Everything you need to know about the Pixel Slate

The Pixel family has welcomed a new member on October 9: The Pixel Slate (also known under the code name “Nocturne”), a highly-rumored new Pixel tablet that uses Chrome OS and may provide a viable alternative to conventional Chromebooks. Here’s everything we can say about the Slate’s specs, design, and important features.

Technical specifications

Here’s the quick-and-easy specifications for the Google Pixel Slate.

  • Display size: 12.3-inch
  • Thickness: 7mm (without keyboard)
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds (without keyboard)
  • Processor: Intel Celeron up to 8th-gen Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 4GB up to 16GB
  • Storage: 32GB up to 256GB
  • Screen resolution: 3,000 x 2,000 (293 pixels per inch)
  • Audio: Dual front-firing speakers
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Battery: 48 watt-hour
  • Ports: Two USB-C, Pixel accessory connector
  • Camera: 8MP with wide FOV
  • OS: Chrome OS

A thin and simple design

The Google Pixel Slate has a simple, thin design with rounded edges and comes only in midnight blue. It’s a tablet at its core, with the Pixel Slate keyboard sold as an expensive ($199) extra. Since it’s a tablet first, the design of the device isn’t too remarkable, but it fits nicely into Google’s prevailing design language. It’s simple, but inviting.

According to Google’s official specifications, the Pixel Slate is just seven millimeters thin, 202 millimeters tall, and 290 millimeters wide. That’s remarkably thin given its overall dimensions. It weighs 1.6 pounds, which is comparable to a Surface Pro and a bit more than the most recent iPad.

There are a few feature hidden in the design that might make a difference. One is a fingerprint reader in the power button. There’s also dual front-facing speakers for better audio while holding the device. And finally, the tablet has front-facing and rear-facing cameras. These cameras support portrait mode and can take wide-angle shots.

google unveils new pixel slate to take on apples ipad keyboard

The Pixel Slate Keyboard is an optional add-on. It’s a folio style, which means it connects to the base of the tablet and then folds over it to provide protection. Strangely, Google has opted to use round keys for the keyboard — an odd choice rarely seen on mainstream keyboards. The keyboard is backlit.

Google’s Pixel Pen also returns, but the company didn’t say anything about changes to its design aside from a new midnight blue color that matches the Pixel Slate.

The display is a doozy

Google made the Pixel Slate’s display a focus during its reveal, going so far as to include a small video where it spoke to creators about how the Pixel Slate did justice to their work. Google apparently hopes that owners will use the Slate to watch high-quality video content on Google.

That said, the display isn’t surprising. It offers a 12.3-inch screen with 3,000 x 2,000 resolution, which means it has a 3:2 aspect ratio similar to Microsoft Surface devices. The resolution works out to 293 pixels per inch, or 6 million pixels overall.

Overall, the Pixel Slate is comparable to many of its competitors and is directly comparable to the Microsoft Surface Pro.

No specification surprises

Buying the basic $599 version of the Pixel Slate will net you an Intel Celeron dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. The range scales up to the $1,599 model, which has an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage.

These internals aren’t a big surprise. They’re basically the same a you’ll find in the Microsoft Surface line, or in other 2-in-1s like the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. We doubt they’ll be much performance gap between the Pixel Slate and its peers, though the Pixel Slate’s unique operating system will make direct comparisons difficult.

A new version of Chrome OS

google unveils new pixel slate to take on apples ipad screen nyc

There was a lot of speculation about what the Pixel might run ahead of Google’s event. In the end, it appears Google has decided to update the existing Chrome OS with a new look.

Since it’s a tablet, the new design is focused on touch use. It looks a lot like Android, with rounded icons, big buttons, and heavy use of large grid-like menus to provide easier navigation. Android app support continues, but the rumored addition of support for Windows installations wasn’t mentioned.

The new version of Chrome OS boasts a few other features focused on security. That includes built-in virus protection, automatic background updates that ensure the OS is always up to date, and Google’s Titan security chip, which helps prevent hackers from hijacking the device

Pricing & Availability

Google didn’t put a date on the Slate’s availability, saying only that it’ll be available “later this year” in the U.S., Canada, and U.K.

Pricing starts at $599 for the tablet only. Pricing rises from there to $1,599 for the top-tier model.

The keyboard is $199 and the pen is $99. Both accessories are optional and not included in the base price.

Computing

Adobe’s craziest new tools animate photos, convert recordings to music in a click

Adobe shared a glimpse behind the scenes at what's next and the Creative Cloud future is filled with crazy A.I.-powered tools, moving stills, and animation reacting to real-time tweets.
Computing

Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 vs. Google Pixelbook

Samsung's Chromebook Plus V2 attempts to answer the question: can you spend around half as much as on the premium Google Pixelbook and be happy that you saved some serious cash?
Computing

Is the Pixelbook 2 still happening? Here's everything we know so far

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Has the Pixel Slate taken its place? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.
Computing

Is the new Surface Pro 6 worth the extra money or is the Surface Go good enough?

Each of Microsoft’s Surface devices are great, but with the recent addition of the Surface Pro 6, you might be wondering how it stacks up against the Surface Go. In this comparison piece, we’ve put the two devices up against each other…
Computing

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…
Computing

Chrome 70 is now available and won’t automatically log you in to the browser

Google has officially launched Chrome version 70 on Windows Mac and Linux. The update introduces some new Progressive Web App integrations on Windows 10 and also tweaks the much controversial auto login with Google Account feature.
Computing

Corsair’s latest SSD boasts extremely fast speeds at a more affordable price

Despite matching and besting the performance of competing solid-state drives from Samsung and WD, the Corsair Force Series MP510 comes in at a much more affordable price. Corsair boasts extremely fast read and write speeds.
Computing

New Windows 10 19H1 preview lets users remove more pre-installed Microsoft apps

With the release of the latest Windows 10 19H1 preview build on October 17, Microsoft is letting some consumers remove more of the pre-installed inbox app bloatware from their machines. 
Computing

Apple’s 2020 MacBooks could ditch Intel processors, arrive with ‘ARM Inside’

If you're buying a MacBook in 2020, be on the lookout for a new "ARM Inside" banner. Apple is reportedly working on transitioning away from Intel processors for its MacOS lineup in favor of new custom A-series ARM-based silicon.
Social Media

Tumblr promises it fixed a bug that left user data exposed

A bug on blogging site Tumblr left user data exposed. The company says that once it learned of the flaw, it acted quickly to fix it, adding that it's confident no data linked to its users' accounts was stolen.
Computing

Microsoft patent highlights a potential VR text input system

A new patent awarded to Microsoft could lead to a new typing method for virtual reality and on Xbox consoles. The virtual radial dial puts letters within easy reach of joystick commands and offers predictive typing, too.
Computing

Ryzen shine! AMD’s next CPUs could beat Intel at gaming in 2019

AMD's upcoming Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs could offer as much as a 13-percent increase in instruction per clock. With clock speed or core count increases, that could gave them a huge performance boost.
Computing

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 packs Snapdragon 850 into Always Connected Windows 2-in-1

The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 is set to go on sale at the start of November and should be a solid addition the collection of Always Connected Windows laptops. It packs a Snapdragon 850 and a 20-hour battery.
Computing

A ThinkPad tablet with a foldable screen could be in Lenovo’s future

Lenovo may be working on its own version of Project Andromeda. The company is reportedly working on a 13-inch tablet that can fold down to just nine inches for travel by leveraging LG Display's foldable screen technology.