Alongside the launch of its latest flagship Pixel smartphones Google released more details about its upcoming Pixel Tablet. The search giant first revealed it was working on the device at I/O in May, and today, Google product manager Rose Yao announced some key features.
The biggest is a magnetic wireless charging speaker dock, which is designed to allow the tablet to transform into a smart display for your home. When docked, it looks like a Nest Hub Max, responds to Google Assistant queries, and lets you control your smart home from the redesigned Home app. Amazon has long offered similar functionality with its Fire tablets, which can be used like Echo Show smart displays with the use of Amazon’s charging docks.
Like its Pixel 7 phones, Yao said the tablet will be powered by Google’s own Tensor G2 processor. Its interface will be based on its Material You design language. Google’s design director Isabelle Olsson said the tablet has a nano-ceramic coating applied to its 100 percent recycled aluminum body to give it a porcelain-style finish.
The Pixel Tablet is Google’s first since the company said it was done with the form factor in 2019. Between 2012 and 2018, Google worked on a series of Android tablets, first via collaborations with other manufacturers on Nexus tablets and then with its Google-branded Pixel C and Pixel Slate.
Although its Nexus tablets were generally well received, the follow-up Pixel devices floundered. For the most part, their problems were software-based, with the Pixel Slate, in particular, being beset by bugs and poor app support.
But more recently, Google has been attempting to remedy long-standing Android tablet deficiencies. Its Android 12L update was packed with features for large-screen devices, including an updated taskbar and better multitasking support, and the company has also been working with app developers to get more apps optimized for tablets. It all sounds very promising, but we’ve had our hopes dashed before.