In a move that will likely shock precisely nobody, Google has now unceremoniously removed all mention of the more budget-friendly models of its Google Pixel Slate Chrome OS tablet from the official Google Store.
Originally set to sell for $599 and $699 in mid-December, the models in question were slated to ship with all of the bells and whistles of other configurations. The biggest difference would have been seen in the devices' Intel Celeron Kaby Lake processor as opposed to the 8th Gen chips found in other variants and the use of either 4GB or 8GB RAM and 32GB or 64GB of eMMC storage.
The change was first reported as having been spotted on the storefront earlier today and appears to apply to all variations of the store — including the US, UK, and Canada.
Big surprise? No.
Now, the removal of the devices in question is not surprising since the devices had still not appeared by March of this year despite the indication that they'd become available by December 11 or December 12 for the cheapest model. The more expensive model with double the RAM and storage was expected by December 18 or December 19.
The devices did go on sale for a short period of time following that but were met with even worse reviews than other models, which have been derided due to inconsistencies in Chrome OS itself that make using a dedicated tablet with the OS difficult. Those have, in fact, now begun to be addressed. The biggest changes to Chrome OS on tablets are expected to roll out with Chrome 76 in July and substantial changes have been made to improve the experience already as of Chrome 74.
None of that means that the hardware in question would have been up to the task, however, given that the budget models of the Chrome OS tablets in question received even more heat than their counterparts due to problems with lag and optimization.
Compounding the problems for the Pixel Slate, Google opted to only include a keyboard or stylus as add-ons. Since those cost $199 or $99, respectively, and there are obvious issues with the optimizations, there simply hasn't been much value in buying a Pixel Slate from a consumer perspective for the average user.
Everything else is at a discount, for now
It isn't all bad news at the Pixel Slate section of Google's official online marketplace though. All other models appear to be placed under deep discount at the same time. That's very good news for anybody who might have been waiting on the Intel Celeron models to pick up a cheaper version of the Google-built Chrome OS tablet since the new prices, at least for now, match those of the now-disappeared Celeron Slate.
At the bottom of the pile, consumers can now pick up the gadget with an 8th Gen Intel Core m3 processor, 8GB RAM, and 64GB of storage for the same $599 that the cheapest model had been set to sell for. Both other remaining models are set at $200 off as well. That means an 8GB RAM, 128GB storage model with an Intel Core i5 can be had for just $799 while a model with double the capacity and memory with an Intel Core i7 is available for $1399.
The discounts appear to only apply for the US store.