About a week ago, developer Kuba Wajciechowski unveiled via Twitter that he found some info in the Android AOSP code that indicates the Pixel Tablet will be very mid-range in its spec layout. Citing discoveries of what looks likely to be only 4GB of RAM, the original Tensor SoC, and a lack of cellular connectivity and GPS, the Pixel Tablet looks to stay firmly in the lane it is intended for: home use as a Nest Hub-type of device.
With the understanding that this is 100% the intention of the new Pixel Tablet, a mid-range spec sheet does make sense. Assuming the base comes with a decent speaker and the interface gives the user both a true Nest Hub and Android tablet experience, I think Google could be approaching this device the right way. It’s no secret that Apple dominates this sector with the various iPad versions, and a nice Android tablet from Google would likely fall flat.
A multi-purpose, home-bound tablet for use by the whole family sounds far more like something that Google can pull off and way more interesting, too. We have multiple Nest Hubs around the house, and there are quite a few times I’d love to snatch the display off the base and continue a search or other Google Assistant query. The Pixel Tablet should offer up that exact thing.
A premium Pixel Tablet isn’t off the table
However, it looks like Google might not be ready to cede the higher-end tablet market just yet. While I firmly believe the mid-range (and affordable) approach is probably the better idea for them right now, it seems like a ‘Pro’ version of the Pixel Tablet may emerge as well. Again, these insights come from the same Twitter account and are pulled from references to hardware contained in Google’s latest QPR1 Android Beta build.
In this thread, Wajciechowski finds reference to a device code named ‘T6Pro’ and ‘tangorpro’. Both ‘T6’ and ‘Tangor’ are used to reference the standard Pixel Tablet in Android source code, so it doesn’t take too much to piece this all together. At the moment, there are no real changes in this device versus the standard model, but it is early.
I’d imagine we could see the Pixel Tablet Pro launch with Tensor or Tensor 2, more RAM, more storage, and maybe a better screen or build quality. The Pixel Tablet cameras are in line with what we see on the Pixel 6a, so that’s another place the Pixel Tablet Pro could separate itself from the standard version, too.
If Google ends up adding cellular connectivity, GPS, and other expected mobile device hardware, this tablet could end up being the iPad competitor many would love to see Google attempt. There are so many questions at this point that until more information comes to light, we’d simply be guessing at best to attempt to answer any of them. The only thing I can confidently assume is that when Google does unveil the Pixel Tablet they’ve already shown us at Google I/O, this Pro model will be there as well. How they market it and position it will likely remain a mystery until more clues arise.