Large white bezels. Matte back that looks like plastic. Thick profile. 2023. Android.
That’s all we know about Google’s upcoming Pixel tablet, which the company teased during its keynote for the I/O 2022 developer conference this week. Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of devices and services at Google and head of the Pixel program, confirmed to my colleague David Pierce that the tablet comes to complete the range of Pixel devices and provide a complete ecosystem in the line of Google.
But when I saw the image of the Pixel tablet pop up on the live stream during the keynote, I couldn’t help but react with “Is that? Is that Google’s big comeback to tablet hardware? The device Google showed off remembers the front of a Samsung tablet from around 2013 or 2014 with the back of a amazon fire hd 10not something that would feel futuristic or even current in 2023 when it’s supposed to launch.
Although it has been a few years since Google has made a tablet of his ownHowever, the rest of the tablet market (namely Apple and Samsung) have refined their products with sleek aluminum frames; spacious and powerful speaker systems; and trimmed bezels that make everything on its bright, high-refresh-rate screens practically stark. hell even Relatively inexpensive Chrome OS tablets it looks more modern than what Google has shown so far.
The other weird part about this design is that it bears no resemblance to the Pixel line of phones. When you see an iPad Air or iPad Pro, you can immediately see the connection to the latest iPhones. I’m not asking Google to put a camera bar on the back of the tablet (or maybe I should?), but it looks like this tablet could have been made by any company and it doesn’t exactly fit the Google one. pixel 6, 6A, 7or even the pixel clock. It almost looks like a reference design that a factory might put together for a customer. That’s despite Osterloh describing it as “a perfect companion to the Pixel” and a “next-gen Android tablet.”
Much of this could be excused if Google decides to price the Pixel tablet extremely low to compete with Amazon’s cheap Fire tablets (and remember the one Google tablet everyone liked, the Nexus 7). But in a separate conversation, Osterloh said the tablet would be “more of a premium-style product, in the larger size,” which tells me that A) it won’t be particularly cheap and B) it won’t be particularly small.
2023 is still some way off, and Google has plenty of time to make adjustments here. We also know very little about the hardware itself: what Tensor processor is inside? How much RAM and storage will there be? Does it support pen input? Will there be a version with black bezels that are less distracting? Are there detachable keyboard accessories? (As for the last point, it’s likely since there seemed to be pogo pins on the back of the tablet.) I’m also judging his design based on what we know of this years Pixel product line. Perhaps by 2023, Google will have switched everything back to a matte plastic aesthetic, and the Pixel tablet will fit right in with that. It would be a strange twist after adopting premium metal and glass finishes on Pixel phones, but it wouldn’t be the strangest thing I’ve seen Google do.
And of course, the hardware won’t be what makes the Pixel tablet sink or swim. It will all come down to software, where Google still has a lot of work to do to show that it cares about Android tablets. The company has pledged to update more than 20 of its first-party apps to better support tablet screens in the coming weeks, and says it has also enlisted the support of major third-party apps to make tablet versions of its Android apps. But that’s a story we’ve heard many times before, and I’m reluctant to believe it until I see it.
Despite all that and the long wait before the Pixel tablet hits the market, first impressions matter and based on what we’ve seen so far it’s hard to get excited about this and it’s hard to see how Google is doing anything. different from what we already have with tablets from other companies. It’s strange that he chose this hardware design to generate interest.
And ugh, those white bezels.