Google Pixel C Review

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Can the Apple iPad Pro, Google Pixel C, Microsoft Lumia 950 really replace the PC?.

New York: Plenty of people do all their Facebooking, YouTubing, Web surfing and whatnot on mobile devices. KARACHI: In what may turn out to be an important breakthrough for Pakistan’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, the Android 6.0 Marshmallow – the latest version of Google’s smartphone operating system – comes with support for Urdu language.

No, it’s not locked in its room with a bad case of acne, listening to “Teenage Wasteland.” But, like many tablets, it is in a desperate search to figure out who it really is. Earlier in September, the Silicon Valley-based technology giant unveiled two of its new ‘Nexus’ smartphones – the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P along with Android 6.0, according to a post on ‘The Mobile Indian’. But first, the thing itself: This machine is crafted of solid anodized aluminum with no visible screws, in the mold of Google’s premium Chromebook Pixel laptop. You can charge it through the versatile USB-C type connector, an emerging standard that is also on the latest Chromebook Pixel and Google Nexus smartphones. At a time when interest in tablets is waning, the first Android tablet wholly built by Google is a powerful, compact and elegant device that Android users will love.

With rising Internet penetration and free-access-to-Internet projects, the latest operating system will connect more people who will be able to create content in Urdu. But, with a price tag of nearly $850 (if you include the keyboard, which is sold separately), it’s built for the high-end market and will make you wonder — should I just buy a laptop? And then there’s what I consider to be the standout feature: a near full-size Qwerty style physical keyboard that transforms Pixel C into a slate off which you can get some meaningful work done.

Since the rollout of third-generation (3G) mobile technology, which started in mid-2014, Pakistan has been adding more than one million new users to its mobile Internet base every month – the number of broadband users in the country skyrocketed to 23 million at the end of October, 2015, up from less than 4 million before 3G auction. “When it comes to content, language does make a difference,” says A R Rafiq, who runs a software development company and is actively involved with Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) for IT and IT-enabled services. The entrepreneur from Silicon Valley says this new feature would help streamline the process of development as more apps could be developed in Urdu – one of the top five most-spoken languages. “It will support developers and content creators who prefer Urdu,” he says. “The Urdu content is usually not searchable because of its image format,” says Khushnood. Moreover, by Google’s own admission, Pixel products are future-looking and designed to “inspire the partner ecosystem.” Google, of course, wants you to buy it. Even though it’s a fraction of the size of a regular sized keyboard, my hands quickly adapted because the full-sized keys are spaced out, and there’s a nice depth that I felt while typing.

The seat had little legroom, yet Apple’s iPad Pro ($799 and up) felt comfortable on my lap, perched on a physical-keyboard cover ($169) that folds into a kickstand. Granted, Microsoft Surface tablets, which also rely on accessory keyboards, aren’t exactly inexpensive either, and the same can be said for the larger display iPad Pro.

Such keyboards are designed for those times when you don’t necessarily want to use the tablet to consume games, books and movies, but rather when you want to become the content creator, at least when that content has to do with banging out longer documents. When closed, the keyboard and tablet are held together by self-aligning magnets, and as with a clamshell laptop the keys are concealed under the cover. Once you do get it, you get it, and you can’t help but admire Google’s ingenuity here. (Hint: Slide the tablet off, touch it to the back of the keyboard through magnets and lift.) When the keyboard is visible, you can adjust the angle of the screen between 100 and 135 degrees, using the base of the keyboard as a stand. That means the Pixel C is not only a powerhouse for everyday needs like checking email, watching Netflix or working on a document, but also running advanced graphics. While the main keys are almost full-sized, the shrunken Shift and Tab keys and vertical Enter key are all throwbacks to the days of kiddie-size netbooks.

I was able to hold Pixel C by the tablet or by the display without worrying the other part would fall off, even when I held it upside down or shook it up a little. After some practice, I picked up speed, but missing home and volume shortcut keys had me reaching out to touch the screen more often that I would have liked. Google’s Pixel C tablet ($499 and up) has many laptop characteristics, including a high-resolution screen and a keyboard ($149) that attaches securely to the screen.

Typing didn’t feel cramped, though the physical “enter” key on the right edge is slimmer and in more of a vertical orientation than I’m used to. While writing in Google Docs, for example, I used the “Research in Docs” function, which created a split-screen where I could still work on my document on top, while searching for information on the second, bottom window. Sure, the single app feature is great for those who want solely to respond to email or focus on writing the great American novel, but those of us with real jobs are stuck with incessantly hitting Alt + Tab on the keyboard to flip through full-screen apps. That brought up a number of information cards related to the story, including for Husky Energy, its CEO Asim Ghosh and OPEC, which I could then select to look through news, images and Google search results. A few other items worth noting: Though you can employ a third-party pen, Google, unlike Microsoft for Surface or Apple for the iPad Pro, hasn’t designed a special stylus for Pixel C.

Microsoft’s Lumia 950 ($599) is a phone that can turn into a desktop PC of sorts when attached to the company’s Display Dock ($99) — a 2.5-inch square box that hooks up to a TV or external monitor. While you can pay bills and organise online photos on the TV, some other apps, such as Adobe’s Photoshop Express for photo editing, don’t project onto the bigger screen. Apple’s iPad is a stellar tablet, but still lacks productivity essentials. (Maybe the next iOS will bring it closer to the optimal tablet/laptop middle ground.) Google just hasn’t tried with Android.

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