Google Pixel Slate — the first detachable Pixelbook 2-in-1

Google Pixelbook in tablet mode
Google Pixelbook in tablet mode

Google’s long-rumored convertible Pixelbook finally has an official designation. We’ve been calling it by its code name, Nocturne, for months, but its official name, the one you’ll see on the box, is said to be Pixel Slate. Technically not a Pixelbook but certainly part of the Pixel line of Google products, the Pixel Slate will be Google’s first Chrome OS tablet and will have a detachable keyboard, making it super lightweight and portable in tablet mode.

The Pixel line of Google hardware has always been iconic. Its smartphones debuted with great cameras, the Chromebook Pixels had unique input features, and the Pixelbook was the first truly premium Chromebook. A long-rumored second-generation of Pixelbooks has been speculated about for months and was slated to launch in two guises. One of them will likely be the Pixel Slate.

The news of the tablet’s title comes from Android Police’s David Ruddock. Although he claimed that the title wasn’t a big surprise, it’s still the best source of this information that we’ve heard so far. It’s not an official confirmation, but he claims that the source is trustworthy enough that it’s worth taking seriously.

The big selling point of the Pixel Slate is that like great 2-in-1s such as the fantastic Surface Book 2, its keyboard is detachable. That makes it both light and portable in tablet mode, and also potentially aids battery life. That detachable keyboard is internally code-named “Whiskers,” by the way.

However, that’s not the only exciting potential feature of the Pixel Slate. 9to5Google claims that it may also be able to dual boot Chrome OS and Windows, if not at the device’s launch, then further down the line. That would make the convertible tablet an impressively capable device with access to a much wider range of software than its Chrome OS-limited contemporaries.

But the Pixel Slate is just one of two new Pixelbook devices that are expected to debut at the #madebygoogle event taking place on October 9. The other device, code-named Atlas, seems most likely to be a true Pixelbook successor in that it will operate as a laptop, rather than a convertible tablet. Rumored features include a 4K display with much thinner bezels surrounding it, a processor updated to Intel’s eighth-generation CPUs, better touchscreen support for fingers and Pixel Pen with Google Assistant, and the introduction of new biometric security options for facial and fingerprint recognition.

We may see integrated LTE data connectivity too, potentially natively, if Google chooses to opt to use one of Intel’s new Y-series processors.

Some of these features may make their way into the Pixel Slate, too, but we’ll need to wait until the devices are debuted to find out for sure.

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