Google Pixel Tablet Review: Was It Worth the 5 Years Wait?

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Google Pixel Tablet Review: Was it worth the 5 year wait?

After a disappointing reception of the ChromeOS-based Pixel Slate in 2018, Google retreated from the tablet hardware market. However, the tech giant has now made a resurgence with the launch of the Google Pixel Tablet. Priced at $500, this Android-based tablet comes bundled with a magnetic charging dock that enhances audio capabilities and transforms the device into a smart home hub. Despite its promising features, the commercial success of the Pixel Tablet remains uncertain.

Google Pixel Tablet with Charging Speaker Dock - Android Tablet with...
  • Engineered by Google, the Pixel Tablet is the first tablet with the Google Tensor G2 chip built in; it features...
  • The Pixel Tablet comes with a unique speaker dock that keeps it charged and ready 24/7 and doubles as a...
  • The 11-inch screen with brilliant colors and adaptive brightness is perfect for streaming entertainment and editing...
  • Manage your smart home devices with your voice or a tap on the home panel; access and adjust your compatible...
  • The Android apps you love are already optimized for your Pixel Tablet’s larger screen; it comes with Google TV so...

In this review, we will delve into the key aspects of Google’s latest offering and shed light on the challenges it faces.

Google Pixel Tablet: Videor Review

Google Pixel Tablet Review: Was it worth the 5 year wait?

Unboxing

The Google Pixel Tablet tablet arrives in a simple white box, devoid of excessive packaging materials. When you open the cardboard box, you’ll find the tablet delicately wrapped in a thin semi-transparent paper. 

Beneath the tablet, you’ll discover the speaker dock, unveiled and ready for use. 

Google Pixel Tablet Review: Was it worth the 5 year wait?

One notable inclusion in the box is a charger, which adds convenience for users. However, it’s important to mention that the charger provided is specifically designed for the speaker dock, rather than for the tablet itself. 

Overall, the unboxing experience of the Google Pixel Tablet is intentionally minimalistic, emphasizing a clean and straightforward approach. 

Design

The Google Pixel Tablet is a sleek and stylish device that combines a standard tablet design with the added functionality of a bundled dock. When used independently, the tablet presents a familiar and ergonomic form factor.

At the front of the device, you’ll find a 10.95-inch LCD display, showcasing vibrant colors and sharp details. The bezels surrounding the display are of regular tablet size, providing a balanced aesthetic. Depending on the model, the bezels are either white (Porcelain and Rose) or black (Hazel).

Google Pixel Tablet Review: Was it worth the 5 year wait?

The back of the tablet is crafted from aluminum and features a nano-ceramic coating, which adds a subtle textured feel to the device. Near the bottom of the tablet, you’ll notice four pogo connectors, strategically placed for attaching the tablet to its dock. Above these connectors, an inlaid reflective Google G logo adds a touch of sophistication.

Google Pixel Tablet Review: Was it worth the 5 year wait?

When holding the tablet in landscape orientation, the top edge houses a combination power button and fingerprint sensor, offering convenient and secure unlocking options. Adjacent to it, you’ll find a volume rocker for easy audio control. On the left side of the tablet, there is a USB-C connector for conventional charging. To safeguard the tablet from potential scratches and dings, two silicone bumpers are located at the bottom, specifically designed to provide protection when detaching the tablet from its dock.

Google Pixel Tablet Review: Was it worth the 5 year wait?

The tablet’s audio experience is enhanced by the presence of two speakers on each side, ensuring stereo sound regardless of whether you’re using it in landscape or portrait mode. This feature enriches media consumption, making it more immersive and enjoyable.

Google Pixel Tablet Review: Was it worth the 5 year wait?

The bundled Charging Speaker Dock complements the tablet’s design and adds additional functionality. Resembling the lower half of a Nest Hub smart display, the dock shares the same elegant wedge-like shape and is wrapped in fabric, further adding to its aesthetic appeal. With magnetic attachment capabilities, the dock serves as a charging station for the tablet while also augmenting its audio output.

Google Pixel Tablet Review: Was it worth the 5 year wait?

When connected to the dock, the tablet gains some smart display-like features. For instance, you can enjoy Google Photos slideshow screensavers, showcasing your cherished memories, and conveniently control your Google Home devices directly from the lock screen.

Screen

The Google Pixel Tablet features an 10,95-inch LCD panel with a resolution of 1,600 x 2,560 and a 60Hz refresh rate. While it may not sound as impressive as other Android tablets equipped with OLED panels and refresh rates up to 144Hz, there are valid reasons behind Google’s choices for the Pixel Tablet’s display.

One key consideration is the tablet’s intended usage scenario. As the screen is designed to more or less never turn off, utilizing an OLED panel would present challenges such as burn-in, which could significantly impact the device’s longevity. While OLED technology offers deeper blacks, it comes with a trade-off that Google has wisely avoided in favor of a more durable and reliable LCD panel.

Google Pixel Tablet Review: Was it worth the 5 year wait?

Although the 60Hz refresh rate may disappoint some users who are accustomed to smoother UI interactions on higher refresh rate devices, it’s important to note that tablet tasks like reading and watching videos aren’t significantly enhanced by higher refresh rates. Therefore, for typical tablet use cases, the 60Hz refresh rate should provide a satisfactory experience.

In terms of display quality, the Pixel Tablet’s screen delivers good viewing angles and vibrant colors. If the default Vibrant color setting is too vivid for your taste, Google offers a more subdued Natural option, allowing users to tailor the display to their preference. The screen also offers sufficient brightness, making it easily visible outdoors in most conditions. While direct sunlight can pose a challenge, it’s worth noting that Google positions the tablet as primarily intended for home use, where this issue is unlikely to be a frequent concern.

Google Pixel Tablet: Performance

The Google Pixel Tablet boasts a powerful configuration, making it a capable device for a wide range of tasks. It is equipped with the Tensor G2 chipset, the same chip found in Google’s Pixel 7 phones, providing a solid foundation for performance. Paired with eight gigabytes of RAM, the tablet offers sufficient memory to handle multitasking and demanding applications smoothly.

Storage options for the Pixel Tablet include either 128 or 256 gigabytes of UFS 3.1 storage. This ample storage capacity ensures that users have plenty of space to store their files, media, and apps without worrying about running out of room.

Google Pixel Tablet Review: Was it worth the 5 year wait?

When it comes to benchmark performance, the Pixel Tablet performs admirably. On Geekbench 5, a benchmark that measures overall device performance, the tablet’s multicore score of 3,004 was slightly lower than that of the Galaxy Tab 8 and the OnePlus Pad by about 200 points. However, it is worth noting that the tablet’s score was 1,400 points lower than that of the iPad, which is known for its high-performance capabilities.

In real-world testing, specifically in the Adobe Rush transcoding test, which simulates video editing tasks, the Pixel Tablet performed well. With a time of 49 seconds, it was on par with the Galaxy Tab 8 and even faster than the OnePlus Pad. Only the iPad managed to achieve a significantly shorter time of 29 seconds.

Google Pixel Tablet Review: Was it worth the 5 year wait?

For everyday tasks and casual gaming, the Pixel Tablet offers a smooth and lag-free experience. Playing games like EA Real Racing and World of Tanks, the tablet exhibited no noticeable stuttering or pauses, demonstrating its capability to handle demanding applications with ease.

Unless you have intensive video editing needs, the Pixel Tablet’s performance is more than sufficient for most users. Whether you’re browsing the web, streaming media, playing games, or engaging in general productivity tasks, the tablet’s power and responsiveness ensure a seamless user experience.

Software

The Google Pixel Tablet comes preloaded with Google’s own customized version of Android 13, offering a unique and optimized user experience. Google has collaborated with major app developers to ensure that popular applications deliver a seamless and enjoyable tablet experience. Notable examples of optimized apps include Spotify, Disney+, and Minecraft, which have been specifically tailored to make the most of the Pixel Tablet’s capabilities.

One of the standout features of the Pixel Tablet is its bundled dock, which provides enhanced functionality when the tablet is attached. When docked, the tablet enters Hub Mode, resembling the features found in Google’s Nest Hub smart displays. This mode enables a range of convenient and interactive functionalities.

Google Pixel Tablet Review: Was it worth the 5 year wait?

In Hub Mode, the Pixel Tablet can display photo slideshows, allowing users to showcase their favorite memories and experiences. The tablet also responds to Hey Google voice commands, making it easy to interact with the device hands-free. Users can control their smart home devices directly from the tablet, seamlessly integrating it into their connected home ecosystem.

Additionally, the Pixel Tablet in Hub Mode supports music and video playback through Google Cast. This feature allows users to stream their favorite media content directly to compatible devices, creating a versatile entertainment experience. 

Camera

The Google Pixel Tablet is equipped with two cameras that share the same specifications. Both cameras have an 8-megapixel resolution, an aperture of f/2.0, and an 84-degree field of view. While these specs provide decent camera capabilities, it’s important to note that they fall short compared to competing tablets.

In terms of video recording, the Pixel Tablet’s cameras support 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second. 

Google Pixel Tablet Review: Was it worth the 5 year wait?

One notable feature on the Pixel Tablet is Continuous Framing. This feature leverages Google’s camera technology to automatically pan and zoom during video calls, ensuring that the user remains centered in the frame. This can be particularly useful in video conferencing scenarios, eliminating the need for manual adjustments and enhancing the overall video calling experience.

When it comes to photo quality, both the rear and front cameras on the Pixel Tablet take sharp and detailed photos. Whether you’re capturing moments or documenting your surroundings, the Pixel Tablet’s camera performance is commendable.

Battery

Google Pixel Tablet is equipped with a 27Wh battery, providing a decent amount of power to sustain its operation. When it comes to battery life, the Pixel Tablet falls in the middle range compared to other similar devices.

During a battery test conducted by OpenAI, which involved web surfing via Wi-Fi with the screen brightness set to 150 nits, the Pixel Tablet lasted for approximately 11 hours and 56 minutes. This endurance is notable, as it outperforms the iPad by one hour.

Google Pixel Tablet Review: Was it worth the 5 year wait?

However, in comparison to other tablets, the Pixel Tablet’s battery life is slightly shorter. It lasts approximately an hour less than the Galaxy Tab 8 and 90 minutes less than the OnePlus Pad. While the Pixel Tablet provides a respectable battery performance, it may not be the longest-lasting device in its class.

It’s important to note that battery life can vary based on factors such as usage patterns, screen brightness, and applications running in the background. With regular usage and moderate settings, the Pixel Tablet’s battery should provide sufficient power for a full day of typical tablet tasks before requiring a recharge.

Google Pixel Tablet: Conclusion

Overall, the Google Pixel Tablet delivers a compelling package with its well-rounded performance, optimized software, and thoughtful design.

Google Pixel Tablet with Charging Speaker Dock - Android Tablet with...
  • Engineered by Google, the Pixel Tablet is the first tablet with the Google Tensor G2 chip built in; it features...
  • The Pixel Tablet comes with a unique speaker dock that keeps it charged and ready 24/7 and doubles as a...
  • The 11-inch screen with brilliant colors and adaptive brightness is perfect for streaming entertainment and editing...
  • Manage your smart home devices with your voice or a tap on the home panel; access and adjust your compatible...
  • The Android apps you love are already optimized for your Pixel Tablet’s larger screen; it comes with Google TV so...

It may not be the absolute best in every aspect, but it offers a reliable and enjoyable tablet experience that caters to a wide range of user needs.

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