After a few stops and departuresGoogle is back to tablets, but with a touch of smart home. The company first announced the next I/O Pixel tablet this year, saying the device would launch in 2023. Although that release window is at least several months away, Google was eager to share more details. at its hardware launch event today.
Google vice president of product management Rose Yao said during the keynote that the company sees the tablet as part of its Pixel product portfolio, and it doesn’t feel complete without one. “large screen device”. It might be confusing if you remember the the unfortunate Pixel Slate and pixel bookwhich were “big-screen” Pixel-branded devices.
Like other Pixel gadgets, the tablet will be a canvas for Google’s expression of Android. And as the company already hinted at its developer conference this year, the tablet will be powered by the same Tensor G2 chip found in the flagship phones. As this is still just a tease, the company is still keeping details such as screen size, resolution, RAM, etc. a secret.
Google is ready, however, to share more on the design of the Pixel tablet. It resembles older phones like the Pixel 3, with a rounded rectangular shape and a matte glass back. In fact, Yao said the company has developed a new “nano-ceramic coating” that she says is inspired by “the feel of porcelain.”
In an interview with Engadget, Yao said the best way to think about this finish is to imagine the coating of a Le Creuset Dutch oven. She said the coating for the Pixel tablet should be just as durable and premium, and it basically incorporates tiny bits of ceramic over the frame of the device, which is made from recycled aluminum. This creates what she said is a “soft matte finish” with a “grippy feel” that should alleviate what her team believed to be a pain point of tablets: “These are really big devices that are a bit slippery.”
The Pixel tablet will also run Android, with Material You customization and large-screen features like split-screen and pen support. When I asked for more information about stylus support, Yao replied “We’ll talk about that next year”, although she added that “you can use a third-party stylus”.
The fact that the Pixel tablet is powered by Tensor, which Yao says is the first time Google has brought its own processor to a product type other than a phone, allows for several different things.
“I have so many stories that I want to share about what this means,” Yao said. But she can’t at this time, in addition to hinting at voice recognition, video calling, photo editing and image processing as areas to watch.
She also shouted the assistant, which will be able to “work seamlessly between a tablet and the phone” thanks to Tensor. But not only that, Google wants you to think of its tablet as a place for an always-listening assistant, much like you would a Nest speaker. Yao said his team observed how people used the tablets and learned that “tablets are homebodies.” According to her, most tablets are at home 80% of the time and only active a small part of the time.
Another thing Yao said was that although the tablets tend to stay in people’s homes, they “don’t really have a home at home.” They are often left in drawers or in charging sockets, and can be forgotten or get in the way. To create a tablet that was “really useful 24/7” and that would “bring together the best of Pixel and home,” Yao said his team created a speaker dock.
The base doesn’t just charge the device, Yao said it also “unlocks a ton of new experiences and makes the tablet useful all the time.” Its favorite feature is the photo frame, which is similar to that of the Nest Hub smart display. But the Pixel tablet also has front and rear cameras, which makes it useful for video calls.
Yao said the angle “is really perfect for me”, although based on the images Google has shown so far, it looks like the camera can shoot at an unflattering upward angle. . She also confirmed that the base doesn’t allow for adjustable angles, so if you don’t like the position, you probably won’t be able to change it.
“I really think it’s one of the most versatile tablets out there,” Yao said, adding, “We’ll talk about it next year.” Although Google still hasn’t shared details like screen size and pricing, we’ll likely know more closer to launch.
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