Google is expanding its Pixel line of premium hardware devices to include its first Android tablet. So while there’s no new Nexus tablet to go with the new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P smartphones, Google is launching a new Android tablet.

It’s called the Google Pixel C, and it should be available in time for the 2015 holiday season for $499 and up. You’ll almost certainly want to spend an extra $149 to get the optional keyboard though, because the Pixel C is very clearly designed to work with a keyboard. The C stands for “convertible.”

While $650 is kind of pricey for an Android tablet and keyboard, it’s the cheapest Pixel device to date… and it’s unlike any other tablet on the market.

pixel c_04

There are a bunch of things that make Google’s new 10.2 inch tablet special. It has a high-resolution 2560 x 1800 pixel display, for one thing. It features a USB Type-C charging port, for another. And it has a Pixel LED light bar on the back, which you can tap to quickly see battery life at-a-glance without unlocking the tablet.

But the keyboard is really what makes the Pixel C stand out.

The tablet and keyboard are held together with powerful magnets, and there are no hinges at all. Place the keyboard on top of the screen when the tablet isn’t in use, and it will protect the display. Slide it of and position it at the back of the keyboard and it will stand up without the aid of a kickstand or hinge.

You can adjust the angle up to 135 degrees, and the magnets are strong enough to let you hold the system upside down from the keyboard without worrying that the tablet will fall off.

pixel c_01

Google says despite the small screen size, the keyboard features nearly full-sized keys, because the company took 5 of the least frequently used keys from the side of the keyboard and put them in an on-screen menu. Since your hands will always be close to the tablet when you’re typing, this gives you more room for touch typing, while making it still relatively easy to hit those infrequently used soft-keys when you need to.

The keyboard uses Bluetooth to connect to the tablet, and Google says the keyboard has a small battery that should last for up to 2 months of usage… but that you essentially never have to charge the battery. That’s because it will automatically charge inductively when placed on top of the tablet. That means that as long as you use the keyboard to cover the tablet for at least few minutes each day, the keyboard battery will never run out of juice.

pixel c_02

Google’s Pixel C has stereo speakers, four microphones for picking up your voice from across the room, and it runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow software. Google will roll out software updates for the tablet every 6 weeks.

The tablet powered by an NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor, features 3GB of RAM, and will be available with 32GB of storage for $499 or 64GB of storage for $599.

 

If you’re wondering why this is a “Pixel” device rather than a “Nexus,” it’s because the Pixel C was designed in-house by Google to show the company’s ideal vision of a high-quality product. Think it’s too expensive? Google probably doesn’t care: the company didn’t expect to sell a lot of Chromebook Pixel laptops when the company launched them. Basically Google built a laptop its employees wanted to use and then made it available to the public. The Pixel C is sort of the tablet version of that idea.

Nexus devices, on the other hand, are built in partnership with companies that make Android phones and tablets. They’re developed alongside the latest version of Google’s Android operating system to showcase new features such as the fingerprint authentication software that now lets you unlock an Android device or authorize mobile payments with Android Pay.

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30 replies on “Google Pixel C premium Android tablet coming soon for $499 and up”

  1. I ran Android (4.4.2, I think) off a liveCD on my laptop a couple of days ago. What a terrible experience. Don’t know what I was expecting.

    Back button multiple times to leave an app, mouse sucks (can’t highlight, copy/paste), right-clicking = left-clicking = tapping), wouldn’t mount my laptop’s hard drive, scrolling works on some apps not all. Android makes you work way too hard on any hybrid.

    It sucks at pseudo-multi-tasking – a background app will hibernate but reload contents/web pages when called forward. At least the liveCD came with root access so I can actually get some control over MY computer.

    Later on I loaded eComstation (OS/2 Warp) demo liveCD. Very limited (no sound, no WiFi support… pretty useless overall for testing) but as a Desktop OS it ran circles around Android.

    Google keeps screwing around while its’ competitors are offering dual solutions (mobile & Desktop). Either empower Android or do it with ChromeOS. Otherwise get out of the hybrid.game. You’re hurting your brand name.

  2. I really don’t see how this became a Surface Competitor. Clearly, Surface vs. THIS is like comparing a phone with a desktop. It’s outright unfair.

    I’d say this device works for some. But not everyone. Same goes for the Surface and that Gigantic, redundant iPad Pro.

    And for the people out there who say this competes with the iPad? Well it might. But I doubt people will buy this niche device over a better, cheaper alternative.

  3. Meant to be a competitor to the Surface yet no uSD slot. Yeahh ok. Double sad as Android M now supports external storage. Google, I wonder about you some times

  4. Nope. They seem to misunderstand why people want a keyboard. If you jack it up and move everything around it kinda misses the point. And forget programming on that layout. Lose [{]}|`~ plus Esc and still call it a keyboard?

  5. This isn’t even close to a Surface competitor except in price, it’s just an expensive tablet.

  6. LOL. Honestly, if you’re buying this, then does it match with your Google shirt, hat and jacket?

    1. It matches my desire for a tablet that can handle intense gaming and Gamecube/Wii emulation in stride. Don’t be dense and detest something you don’t personally want.

      1. actual atom is better than x1 when come to dolphin emulation.
        you can get nearly 60fps with surface 3 and dolphin

        while x1/dolphin for android still has sound issue and during gameplay frame drop under 30

        and for that price you can get core m which is better than all mobile soc when it come to gaming, especially dolphin

        1. The X1 SOC is showing great potential, and it will vastly improve from here. We will almost certainly see essentially perfect performance going forward. The current tests on the X1 are very early examples.

          1. Right, but it’s not there yet, so it can’t be counted on..

            Why would you buy an inferior product, that isn’t ready to do what you want it to do, when there is a better product out there already?

            Fanboy-ism.

          2. …Or I’d like to use the apps and games I’ve already purchased as well as hope for the future.

            Asshole-ism.

      2. It’s only intensity is when you see the cash leave your hand to buy it. Just like the Nexus Player (LOL), I’m sure there are a handful of people who are juiced about this Pixel C.

        1. Ookay. Great play on my choice of words there, kiddo. Anywho, we all know that the Nexus Player is a market failure, but that’s irrelevant. This just sounds like a nice device. But I really don’t care if you share the same opinion as me. I just despise when people state their opinion as fact. (LOL)

          1. Sometimes you have to listen to what the leaders have to say. It might save you time, money and effort. Not everyone knows who to follow unfortunately. An incredibly expensive and shallow featured device when you take the time to look at what actual value is in current devices. The guy holding it today was shaking. It was like he was holding his first born. My advice to him is to get a grip. Nerd alert.

  7. Active stylus? Digitizer?

    Seems an odd thing to omit if this is meant to compete with the surface or iPad pro.

    1. The reason a Surface crushes this for productivity are the same reasons it crushes an ipad pro – a stylus isn’t anywhere near the top of the list.

    2. Marshmallow includes support for Bluetooth styluses, and that may only be enhanced by Nvidia’s past of creating stylus capabilities in their Note and Shield tablets.

  8. If convertibles and, presumably, this product, are made to target pro users, why the hell doesn’t it had expandable storage??? USB port??? 4g??? Stylus???

  9. Tegra X1 sounds pretty good. Looking forward to seeing some numbers. Would be nice to have a track-pad though. Seems everyone wants a piece of the Surface pie.

  10. Looks nice. I’m looking forward to reviews. I wonder if the case is all aluminum like the Chromebook Pixel?

  11. i’m impressed. I thought the Surface design was excellent, but I’m really liking the Pixel C design.

    1. The design is nice, but it’s still running Android – which means it will be useless in 2 years unlike a Surface. And Android on a tablet is still very limited. You can’t go back to an Android tablet after using a Windows tablet.

      1. Why would it be useless in 2 years? Google will certainly be providing Android updates for at least that long, and apps don’t suddenly stop working just because you’re not on the latest version of Android.

        1. Android tablets become extremely laggy and slow after 2-3 years (I know because because I had one)

          1. Huh? Is there some kind of timer that slows Android tablets down a little more every few months? You’re not making any sense. (Typing this on my non-extremely laggy Nexus 10.)

          2. I am very happy with my N7 2013 performance. I like the form factor so much that I would not trade it for a Nexus 9 or Pixel C. Will any of the “Pixel” products ever turn a profit? They make Google appear as if they have an Apple inferiority complex.

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