Today we take a look at the first tablet wholly designed and built by Google, as opposed to Google's previous tablet offerings under the 'Nexus' brand which were actually made by one of two Taiwanese companies; HTC and Asus.
Google have borrowed the moniker from the Google Chromebook Pixel laptop and applied it to the smaller tablet known as the Google Pixel C. Despite the Pixel name the Pixel C tablet runs on a fully fledged version of the Android operating system rather than the ChromeOS found on the laptop Pixel. Google have also just released the Nexus 5X and 6P smartphones so it doesn't appear they are shifting away from the Nexus brand just yet. More time and devices will be needed before we can really see where Google is headed with the Pixel branding.
The Pixel C debuts into the high end tablet market with a premium build, alongside the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet and the Apple iPad Air 2. The Pixel C is also nipping at the heels of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Apple iPad Pro via a keyboard dock which turns the Pixel C into a hybrid laptop. The Pixel C has an Anodized Aluminum casing, measures 242 x 179 x 7mm and weighs in at 517g, making it larger and heavier than the iPad Air 2.
Specifications wise we are presented with a 10.2" display with an 1800 x 2560 resolution granting a pixel density of 308ppi. Under the hood there is an Nvidia Tegra X1 chipset, Maxwell GPU and four Cortex-A57 and four Cortex-A53 cores to make up the CPU, 3GB RAM and up to 64GB internal storage completes the billing. In a nutshell it is going to run anything you can throw at it, in Geekbench tests it has been shown to outperform both the Sony and Samsung tablets.
Some downsides include a lack of fingerprint scanner, no MicroSD expansion slot and no 4G option, although it does have good Wi-Fi support with 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2x2 MIMO. The 8MP rear and 2MP front cameras also appear to be an afterthought, nothing interesting to report here. On the plus side you do get a USB-C port, dual stereo speakers and four microphones for voice clarity. Battery wise Google claim the Pixel C can go for over 10 hours on a single charge.
You can pick up the Pixel C in two models, 32GB and 64GB. The 32GB version is priced at $499 and the 64GB version is $599, whilst the optional keyboard will set you back an additional $149. The Pixel C ships with version 6.0.1 Marshmallow, Google's latest Android software. Naturally as a Google device, it also means the Pixel C will be first in line for future Android updates. Overall the Pixel C looks like one of the best Android tablets you can buy right now.
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