It’s been a month since Robby shared his insights on the Pixel Tablet, and I must admit, I’ve been wrestling with similar thoughts. As a tech enthusiast, I’m enticed by new gadgets, especially if it has the word ‘Pixel’ tied to its name. Yet, despite its appeal, I find myself pausing and wondering whether it’s a device that truly has a place in my life. I mean, I desperately want it to, but it’s like trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. It’s not the Pixel Tablet’s fault though, it’s mine, and perhaps Google’s too. Let me explain.
Betwixt and Between
You see, this sucker is caught between worlds. The world of Chromebooks and the world of smart home technology. Yeah, I know that’s the selling point, but it also very well may be to its detriment. Many of you reading this likely already use a tablet like a Lenovo Chromebook Duet or something similar. You may also have a smart home display, so every job the Pixel Tablet is applying for is already a filled position.
I, myself, already own a Duet, and while it’s not the greatest note taking device, it’s great for daily journaling in digital format. I also use this for binging YouTube videos, and some light web browsing, and when I’m in the kitchen cooking, I use the Nest Hub for Netflix, more YouTube and music too.
You bought this device years ago, just piecemeal
Google set the stage over the past few years for anyone wanting its latest device to already own two other devices that destroy any justification for buying it, and that sucks. This thing is gorgeous, and hearkens back to the days when I first wanted to snag up a Nexus 10. Because it works with a stylus (but doesn’t come with one), can be docked to a louder speaker and automatically act as a Hub replacement, it was primed to be the ultimate all-in-one device for all of my needs. That is, until I realized it’s redundant.
As Robby stated in his review, this is a great unit for anyone who doesn’t have either of the devices it’s trying to replace, but then you run into the problem of its price. The Pixel Tablet should literally cost a hundred bucks less. If it did, it would be easier to justify as well, especially for the target demographic Google is aiming to sell it to, if I’m honest.
The Pixel Tablet is still extremely appealing
I’m not trying to say it shouldn’t exist at all – far from it. I’m literally drooling over the idea of owning it for a few reasons. It’s a genuinely well-designed piece of tech that’s gorgeous and appealing in a way that only Google’s Pixel team can create. Also, my Duet is as slow all get out and the Nest Hub’s interface is a constant source of frustration for me.
Have you yet realized that the Hub’s apps are just glorified shortcuts for voice actions? Have you also noticed that those voice actions are dumber than a box of rocks thanks to Google Assistant’s declining reputation? These things combined make me yearn for a straight up Android interface with full-fledged apps. Combine this with the dock and the smart home UI that intelligently takes over the display at just the right time, and aside from being rather underpowered, the Pixel Tablet is the way of the future.
Still, if I’m unwilling to shell out for this thing, then the average consumer is even less likely to blow that much money on something that performs the same or similar functionality as things they already have sitting around their house.
A device ahead of its time, yet late to the party
I’m overdue for a phone and Chromebook refresh right now like you probably are, but I need to prioritize my spending, and a better, more powerful Chromebook and a simple smart home control device are probably the way to go. Separate devices that are more capable in their own rite just seem like the right way to empty my wallet, as much as I wish combining them all into one device made more sense.
If the Pixel Tablet were more powerful and could attach directly to a laptop keyboard accessory and if I didn’t already have ‘hold-me-overs’, I would already have this baby in my hands, even if it did cost more for the extra oomph. For now, I think I’m going to wait for a heavy discount. What about you? Do you already own the Pixel Tablet, or are you finding yourself fighting with the same depressing realizations?
Google’s clearly created something just a tad ahead of its time, but it somehow arrived a bit late to the party. I believe that the next iteration of this device, and perhaps a few generations down the line, should they continue to lean into this form factor, will be much more widely accepted and popular. Until then, it’s the device that we all want, but many of us will probably skip.