, Microsoft Surface Pro or Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 much more appealing.

Read full review

Less

T3

A solid system, but fails to shine over any of its direct competition

from T3

The Pixel Slate only really makes sense as an evolution of Google’s own-brand high-end Chromebook line. In that context, it’s a fine successor to the convertible Pixelbook, although that too nestles in a confusing niche given that virtually every other Chrome OS device is both lower power and...More

The Pixel Slate only really makes sense as an evolution of Google’s own-brand high-end Chromebook line. In that context, it’s a fine successor to the convertible Pixelbook, although that too nestles in a confusing niche given that virtually every other Chrome OS device is both lower power and lower cost. The dream of a joint Android tablet and serious laptop is worthy, but not fully realised here.

Read full review

Less

Cnet

Google's pricey vision of a tablet-meets-Chromebook doesn't quite gel

from Cnet

There are a lot of good ideas in the Pixel Slate, but this pricey Google tablet doesn't do enough to distinguish itself from the plenty of other great Chromebook options out there.

Read full review

There are a lot of good ideas in the Pixel Slate, but this pricey Google tablet doesn't do enough to distinguish itself from the plenty of other great Chromebook options out there.

Read full review

Less

Daily Express

A decent tablet

from Daily Express

There’s no question that Google has made a decent tablet with the Slate and it even has some features you won’t find on an iPad. However, the dated design, high price and overall usability simply can’t match the might of the new iPad Pro.

Read full review

There’s no question that Google has made a decent tablet with the Slate and it even has some features you won’t find on an iPad. However, the dated design, high price and overall usability simply can’t match the might of the new iPad Pro.

Read full review

Less

Tech.Co

The tablet that thinks it's a Chromebook

from Tech.Co

The Google Pixel Slate is a nice enough tablet in its own right, but adding the keyboard and pen elevates it way above just another high-end tablet. While this is true of the iPad Pro too, the fact that the Pixel Slate is designed around Chrome OS, ostensibly a ChromeBook operating system, it rea...More

The Google Pixel Slate is a nice enough tablet in its own right, but adding the keyboard and pen elevates it way above just another high-end tablet. While this is true of the iPad Pro too, the fact that the Pixel Slate is designed around Chrome OS, ostensibly a ChromeBook operating system, it really does feel like an incomplete experience without them.

Read full review

Less

Tech Advisor

A missed opportunity

from Tech Advisor

The Pixel Slate is a frustrating device to use and a hard product to score. If you dive fully into Chrome OS with the keyboard cover then it can - for most basic tasks - be used as though a Windows or Mac might be, with Android apps filling in the software blanks. But the weak processing power o...More

The Pixel Slate is a frustrating device to use and a hard product to score. If you dive fully into Chrome OS with the keyboard cover then it can - for most basic tasks - be used as though a Windows or Mac might be, with Android apps filling in the software blanks. But the weak processing power of the low end models, expense of the keyboard, lacklustre tablet mode and buggy Play Store integration mean this is a messy user experience. It’s too expensive and has too many issues to fully recommend.

Read full review

Less

Android Police

It's a beautiful mess - but mostly just a mess

from Android Police

Not only did Google ship a product with an OS that clearly just isn’t quite ready for a tablet form factor, it did so in a way that feels unfinished and, at times, broken. Unlike the Pixelbook, which was at least a very pleasant laptop despite some rough edges that have since largely been smoot...More

Not only did Google ship a product with an OS that clearly just isn’t quite ready for a tablet form factor, it did so in a way that feels unfinished and, at times, broken. Unlike the Pixelbook, which was at least a very pleasant laptop despite some rough edges that have since largely been smoothed, the Pixel Slate doesn’t have strong core competencies to fall back on. It’s not a very good laptop that is also a much worse tablet (at least for anything but Netflix binging).

Read full review

Less

Time

Just another tablet biting off more than it can chew

from Time

Unfortunately, the Pixel Slate is ruined by bad software, through and through. The shining spot, its Chrome browser, is the only aspect that works as expected. Everything else feels unpolished, and the attempt to graft Android’s most useful bits onto Chrome OS falls flat here.

Read full review

Unfortunately, the Pixel Slate is ruined by bad software, through and through. The shining spot, its Chrome browser, is the only aspect that works as expected. Everything else feels unpolished, and the attempt to graft Android’s most useful bits onto Chrome OS falls flat here.

Read full review

Less



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