Google’s Pixel C could be the perfect tablet for Android power users

30 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google Pixel C convertible tablet announced starting at $499 onwards.

Still, we didn’t know everything—like how it would differentiate itself from the Surface Pro and iPad Pro—and my hands-on time here answered some of those burning questions. Like the Chromebook Pixel, Google is marketing it as a premium device and its price reflects that — it starts at $499 with an additional $149 for the keyboard.

Along with the two phones, Google also announced its take on the convertible category with the launch of the Pixel C, an Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS based convertible tablet. The perennial late-to-the-party Windows giant has somehow set the tone for Apple and Google and a growing number of system manufacturers in something I like to call the Ultrabet Race. It’s a tablet and an ultraportable, or — looked at another way — a tablet that only reaches its full potential when attached to its companion keyboard.

But after taking it for a whirl today — composing a short document, browsing the Web, using Google Now, switching from one app to another, and opening, closing, flipping, sliding, and tapping it — I’m a little disappointed. While Nvidia processors have great graphics performance, they’re uncommon in retail devices; you really only see them in the Nvidia Shield line these days. In introducing Google’s Pixel C (where the “C” stands for “convertible”) on Tuesday, Andrew Bowers, Google’s director of product management, explained, “We’ve been thinking about how to make other form factors easier to use, like tablets.” Sorry, I didn’t realize tablets were difficult to use, but Google can be forgiven because this is clearly not about ease of use. When the keyboard is covering the tablet, simply slide it off and stick the side of the tablet onto the keyboard’s magnetic hinge; then pull up to prop up the tablet. Then Apple introduced the iPad Pro and we were like, ‘Guys, tablets and companion keyboards are officially a thing.’” Bower also said, “In the case of tablets we asked ourselves, what would an ideal touch-plus-typing experience look like?” I assume that at this moment, they simply pulled out a Microsoft Surface Pro.

Built from the ground up by Google, the Android Marshmallow device can be purchased separately ($499 for the 32 GB model), but Google clearly wants everyone to buy it with the optional $149 keyboard. My experience with portable keyboard accessories is that they range from sort of usable to downright awful, but Google has managed to make the Pixel C’s surprisingly good.

I found the key placement took a bit of adjustment and most touch typists will likely have the same experience, but my typing didn’t feel cramped or uncomfortable. The demo room I was in had a spotty Wi-Fi connection so I couldn’t really put its internals to the test, though it handled everything I threw at it well and didn’t get feel warm even after several rounds of demos. The Pixel C’s Keyboard includes a fully adjustable back brace that allows you to put the tablet in almost any position (between 100 and 130 degree angles), just like the Surface’s kickstand (which is attached to the tablet). While Apple already has a robust ecosystem of professional apps for designers, photographers, illustrators and other professionals, you’ll rarely see an Android tablet in most workplaces. Somewhere in my archives I have a picture of former Microsoft Windows head Steven Sinofsky holding his Surface by the keyboard, dangling the heavier tablet, just as Bowers did at the Nexus event on Tuesday.

Android is a great productivity tool for simple tasks like creating and editing documents or catching up on email, but it lacks the flexibility of a full PC. Pricing is pretty standard for a high-end tablet: $499 for 32GB and $599 for 64GB, but you should really include the $149 keyboard into both of those costs. Even though the Surface line was launched on an ARM-based version of Windows (RT), Microsoft quickly and smartly shifted focus to the x86-running Surface Pro line. If however, Apple and Google’s Ultrabets become popular, Google may consider a Chrome OS Pixel C and Apple could always split the difference and add touch to a MacBook Air screen. (Hey, it could happen!) No matter what these companies do, though, it’s hard to argue with the fact that Microsoft is finally setting the tone, at least for the Ultrabet battle.

Here you can write a commentary on the recording "Google’s Pixel C could be the perfect tablet for Android power users".

* Required fields
All the reviews are moderated.
Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

ICQ: 423360519

About this site