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Google is out of the tablet game. Apparently not. The company announced during its I/O developer conference that it is going back to the tablet business with its planned release of the Pixel Tablet by 2023. This is going to be Google’s first Android tablet in about 7 years since Pixel C in 2015.
This announcement came as a surprise after Google’s Senior Vice President of Devices and Services and head of the Pixel program Rick Osterloh confirmed three years ago that the company’s hardware team would focus more on laptops and would be moving away from tablets. In fact, its last tablet, Pixel Slate, was way back in 2018. It was powered by ChromeOS and was discontinued by the company last year
Now, Pixel Tablet appears to be the successor of the Pixel Slate. With the Pixel tablet, Google is trying to revive the Android tablet business amid ChromeOS dominance. Osterloh stated that Pixel Tablet is looking for a way to bring many of the features of Google’s Pixel phones into a larger form, thus suggesting an Android. He also claimed that the company’s decision to rejoin the tablet game was actually a response to the interest of the customers. Osterloh confirmed that with the Pixel Tablet, Google is looking to fill out a range of Pixel devices and set a complete ecosystem in the company’s line-up.
With its release set sometime in 2023, very little is still known about the Pixel tablet. For one, based on the quick glimpse of the tablet in the reel, Pixel Table will run on Google’s own Tensor silicon. Offering AI features as the Pixel 6 gives this tablet an interesting appeal. With the second-generation Tensor chip to be expected in Pixel 7 this fall, it could be assumed that the same might be used for the Pixel Tablet.
Osterloh described it as a “perfect Pixel companion” and a “next-generation tablet.” This hints at handling-off features and harmonizing of apps. Further, based on the Q&A with Osterloh, the Pixel Tablet will be on the “larger side.”
Moreover, based on the teaser video, the Pixel tablet is likely to give a more natural feel to video calls due to the position of its camera in the middle of the landscape bezel. This would help for an optimal video chat in the landscape mode. There is also a single camera at the back. In addition to a basic volume rocker, two speakers are spotted to flank a USB-C port.
More information is still yet to be known, such as the exact date of release and the product’s price. With Osterloh’s hint that it is going to be a “premium” tablet, it suggests that it could not be expected to be on the cheap side.
Although the company does not usually tease on a new product until it is ready, Osterloh shared that the amazing energy around tablets among the developer community inspired the company to bring them into the loop.