Google's recently unveiled Pixel Slate Chrome OS tablet has now been spotted at the FCC, filed by long-time Google hardware partner Quanta Computer Inc. That alone isn't enough to conclude that the hardware in question is that exact Chrome OS tablet but the included user manual and other pertinent documentation do explicitly refer to that device. Since the certification of this tablet is thought to be one of the few things preventing shipments to end users, the listing should be an indication that the Google Pixel Slate will be landing in users' hands soon enough.
Background: Although Google's Pixel Slate Chrome OS tablet was initially announced back at the beginning of October, there has been some concern as to whether or not the device would actually be ready by the end of 2018 - as Google had promised during its Made By Google hardware event. That's mostly due to the fact that the search giant ordinarily gets the certification side of its affairs in order well ahead of any given device's launch. For example, the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL handsets were both already at the FCC by the end of August. The tactic has historically allowed Google to launch its finished hardware and then release it to customers within a relatively short timeframe - usually by the end of the month. That wasn't the case with the company's first ever dedicated tablet for the platform and the company didn't provide a more exact launch window, leading to speculation that it wouldn't be ready until early 2019. What's more, it had also been suggested that there might be some final changes or adjustments needed before the hardware was actually ready for consumers. In effect, rumors began to circulate that Google's new device wasn't quite ready in time for the announcement or that new technologies might be added.
Bearing that in mind, none of the information contained within the filing shows any indication that any of the hardware or features have changed since the Chrome OS tablet was revealed. At very least, no changes to the connectivity hardware or features can be verified since those metrics measured by the FCC all fall in line with what has been expected. Summarily, that should mean five configurations will be shipped ranging in specs from a version featuring an Intel Celeron Kaby Lake processor and memory set at either 4GB or 8GB up to an 8th-Gen Intel Core i7 SoC with 16GB of RAM. Storage, on the other hand, will scale between 32GB and 256GB and backed by a 48Wh 12-hour-rated battery under a 2.5D glass panel at 12.3-inches with a resolution set at 3,000 x 2,000 pixels. That's all packed into an all-metal midnight blue frame measuring 290.85 x 202.04 x 7.0 mm and weighing just 1.6lbs, complete with a front and rear-facing 8-megapixel snapper. The frame also houses dual USB Type-C charging and video output ports and a fingerprint scanner while connectivity is provided via Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac protocols or Bluetooth 4.2.
Impact: Nearly everything that can be known about Google's Pixel Slate tablet has already been covered and a waitlist for those is already available from the company's website, with prices starting at $599. So certification from the FCC could very well be the only thing preventing pre-orders from getting started. Having said that, there's no indication from the listing as to when that might happen. Google could still feasibly miss its self-imposed deadline, although that does seem much less likely to happen now.