The Pixel Tablet is up for pre-order already and as much as it confuses me a bit, there seems to be some real interest in a Google-made Android tablet once again. And while the unique docking speaker makes the Pixel Tablet a bit of a different take on the Android tablet in general, I still wonder if that superlative will really be enough for users who choose to pick one up when they become available.
After all, a large-screen Android device – similar to an iPad – can be fantastic for consumption activities, but the size of the display begs for a bit of productivity from time to time. While I’m not recommending anyone look at the Pixel Tablet as some sort of tablet/desktop work device, I do think having the ability to knock out an email or make a few social posts from time to time is something a tablet should be adept at.
A good tablet should have a keyboard option
And part of that extra productivity honestly requires a keyboard of some sort; and a trackpad, too if I’m asking for things. While I don’t feel like a good tablet needs a keyboard attached at all times, I do think the option of having one should definitely be in the conversation.
As such, it is very odd to me that Google has opted to ignore this part of the modern tablet experience; especially with Apple and Samsung making this practice a normalized, expected option. The Pixel Tablet has the distinction of being both a tablet and a smart display, but I imagine plenty of potential users will 100% find themselves wishing they could also drop the tablet on a keyboard from time to time to take care of some tasks around the house.
With the OnePlus Tab, for instance, you can get a beautiful tablet, a great screen, fast internals, and an included keyboard dock all for $479. At $499, the Pixel Tablet isn’t quite the same deal, and relying on Google’s software and a speaker dock to legitimize the price is a risky play at best. Again, I think the speaker dock setup could be great in practice, but I still think having productivity options make sense.
Maybe we’ll see a third party make a proper keyboard for the Pixel Tablet that can utilize the magnets and POGO pins on the back, but I wouldn’t bet on that. The Pixel Tablet is a bit of a head-scratcher to me at this point, but maybe my tune will change once it is released and out in the market. For now, I think they’re missing the boat a bit. Time will tell, I suppose.