The Google Pixel Slate was announced today as Google's first Chrome OS tablet, and it'll cost $599. For that price, people are going to want to get a lot out of this tablet, and well Google has packed a lot into this tablet. We've spent some time with the Pixel Slate at Google's hardware event today in New York City, and first impressions are pretty solid for this Chrome OS tablet.
Pixel Slate looks and feels like a very big (12.3-inches big) Pixel smartphone, and that is done on purpose. As this is all part of Google's Pixel-branding, it wants this hardware design to go across its entire lineup of Pixel hardware. And that means that this is a very well-built tablet from Google, with a bright 12.3-inch display with a 2000×3000 resolution display. Google has also added dual front-facing speakers here which is going to provide for some great audio. While the backside of the Pixel Slate may look like it's plastic – like a soft-touch plastic, a la Nexus 5 – it is actually aluminum. It only comes in one color, which is the "midnight blue". Not everyone is going to be a fan of that color, especially since Google does usually stick with black or white for tablets and laptops. But it is something new and looks quite nice in person.
With the Pixel Slate, Google also debuted its Keyboard dock. It's nothing too special really, it's a keyboard that your Pixel Slate can dock into, and it works quite well. But what sets this keyboard apart from some other Bluetooth keyboard, is the fact that there is a Google Assistant button built into the keyboard. Allowing you to quickly pull up the Google Assistant and ask away. There is also Pixelbook Pen support on the Pixel Slate – it also comes with a matching pen. It allows you to do some drawing on different Android apps and much more. It's not as useful as the S Pen, yet, but the Pixelbook Pen has only been around for a year, versus the S Pen being around for nearly eight years now.
The backside of the Pixel Slate is actually pretty plain, there's not much back there besides a Google "G" logo which matches the color of the Pixel Slate, and then a camera. Of course, it doesn't make much sense to put anything back there, since you are likely never going to see it. The edges of the Pixel Slate are also pretty boxy, now that might sound pretty ugly, but it looks quite nice and high-end. It also makes it a bit easier to hold onto the Pixel Slate, and since this is a 12.3-inch tablet, that is a pretty big deal. The Pixel Slate also feels smaller than it should, considering this is a 12.3-inch tablet, though it does have some pretty small bezels for a tablet these days, it does feel smaller, like something smaller than a 10-inch tablet. Of course the "weird" 3:2 aspect ratio here is going to take some getting used to, especially on a tablet. Since most tablets are 16:9 or even 16:10. The Pixel Slate is up for pre-order now, and will be shipping later this month.