Google launches the Pixel Tablet which doubles as a smart speaker

The last time Google released a proper tablet was all the way back in 2013. That’s right, it’s been 13 years since the launch of the Google Nexus 7 (see our video review here). The company’s hardware ambitions have changed significantly since then and have officially launched the Google Pixel Tablet. The Pixel Tablet was designed and built from the ground up as the ultimate Android tablet experience in what most people use tablets for – watching video or playing games in the comfort of their own home.

Read: The Google Pixel Fold launches for $1,799 and Tensor G2 chip

This is not a premium product; it isn’t meant to be an all-in-one that can handle massive workloads. Google says that tablets are used more than 80 percent of the time in the home, and mostly for the aforementioned content consumption and mobile gaming features. The Google Pixel Tablet also doubles and a smart home hub and smart speaker.

Google has released its new Pixel Tablet, which comes with an 11-inch, 16:10, 2560 x 1600 pixel LCD display, a matte back, and even bezels all around. It is available in three colours: white, dark green, and light pink, and has an aluminium frame with a nanotexture coating. The dark green model features a black bezel and may appear to be plastic from a distance. The Pixel Tablet comes with a magnetic speaker dock that serves multiple purposes, including storing the tablet when it is not in use, charging the battery, and providing a louder, fuller speaker better suited for communal listening than the built-in tablet speakers.

The Pixel Tablet runs Android 13 at launch and will be updated to Android 14 later this year, with the company promising five years of security and three years of OS updates. It features the same Tensor G2 processor as the new Pixel Fold, Pixel 7A, and the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro released last year, paired with 8GB of RAM and either 128 or 256GB of storage. Google claims the battery provides up to 12 hours of video streaming between charges, and there is a USB-C port for wired charging if the dock is not available. However, the tablet is only available in Wi-Fi-only configurations, with no 5G or LTE options available.

The Pixel Tablet comes with four speakers, three microphones for video calls, and two cameras, with an eight-megapixel rear camera situated in the upper-right corner of the tablet and an eight-megapixel front camera centred in the top bezel when the tablet is held in landscape orientation. A fingerprint scanner is built into the power button to support login and biometric authentication.

Google has made a snap-on case for the Pixel Tablet that has a built-in kickstand and still supports mounting on the speaker dock, but no keyboard or stylus accessories are available. While the software is familiar to anyone who owns a Pixel phone, the Pixel Tablet’s software does not have many productivity features, and Samsung, Apple, and even OnePlus are doing more to make their tablets more conducive to getting work done on them than Google is. However, the Pixel Tablet’s screen displays all of your favourite streaming apps in full screen, and it allows you to split the screen between two apps at the same time.