Google has announced it’s working on a 10.2 inch tablet called the Pixel C at its Nexus event in SF today. The slate was revealed by product management exec Andrew Bowers, who talked up both the “play and productivity” sides of the forthcoming addition to Google’s Pixel product line-up.
Unlike prior Pixels in its product portfolio, this slate runs Android 6.0 not Google’s Chrome OS. It’s also, well, a tablet not a laptop (like earlier Pixels) — although its flagship feature is a detachable keyboard accessory — that attaches via magnets — for a full Qwerty typing experience too.
Tablets “often force you back to a laptop when you want to write a document or respond to a long email”, said Bowers, explaining Google’s thinking with the Pixel C’s snap-on keyboard design. “And while there are plenty of keyboard accessories they are often just that; they’re accessories. They have cramped keyboards, require you to use them on a desk, or get in the way when you don’t want to type.”
The original Chromebook Pixel was released back in February 2013 — with Google pairing its own-brand high end laptop hardware with Chrome OS in a bid to drive interest in its cloud-based operating system. There was a pretty high-end price-tag too, although two years on the laptop was still as shiny but with a slightly squeezed price.
The Pixel C is no less premium in the looks department, with an all-metal enclosure. Indeed, it has a similar look to Microsoft’s Surface tablet which also comes with a keyboard cover accessory, although the Surface keyboard is a little less high end in the looks department.
On the specs front, the Pixel C’s high res display packs in 308ppi — so it’s aiming for the kind of pixel-free viewing Apple touts with its Retina displays. Under the hood there’s an NVIDIA X1 quad-core processor and a “desktop class” Maxwell GPU, and 3GB of RAM. “Games really shine,” added Bowers.
He said the Pixel C will be released in time for the holidays, with a price-tag of $499 for the tablet and $149 for the keyboard.