- We're in Mountain View, California,
and we're at Google's headquarters,
and the reason we're here, is to get a look
at the all-new Pixel Slate.
That's right, Google is finally getting back
into making tablets, again, but here's a question.
This is the Pixel Slate.
It is a tablet running Chrome OS, made,
of course, by Google.
So let's get into some of the hardware specs
before we get really into what's going on with this thing.
So it is about seven millimeters thick,
it weighs about 1.6 pounds, and
just looking at the dimensions
of this thing, the nicest part about it is
it's very well-balanced, like right
in the center, there, so when you hold it,
it doesn't feel as big as
these large 12-inch tablets usually feel.
There are two front-facing speakers,
and they get very loud, and they sound
very good, and there's a fingerprint sensor
on the power button, but the thing
you really care about when you're looking
at a tablet is the screen, and this screen, it's beautiful.
It is 3K by 2K, which is 3,000 pixels by 2,000 pixels.
I like this aspect ratio, I think it really works,
and there's a lot of very advanced things
about the way that this screen works
that I'm gonna gonna try and repeat here.
- We're using a new technology
that we built a custom design for,
that uses low-temperature polycrystalline silicate
to deliver much brighter, much more rapid.
Technically, you're moving the electrons a
hundred times faster, which allows
us to light up the screen much more efficiently.
- Other things to note, there are two USB-C ports,
one on either side, which is convenient,
if you want to plug in a power cord
on the other side, or if you wanna plug
in two things into your tablet.
But you'll notice, as I spin it around,
I see those two ports,
we see a keyboard connector on the bottom.
You know what we don't see?
We don't see a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack.
- One of the trends that we're
really seeing is the advent
of many more Bluetooth accessories,
particularly for audio, with the phones leading the charge,
in terms of that transition.
More people own those types of devices, today,
and as a result, they wanted a single product
that they can use on both of their devices.
- I see, so you figure everybody already went
out and bought Bluetooth headphones,
'cause they had to for their phones,
and so why not just make them use it with a tablet, also?
- And for compatibility,
we're including the adaptor in the box.
- Pricing on this thing starts at 599,
and that is for a version of this thing,
which has a Celeron processor, 4 gigs of RAM,
and 32 gigs of storage, but you can price
this thing all the way up to 1,600 bucks,
which gets you a 8th generation Core i7
Y-Series Intel processor, 16 gigs of RAM,
and 250 gigs of storage.
Of course, if you're gonna use this thing
as your main work computer, and you probably could,
you're gonna want a keyboard, so Google has
this thing, which has been sitting down underneath it.
It is the Pixel Slate keyboard.
You open it up like this, and then the back slides
down into this little mode, here,
and they put magnets on the back,
and there's a couple of strong ones
on the top, and on the bottom,
to lock it into those positions,
but you can also have it work at any
of the angles in between, which is pretty convenient,
but it's not great for lap-ability.
So if you put it on your lap, it can be a little bit wobbly,
because the keyboard doesn't lock up
to the front of the tablet,
it's kinda little bit wobbly, here.
The other thing you might notice
about the keyboard is, hey, it's backlit.
Backlit keyboards on Chrome books are
disturbingly rare, but this one's got it.
And also, the keys are round,
which is an interesting design decision.
- When we first saw the round keys,
we were a little skeptical, but--
- Yeah, I am right now (chuckles).
- I like the way they look, but
we started doing user testing.
We did extensive user testing,
between round keys and square keys,
and found that, after a short learning curve,
users' accuracy increased.
So the actual number of times that
your finger can mis-type, by pressing multiple keys
at the same time, is smaller, because
there's fewer places where there's overlap.
As for the rest of the hardware things,
it's got a couple of far-field microphones
on the top, it's got eight megapixel camera
on the back and the front, and the
one on the front is wide angle,
and apparently works really well
in low light, so you can do
your video conferences in the dark.
Now, Google's made some interesting choices
with the software on this, so when
you take it off of the keyboard,
it automatically jumps into a tablet mode,
so your stuff can go full screen,
but you can still drag them around.
You can make it go halfseys screens,
here, in this mode, here, but when
you put it back into the keyboard,
and the magnet connects there,
it just jumps right back into the mode
where you really control everything
with the mouse and the touchpad.
So I haven't had a ton of time
with the Pixel side, obviously, but I am impressed.
I am not feeling really limited
by this thing, at all, as a tablet,
especially when there's a keyboard attached.
I am sure that I could be just as effective using
this as I would be with a medium- to high-end Pixelbook,
which is kinda an achievement for a tablet.
And again, as a tablet, it is big.
It's a big tablet, but there's something
about it that doesn't feel quite as large
as other tablets in this range.
It's a little bit lighter.
It's nowhere near as light as an iPad,
of course, but it also runs a full desktop browser,
which the iPad doesn't.
Taking Chrome OS, and making a tablet
out of it, was a really obvious thing
for Google to do, and so Google did the obvious thing.
And I haven't had a chance to really use it, yet,
but I think they did a pretty good job of it.
I really can't wait to review it.
If you've been watching my videos for any length of time,
you know that I just keep talking
about the future of computing, and I really don't feel like
anybody's gotten the balance exactly right.
So the Surface Pro feels a little bit
too PC-like, and the iPad feels a little bit
too tablet-like, but this Pixel Slate,
it feels like it does a better job
of striking that balance, almost
exactly 50-50, and I dunno if that's
exactly what you want, but it's fascinating
that they've done such a good job making
this thing feel so much like a tablet,
but also be able to do PC stuff.
Are we synced, you think?
- [Male] I think we are.
- We do need a Slate.
- [Together] Ah!
- Look at that.
- Okay, so you're making a tablet,
no, wait, you're making a Slate.
Why are you making a Slate?
- Over the years, we started with clamshells,
but as we sort of saw where users are going,
touch became more important, that's where we added touch.
Then we built convertibles,
because people wanted the flexibility
of having something they can hold
in their hand, and be closer to them.
And then, obviously, Slate is the next logical step,
there, and it really is about flexibility for the end user.
Also, just in general, it is an important market.
- So is Google done making Android tablets?
It's been awhile, and now you're making a Chrome OS tablet
that happens to run Android apps, to be clear,
but is this the future of what
you think big-screen computing from Google should look like?
- This is where we're investing,
from a full desktop productivity perspective,
we believe having a full desktop browser's
actually much better for the use cases
you have on the Web.
Eight years, now, we've saying Android apps
not so good on tablets.
What do you think the state of that is,
how quickly, where do you think it's going
when we run Android apps on this thing?
- But we've been working very closely
with all the top app vendors, and
they have been doing a lot of optimizations,
right now, whether it's Adobe,
for example, has been optimizing a lot of their apps.
I think there's still, again, plenty
of room for improvement, but we're
also doing things at the platform level,
to make it easier for app developers,
so that they don't have to even think
about some of this stuff.
- So that's everything we know so far
about the Pixel Slate, but I wanna go back
to that original question, which is,
why did Google make this thing now?
Well, there's three points.
The first is that I think consumers are finally ready
to accept this idea of a hybrid device.
We've been watching the iPad become more
like a PC over the year, and
we've been watching the Surface Go,
and the Surface Pro become more consumer-friendly.
The second point is that Google had
to do a lot of work to make Chrome OS better
on a tablet, and it is way more usable
in tablet mode now than
it was the last time that we looked at it.
Third, and maybe most importantly, Google had
to get better at making hardware.
They had to make those Pixel phones,
they had to make the Pixelbook,
and a lot of the stuff that
they've learned is built into the Pixel Slate.
It feels like a really nice, kind of premium, device.
So the answer to that question, "Why now?" is
really, really simple.
Google was just ready.
Do I wish that they had done it sooner?
Yeah, sure, of course I do, but you know what?
Better Slate than never.
(off-screen person quietly speaks)
Thanks so much for watching.
That was David Pierce from the Wall Street Journal,
I'm Dieter Bohn, from The Verge, obviously.
You should subscribe to The Verge,
not to that guy over there, over there,
wherever he went.