Google had a lot to show us all on Tuesday, but nothing was more interesting to us than the Pixel Slate. Sure, we’ve known quite a bit about it, but there were some surprises in there that even we didn’t know about.
Getting our hands on this device took me from excited to outright fanboy if I’m being honest. I knew I’d love the Pixel Slate just from the perspective of having a tablet/detachable version of something as nice as the Pixelbook.
What we got, however, is even nicer and more premium than we expected. Check out the video below for our initial hands-on.
Some Really Nice Surprises
As I said above, all the leaks and info we had on the Pixel Slate were accurate, but there were some great surprises, too.
First up, here are the things we already knew:
- 12.3″ – 3:2 – 3000×2000 resolution screen
- Dark Aluminum build
- Power Button/Fingerprint Scanner
- Front-firing Speakers
- Backlit Keyboard w/round keys
- Multiple configurations from Celeron to Core i7
- Pogo pins for keyboard attachment
- Pixel Pen support with new colorway
Now, here are some really cool things we had no idea about. These things are honestly the things I left the event feeling most excited about. Sure, getting to see devices in the flesh for the first time is always cool, but there are some truly thoughtful things Google did in the design and execution of the Pixel Slate.
- Amazing Display Tech: The screen on the Pixel Slate isn’t just a recycled Pixelbook screen. Instead, Google put some really amazing tech to work to make this a standout display that will handle videos and games with aplomb. As Google puts it, the custom display (at 293PPI or 6 million pixels) employs tech that allows the electrons to move electrons 100x faster than a standard display, giving off vibrant colors and high contrast at an extremely high resolution.
- Balanced Design: Google put all the processing hardware right in the center of the tablet and built the battery around that to give Pixel Slate a perfect center of gravity where no one side is weighted more than the other. And you can tell when you are holding it.
- Cameras: With an 8MP front and back camera, Google’s camera app, portrait mode, and a wider angle camera up front, the Pixel Slate will be able to capture photos in a pinch and be a great video calling machine. The front-facing camera is also utilizing larger pixels in its sensor to behave better in low light situations you will likely be in during those calls.
- Pixelbook-esque Keyboard: The keyboard really impressed me. I love the Pixelbook’s keyboard has been my favorite keyboard for a year now, and I really didn’t expect that level of quality on a folio style keyboard. I was wrong. The backlit, circular keys feel and respond just like the Pixelbook and are even a tad quieter. The glass trackpad also performs just as well as the Pixelbook, too, taking full advantage of the rigidity of the entire keyboard deck. The $200 price point is steep, but the execution of the keyboard for a detachable is stunning.
- Great Speakers: We knew there were going to be front-firing speakers, but we didn’t realize Google would really put some extra love into them. The are loud and full sounding, even in the crowded demo area. With the Pixelbook, I was always a bit let down with sound when playing back a video. It seems that with the speaker hardware on offer with the Pixel Slate paired with Google’s audio tuning, we may finally get a non-iPad tablet with great speakers.
So, that’s what we know so far. When we pressed, no one would even begin to let on about a firm release date, so we can only guess at this point. I would assume we’ll see the Pixel Slate shipping early November ahead of the Black Friday madness. I know we cannot wait to get one in the office and put it through all the paces.