Skip to main content

Hands-on: the Pixel C is a great Android tablet that costs a great deal of money

Share this story

The big surprise at today's Google announcement was the Pixel C, an Android tablet developed by the team behind the Pixel Chromebooks. The Chromebook Pixels have powerhouses of speed and wonders of design — and they definitely had the prices to match those outsized ambitions. The same thing applies to the Pixel C. It starts at $499, but you're also going to want to pony up for the keyboard, which costs $149. That's pretty-good laptop territory, so does the Pixel C actually compete with a pretty-good laptop?

Well, sort of. It's technically impressive. The hardware is brushed metal and the whole thing feels solid, if a little thick. Google has opted for an Nvidia Tegra X1 processor and a powerful graphics card to go with it. So in terms of raw power, there should be enough here to do what you need. The question is whether or not Android in tablet form can claim the same. It's possible, but we'll need to see the software ecosystem for full-fledged tablet class Android apps get a bit bigger before we'll believe.

Either way, it's powerful. But for that power you are sacrificing thinness and weight: the Pixel C doesn't seem to be anything to call home about in either of those categories. It has a 10.2-inch screen (with a square-root of two aspect ratio because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ) that looked pretty great in my short time with it.

But the big show is the keyboard, which Google is rather proud of. And in some ways, Google deserves to be proud. It's a Bluetooth keyboard, but it's perfectly sized to the Pixel tablet and has the same high-quality metal shell. It snaps on with a magnet on a hinge that you can rotate up to a 135-degree angle. It's a firm connection, and the tablet immediately recognizes when it's connected and hides the software keyboard.

The other clever thing is how it charges: inductively, off the tablet itself. A charge should be good to last two months, so as long as you close the thing up with the tablet from time to time you should never have to think about it.

But what's it like to type on? Good! But a full-sized keyboard this is not. Google emphasized keeping the main keys you use as close to full size as possible, chopping the width of the tabs and enters on the edges instead. Key travel is longer than you'll find on a Surface or even on the new MacBook, so much so I actually wondered why Google didn't just decide to make the thing a little thinner. It took me a minute to two to get past typos, but I could see how you could get used to it and not run into problems with just a little practice.

It's nice to see that Google isn't giving up on the high-end tablet, even though its recent Nexus efforts haven't really justified further investment. Maybe that's why the project got handed over to the Pixel team, who has a track record of making really nice hardware. And the Pixel C is really nice — but it's hard to say whether it's worth as much as a similarly spec'd iPad Air — which is in the same price neighborhood.

See all of the Google news right here!


Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 8:35 PM UTC Not just you

E
Twitter
Emma Roth8:35 PM UTC
Rihanna’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Apple Music’s set to sponsor the Halftime Show next February, and it’s starting out strong with a performance from Rihanna. I honestly can’t remember which company sponsored the Halftime Show before Pepsi, so it’ll be nice to see how Apple handles the show for Super Bowl LVII.


E
Twitter
Emma Roth8:01 PM UTC
Starlink is growing.

The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.


E
External Link
Emma Roth5:52 PM UTC
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.