Google Pixel Tablet preview: Everything we know so far
iPad rival and smart home companion in one
The Google Pixel Tablet made a surprise appearance at the Pixel 7 smartphone and Pixel Watch wearable reveal event – its second public showing, after a brief debut at Google I/O earlier in the year.
Its time in the spotlight might have been brief, but we now know a whole lot more about the upcoming slate beyond that it exists, and what it’ll look like. The home-focused device will come with a magnetic dock to double as a smart screen when you’re not holding it, and run a tablet-optimised version of Android.
There are still plenty of unanswered questions between now and when it officially launches this year, but we’ve got plenty to go on. So join us in discovering everything you need to know about the Google Pixel Tablet.
Google Pixel Tablet design and screen
The Pixel Tablet’s design is probably the one thing we know the most about, given it’s been shown off from various angles. From what we’ve seen so far, we’re a little disappointed — mostly due to what appear to be rather large bezels and a plastic, rounded rear, which doesn’t seem that premium or exciting (though we do like the colour). Turns out that texture is more ceramic, though – so it could feel a bit more high-end once you get it on your hand.
Honestly, it mostly resembles a tablet that was designed quite a few years ago, and that would be fine if it landed with an affordable price tag to match. As for the screen size? No official dimensions have been given, but from the photos we’ve seen, it will almost certainly be larger than dinky tablets like the iPad Mini.
The way the Pixel Tablet magnetically latches onto its charging dock will likely be its USP: it’ll sit in situ when you’re not using it, acting as a smart display and picking up “Hey Google” voice requests. Apparently it’ll have a built-in speaker, although Google has yet to confirm if that’s the case.
Google’s reveal of the dock confirms info dug from the Android 13 QPR1 beta by 9to5Google, with animations showing what as a then-rumoured docking station. They suggested the dock will charge the tablet, and will let you customise the screen with different clock faces, personal photos or curated images. Accompanying descriptions seemed to say Google Assistant will respond even when the screen is locked, and you’ll be able to play music or cast videos on the lock screen while the tablet is docked.
Google Pixel Tablet specs and OS
It seems that Google aren’t planning to follow in the footsteps of their smartphone devices by offering a ‘standard’ and ‘pro’ tablet. According to a tweet by leaker Kuba Wojciechowski, we’re only getting one iteration of the Pixel Tablet. Wojciechowski also shared some apparently leaked images of the device.
Google confirmed at I/O 2022 that the Pixel Tablet would be powered by its homegrown Tensor processor, but at the time we weren’t sure which one. There was a possibility it would use the same one found in the Pixel 6 generation, which might help keep the price in check, but the firm revealed it would instead use a Tensor G2. That’s the same chip seen in the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – although there’s still time for Google to give it some tablet-sized optimisations.
We can easily spot a single rear camera and can confidently assume it’ll run Android 13, especially as Google made a point to show off tablet optimisations while stating that it’s working with companies like TikTok and Facebook to deliver better big-screen Android apps.
In September 2022, Wojciechowski (alongside 91mobiles) came up with the goods once again and leaked more information about what’s inside the Pixel Tablet. It will apparently feature a 10.95-inch display and will be available in both 128GB and 256GB storage configurations. An LCD panel will apparently comes with a resolution of 2560×1600 with 8GB of RAM. Support for Wi-Fi 6 will come as standard.
At the Pixel 7 reveal event, Google showed off a range of different optimised apps from its own stable, confirming many would play nicely with split-screen mode. The firm then teased/inadvertently revealed a redesigned app dock and expanded status bar in a blog post discussing new keyboard shortcuts for note-taking app Google Keep. It appears to have gained a new profile switcher in the top right corner, which would make sense for a tablet designed to stay at home and be used by multiple family members.
The firm subsequently updated Google Keep with a new widget for pinning a single widget to your device homescreen, and used a screenshot from a Pixel Tablet to show it in action. The Pixel Launcher’s search bar is clearly visible at the bottom of the image, alongside six app shortcuts, and the At A Glance widget can be seen in the top left corner.
In fact, rumours suggest it’ll use a 64-bit version of Android 13. While Apple switched to 64-bit back in 2017 with iOS 11, Google has been merrily supporting legacy 32-bit software all this time. Some Android 12 builds tested going 64-bit only, but not all of ’em, so this could be the starting point.
It would help reduce how much RAM the tablet needs for smooth operation, but would mean it can’t run 32-bit apps. On the plus side, any app on the Play Store updated since 2019 will have 64-bit baked-in, as that’s when Google made it mandatory.
Subsequent clues came from developer Kuba Wojciechowski, who dug through Android’s AOSP source code to uncover a few tidbits, including the fact it will not include any GPS, cellular modem, proximity sensor or barometer. That’s primarily because the device will be used as a Nest Hub, and meant to stay within the home rather than being taken outdoors. We should also expect an 8MP camera on either side of the device.
Wojciechowski subsequently teamed up with 91mobiles to reveal more info discovered buried in Google’s engineering validation test (EVT) phase. It will apparently support an official Google-built stylus, too, although there’s no indication what it’ll look like just yet.
Google Pixel Tablet release date
Google stated that the Pixel Tablet is being released in 2023 and, well, that’s pretty much it. No mention of which season, quarter, or anything else that might hint towards the actual release date, but hey, at least we know the year.
The October hardware event was centred on the Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel Watch, so while the Pixel Tablet did make a short appearance, no further info about a launch date was released.
If we had to guess, we’d bet on a spring or autumn launch, which is when Google tends to release hardware. We’ll just have to wait and see if that ends up being the case.
Google Pixel Tablet price
Again, there’s very little to go on here as Google didn’t share any specific pricing information. Google’s Rick Osterloh, who unveiled the Pixel Tablet on stage, did however state that it would be more of a premium style product, on the larger end of the spectrum.
This somewhat dashes our hopes of a more affordable tablet, but time will tell if it reaches the lofty price heights of, say, Samsung’s high-end Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.
- Read more: The biggest new features in Android 13