Smart, but still very limited

Smart, but still very limited

We’ve been working on the new Google Pixel Tablet for the past few weeks. The device has a lot to offer and comes with a docking station. But is this a perfect combination?

Read on after the announcement.

This is our Google Pixel Tablet review

The Google Pixel Tablet is the search giant’s first tablet in years and we’ve tested it extensively. The device is powered by the Tensor G2 chip, which we know from the Pixel 7 devices.

You can always buy it here along with a special docking station, with which you can charge the tablet and in which a built-in speaker is hidden. For example, the Pixel Tablet secretly looks like a smaller Google Nest Hub, but it has a fixed screen, so you can’t take it everywhere with you.

The starting price is €679, with 128GB of internal storage in the tablet. For an additional 100 euros, you can purchase a 256 GB version. Want to know how we love the Pixel Tablet? Then quickly dive into our comprehensive review.

Pixel Tablet review sample is provided by Google.

Google Pixel Tablet Table of Contents

Design: Unobtrusive, but sturdy

Google Pixel Tablet shown in one size and multiple colours. We tested the gray and green model, but you only see that color on the back. The anterior border is black and symmetrical. The tablet has rounded corners and the screen also has slight rounding in the corners.

There is a fast fingerprint scanner, built into the power button. The volume buttons, four speakers, and a USB-C port can also be found on the Pixel Tablet. The back has a very strong and durable nano-ceramic coating.

It feels stiff and therefore fits well in the hand. Finally, there are four pogo pins on the back, more on that later. Through this, the Pixel Tablet connects to the included docking station, and the powerful internal magnets also contribute to this.

You can only buy this tablet in conjunction with the docking station and it also has a nice look that we know from other Google speakers. For example, part of it is finished in gray fabric, and we see the famous Google logo on the back and the bottom part has a non-slip finish, so that it does not shift.

Screen: It’s a nice size and not too smooth

The screen size is 10.95 inches with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. Remarkably, Google has made separate choices on certain points. For example, it was not a color amoled panel that was chosen, but an LCD screen. Colors look good and viewing angles are good, but it would be better with a different type of screen. For example, the contrast between the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is also higher.

It is also the case that the screen only has a 60Hz refresh rate. Many competing tablets have screens that feel twice as smooth or faster. Why the search giant chose this is exactly the question, but we think it’s a huge flaw. A 60Hz screen actually falls into this price range you did not.

Finally, there is a layer of glass that ensures the whole is very reflective. This is often the case with smartphones, but due to the larger size this is more noticeable. The screen brightness is sufficient, so you don’t always see it, fortunately.

Hardware: Good performance thanks to its processor

We know the processor in Google Pixel Tablet from Pixel smartphones. A Tensor G2 chip is on board, along with 8GB of RAM. This combination ensures that the tablet will not have problems with any heavy 3D app or game. Multitasking works great, whether by using apps literally next to each other with the big screen on or not.

You can choose between different models in terms of storage memory, which cannot be expanded with a memory card. The device weighs just under 500 grams, but the weight is well distributed. If you’re using the device to watch a feature film, for example, this is still an issue.

A private dock is always included

If you buy a Pixel Tablet, you’re also paying a lot for the proprietary docking station. You click the tablet magnetically into it and the tablet also charges directly via the pogo pins. In addition, it has built-in speakers, the sound quality of which is much better than the four speakers of the tablet itself.

Overall, the system is very similar to the smaller Google Nest Hub, which has a fixed screen. Another big difference is that the Pixel Tablet’s docking station isn’t quite as smart, unfortunately. For example, there is no WiFi module and you can’t use it to play your Spotify podcast or playlist if your tablet is loose.

When you click on the tablet, you will see a number of “Hub Options”. For example, you can play a photo slideshow, control smart devices, or call up Google Assistant. Operation with hand gestures like with the Nest Hub is also missing, because the necessary sensors are missing. Overall, this leaves a negative feeling, because it’s not really a big Google Nest Hub and it could have been pretty cool.

Google also chose to sell the tablet and docking station in one package, which drove the price up considerably. If you want a second terminal, you can buy it separately for another 149 euros.

Battery life: more than fine

It depends of course on usage, but here the tablet was tapped back onto the docking station after each use. As a result, it charged constantly thanks to the pogo pins on the back of the tablet and the docking station itself. Google provides a special charger for the docking station which is different from the charger for the Google Nest Mini or Nest Hub.

It was decided not to charge the tablet to 100 percent when charging through the base, but to 90 percent. This is better for battery life. A full charge takes over 2 hours via the docking station, which is quite a long time. You can also choose to top up your Pixel Tablet with fresh battery juice via the USB-C port. A full charge takes longer: just under three hours.

If you start using the tablet with a full battery, you can watch movies, surf or play games for hours. If you really want to completely drain the battery, you should think about 10 to 12 hours of continuous use. So if you take your tablet with you on a long car or train trip, sometimes it helps to take a Power Bank with you.

Software: Clean, nice and long support

As we’re used to from Google, the software is “clean” and fun to use. Unnecessary apps or features are not present and everything feels smooth. You will get five years of security updates and several major Android updates in the coming years.

If you tap the tablet on the docking station, you can also send content to it. Useful if you’re watching a video on your smartphone, but want to keep watching on a bigger screen or to stream music through your speakers. It is also possible to use the speaker in the “Speakers group”.

You can multitask with multiple apps side by side and there’s even a special “desktop mode”, but don’t expect too much from it. For example, you have a small bar at the bottom that contains shortcuts to different apps, so you can switch quickly.

Many Google apps are also optimized for the large screen, but sometimes an enlarged version of an app you know from your smartphone is displayed. As a result, everything gets blown up and doesn’t work properly. App developers like WhatsApp or Netflix are now offering a tablet mode for their Android apps, but the majority of apps have not done so yet.

Conclusion of our Google Pixel Tablet review

We are in our opinion about the Google Pixel Tablet. The device itself is beautifully finished and has excellent internal hardware. We would have liked to see a smoother and nicer AMOLED screen, especially for the asking price.

This price is quite high at 679 euros, but that is also because the docking station is standard in the box. We’d have preferred that you could buy the tablet separately for €149 less, so you’d pay around €500 for it.

You can always purchase this docking station separately if you see its added value. This varies from person to person, but we think the charging functionality and a good set of speakers are pretty scarce.

If you were expecting to buy a big “Google Nest Hub” with this tablet, scratch your head again, because unfortunately that’s not the case.

Buy Google Pixel Tablet

Are you interested in the Google Pixel Tablet? The device is available in two colors and has a price of no less than 679 euros. As mentioned, you also get a docking station, which is also available separately for €149. The model with 256 GB costs another 100 euros. Are you looking for the version that best suits you? Check out the price comparison below!

Reviews about Android Planet
At Android Planet, we test the latest gear like smartwatches, wireless earbuds, and smartphones all year round. We do this with a team of editors who have been active in the “smartphone world” for years and have already seen – and therefore tested – quite a few phones and gadgets. We have the necessary experience.

We have compiled reviews – just like all other content on the site – with a lot of time, care and attention. This way, you as the reader know exactly what to expect from the tested smartphone and what the most important pros and cons are.

In the reviews we delve deeper, but in an understandable way. After all, we want everyone to understand the story and finally know how good (or bad) the tested device is. We use the equipment we test as a daily driver for at least a week. As a result, we know exactly how the latest products work in practice.

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