Google brought us the Pixel Chromebook back in 2013, and now, it looks like its newest Android 6.0 Marshmallow will be co-opting the name. It all starts with a new tablet called the Pixel C.
The new tab has all the Pixel aesthetic you’re familiar with: aluminium design, no exposed screws—just good looking. But its best feature is the optional $150/£99 keyboard held together with self-aligning magnets so powerful you can hold thing upside down and it won’t fall apart. The 10.2-inch, 2560x1800 screen can adjust anywhere from 100 to 135 degrees.
At this point, you should be experience whole bunches of deja vu. Microsoft Surface? Maybe even the newer iPad Pro? The big difference being ChromeOS is completely absent on Pixel device—just Android. Google’s goal with Pixel C is probably to get tablets front and centre at the workplace, or at the very least, seen as machines that are beyond pure consumption but can also get stuff done, too. Google has had the software with Android, but never had the hardware platform. The Pixel C could be that very vehicle.
For example, you want to switch to a laptop to send a long email or write a document. Well, with the Pixel C (the c stands for “convertible”), you slide the tablet, flip it, and prop it up on the back of the keyboard, no kickstand or clasp required. Then use the thing like a laptop. The keyboard connects via Bluetooth, and the whole thing seems super sturdy: You can hold the Pixel C from the keyboard or tablet.
In order to better marry computer qualities with a tablet, the pitch of the keyboards’ keys are similar to those on a laptop: meaning, the keys are spaced out in the same distance. The team fit the keys on the keyboard in this fashion by pushing lesser-used symbol keys on the perimeter further to the side.
The Pixel C connects with the USB Type C connector that’s being more fully integrated into the “Google ecosystem” across devices. Finally, Google added four microphones to let you input voice commands from across the room.
While UK prices have yet to be confirmed, Stateside that keyboard costs $149/£98 while the tablet itself costs $499/£329 for 32 gigs and $599/£395 for 64 gigs.