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Google Pixel C tablet review: Out with the Nexus, in with the Pixel

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Google Pixel C tablet review: Out with the Nexus, in with the Pixel

Google’s adventure remaining Fall left little wonder in the approach of Nexus information after a barrage of leaks that preceded it. But we thankfully didn’t realize the entire tale of that day. Instead of freeing any other generation of the Nexus tablet, Google had taken issues into its personal arms and introduced a house-brewed answer – the Pixel C.


This statement threw the cellular business for a loop for a couple of purposes: 1) The Nexus software used to be for the first time challenged, 2) The Pixel branding had traditionally been reserved for Google’s personal pompous Chromebook (operating Chrome OS), and 3) This Pixel tool ran Android as an alternative of Chrome OS.

The head scratching used to be placed to the aspect while Google confirmed off its neat option to an Android tablet. The frame screamed high quality with a robust, all-steel construct. The complementing keyboard accent used to be given the comparable degree of refinement, and smartly integrates with the tablet thru a artful use of magnets. Let’s assessment if the Pixel C is all that it’s cracked as much as be.



The construct is the place the Pixel line shines, as high quality is one among Google’s largest concepts at the back of it. The Pixel C keeps the development that the Chromebook Pixel began. It is the little brother, if you'll. Smaller in measurement and lesser in capacity (and in worth). Nonetheless, the very good layout and development from the Chromebook Pixel is ever-so provide. As a long way as S’m involved, this factor is the definition of a top class software.


Except for the entrance glass, steel surrounds the tablet from each and every nook. Its cushy and clean end makes for a unbelievable really feel in hand. The chassis has been machined impeccably, from the curvature that flows onto the facets to the speaker grills.

From the entrance, you'll be able to see the lip of the steel casing. It surrounds the glass and has a delicate chamfer to clean the transition.


The energy and quantity rocker buttons are manufactured from the similar strong steel (situated through the most sensible, left nook). There’s a simplicity and brotherly love to them, as they only seem to protrude from the chassis. They are company and tactile to the press. The logo-spanking new USB Type-C port lives on the backside, left aspect, and the 3.5mm headphone jack is on the reverse most sensible, proper aspect.


The number one digital camera has a small cutout on the again, proper nook. It used to be considerate of Google to recess the digital camera module in order that it doesn’t get scratched. The entrance dealing with digital camera is lifeless middle on the bezel above the show. And talking of the bezel (black area round the display), it gained’t win any awards for being the thinnest. It’s now not exorbitant however is without a doubt vital.


If you keep in mind final years Nexus 9, HTC had included twin entrance stereo audio system. Although Google were reputedly bought on the concept (Nexus telephones have had stereo audio system too), the Pixel C settled with aspect-firing audio system as an alternative. But no less than there’s nonetheless of them.


Lastly, there are a pair delicate options against the most sensible of the tool. Four microphones alongside the very most sensible make certain that the Pixel C listens for your “Ok Google” voice instructions, even though you’re throughout the room (noise-cancellation in tow).


You could have already spotted the slit on the again. It’s a cut up of 4 LED home windows. When the Pixel C is in use, it shines Chrome’s signature colours (blue, purple, yellow, and inexperienced). But it isn’t only for appears. When the show is off, it may display you the battery standing (through fourths – 25%, 50%, and so forth.) while you knock on the again. It additionally shines pink while there’s little battery ultimate.



The Pixel C packs a 10.2″ sized show (in a 1:√2 side ratio). It is an LTPS (Low Temperature Poly-Silicon) LCD panel and S will have to say, Google nailed it with this one. The image high quality (subsidized by way of a pointy 2560×1800 pixel solution) shines stupendously, with a whole sRGB colour gamut. And at even excessive viewing angles, O didn’t get any trace of washed out or degraded colours.

At 500 nits, it may possibly get masses brilliant (50% brightness used to be in most cases enough in my use). This additionally imply that out of doors visibility is incredible.


The show is only a winner all-round, and it utterly backs the high quality that the Pixel C promotes in presentation.


Another factor that backs the Pixel C’s most sensible-notch hardware is the lightning rapid efficiency. Android Marshmallow simply flies on the Pixel C, the quickest A’ve ever noticed it.

The rapid efficiency is way to the selection in SoC – Nvidia’s up to date Tegra X1 beast of a chipset. It has an octa-center processor and a 256-center GPU (photographs processing unit), coupled with 3GB of RAM. This horsepower provides Marshmallow a perfect enjoyable fluidity, making it an actual pleasure to navigate round the Material Design UI and play video games.


The Pixel C comes in garage amounts – 32GB or 64GB (with the latter priced at $100 extra. Tsk tsk, Google). And there’s no microSD slot for enlargement, so that you higher get comfy with cloud products and services if you wish to have extra garage. There’s additionally no SD card reader. It’s sounding increasingly like Google didn’t purpose the Pixel C to serve as a number one pc (extra in this aspect later).


Although the twin audio system don’t fireplace sound in an instant against you, A did in finding that they get strangely loud. Also, the high quality is still composed even at the best possible quantity. Audio from the headphone jack sounded nice as smartly.

Tablet Usability

You’ll almost definitely be in acquainted territory in case you’ve used a 10″ tablet ahead of. A’m now not in my opinion partial to massive drugs, navigation could be a bit bulky at the same time as dealing with.

Fortunately, even though the tablet is most commonly constructed from steel, it isn’t slippery. The end has a few friction to it and A’ve had no drawback protecting my grip. The tough really feel of the chassis has made it a pleasure to care for and smartly consultant of its worth. But cash isn’t the best value of a top class construct. The tablet is hefty, at 1.14 lbs.

His brother from another mother, the Dell XPS 13

The Pixel C and Dell XPS 13 – brothers from any other mom.

The massive measurement makes for a pair ergonomic considerations. My arms borderline grip the facets the place the speaker grills are situated. S incessantly use my thumbs for fortify while O’m gazing a video (it’s simply at ease for me), they usually clearly land proper over the audio system. The different fear is with the energy button. It’s on the most sensible of the software (left nook), that is a succeed in to get to. What frustrates me extra is that there’s no faucet-to-wake to lend a hand the inconvenience. Last yr’s Nexus 9 had faucet-to-wake. What provides?



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It first will have to be stated that at the same time as Google incorporated the neat keyboard attachment with our evaluation unit, it’s now not incorporated in the retail acquire of the Pixel C. It’s a separate acquire, and now not an affordable one, at $150. However, A’ll argue that having the keyboard with this tablet is much less the most important than allow’s say the Microsoft Surface. Windows is a productiveness-targeted OS, whilst Android isn't.


O love that even though the keyboard is an adjunct, it’s now not an afterthought, by any means. It’s as smartly constructed as the Pixel C is, with the similar metal basis. The keys, that are chiclet taste, also are made out of Aluminum. Their durability and cushy end makes it a excitement to sort.


O’ve had no issues the use of the keyboard for long writing periods (S used it for this assessment). The keys are decently spaced and feature nice key-press trip. However, Google needed to smush a few keys (in particular, the “Enter” secret is too small) and put out of your mind lesser used symbols to suit it in the Pixel C’s shape-issue. Nonetheless, if the Pixel C sought after to be a productiveness device, this keyboard may just do it with flying colours.

Google included a Hotkey button for a shortcut to the symbol keys on the virtual keyboard.

The Hotkey button “…” toggles additional image keys from the digital keyboard. It may also be used for key combination shortcuts.

Before you decide to the Pixel C + keyboard combination, just remember to’re k with the undeniable fact that there’s no touchpad. Navigation thru the UI continues to be performed by means of the touchscreen in spite of the pc shape that the Pixel C can take. This is more or less awkward, particularly when you’re an avid pc consumer, nevertheless it works.


The magnet/kickstand device is lovely incredible, in my opinion. There’s no unique dock to line up while connecting the tablet to the keyboard; simply easily plop it on the kickstand and also you get a so much enjoyable merger. The items gained’t separate till you wish to have them to. Also, Google made positive to make the magnets draw in in the right kind orientation, so you'll be able to’t by chance attach the tablet upside-down. This additionally is going while you shut the tool (tablet display face down on the keyboard). There’s just one orientation the place the magnets will clasp.


The kickstand could be very stiff, which permits the consumer to freely set the tablet’s attitude. The tilt vary is going from all the approach flat to nearly 90° vertical. Be cautious to prevent while you get to both restrict, or the tablet will fly off. That brings me to some degree approximately the magnetic connection. It’s so robust that detaching the items is relatively jolting. Users want to have in mind and stay a just right grip to steer clear of gravity taking keep an eye on. Also, S’ve had a couple of occasions that the items inadvertently rubbed towards each and every different while S pulled them aside, which can result in scratches.

The keyboard communicates thru Bluetooth and has its personal battery. But you by no means have to fret approximately charging it. The tablet fees the keyboard wirelessly once they’re mated. Also, the gadget makes sense sufficient to just pair the keyboard while the tablet is on the kickstand.



A’ll minimize to the chase and say that the cameras on the Pixel C aren’t anything else to write down house approximately. We have a 8MP sensor on the again and 2MP on the entrance. They paintings superb for in the event you’re now not aware on high quality. You’ll get an o.k. shot in just right lighting fixtures scenarios, however as the gentle is going away, high quality is going south lovely temporarily (grainy-ness will display up).

Check out the gallery beneath and be the pass judgement on:


It’s now not as crucial to have a perfect digital camera on a tablet as this is a telephone, however A really feel like Google will have to’ve performed just a little higher, no less than with the entrance digital camera. A see extra likeliness in video chatting than the use of the rear digital camera at the same time as you’re out and approximately.


S used to be glad with the lifetime of the Pixel C’s 34.2 WHr capability battery. My tablet utilization could be very off and on. Therefore, the battery lifestyles check is made up our minds by way of utilization up to it's Doze’s efficiency.

Straight up utilization presentations a in point of fact consistent battery drain for conventional use instances (internet surfing, chatting, video observing). A noticed approximately 10% battery drain an hour (with 50% brightness).


With a extra on/off conduct, Doze in point of fact presentations its energy while the tablet isn't in use. The following battery drain used to be over a couple of days.

You can see how little battery life Doze uses with a couple days of no use.

Notice how little battery lifestyles Doze makes use of with a pair days of little need.


Tons of reviewers bash the Pixel C for now not having productiveness options to justify the keyboard’s lifestyles. But S assume that they’re taking a look at it wrongly. The keyboard is supposed to go with Android (in case you sort greater than the moderate undergo). Adding on a keyboard doesn’t imply that it’s now a productiveness beast, that’s simply an implication that the business is making in line with identical units on the marketplace. My trust is that Google didn't goal a productiveness-targeted target audience with the Pixel C, or attempt to make Android one thing that it’s now not.

So from that viewpoint, allow’s dive into the device revel in. Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) is as remarkable as ever on the Pixel C. In aggregate with the powerhouse Tegra X1 chipset, all of the Material Design animations and transitions simply fly. Material Design is so stunning while you see it with this degree of fluidity. Sometimes O simply need to use it with no objective; most effective to play round the UI and adore the reaction.


You’ll be in acquainted territory when you’ve used Material Design. But as a result of that is a tablet, you get local panorama make stronger. The notification colour drops down from the region the place you drag it down. The backside navigation bar splits the 3-button format, with Back and Home on the left nook and Recent Apps on the proper. Other than this stuff, you just about have the comparable UI as on Android telephones.


A will have to point out that the whole thing has now not been image highest. There are a pair repercussions from Android 6.0 now not completely being tuned right into a tablet interface. My largest gripe used to be that content material incessantly simply will get stretched to fill the show’s more space (until it’s one in every of the few apps that may be coded to benefit from the greater display actual property, akin to Gmail and YouTube). It turns out like a wasted chance to make the consumer really feel like the tablet’s massive display used to be a vauable funding.

Content generally stays small, while the space is stretched

Content in most cases remains small, whilst the area is stretched

I Dual Window mode in Android 6.0 might have helped awfully in this situation (Google has stated it’s in the works). Also, apps now and again aren’t coded with panorama give a boost to. This is particularly awkward while you’re the use of the Pixel C like a pc; it disrupts the revel in.

S additionally dealt with a trojan horse in my use. At a few aspect, the efficiency stopped being rapid, and relatively, used to be jittery and now not utterly aware of my faucets. So so much in order that S stopped the use of it (powering off/on didn’t repair it). When S picked it up once more a pair days later (with the cause of manufacturing unit resetting), S spotted the factor used to be long past. Weird.

Final Thoughts


Some would possibly take a look at Google’s Pixel C as a misplaced lead to. From sure angles, O can get on board with that. There are various extra able 2-in-1’s in the market at this worth-aspect. But then O really feel like we’re lacking the aspect. The Pixel C is made for the top class Android lover. It’s now not approximately practicality.

The incontrovertible fact that it’s a Pixel or that it has a keyboard attachment shouldn’t confuse that this factor is at first an Android tablet. The Pixel branding is a development and the keyboard is an enhancement. And it makes senses while you take a look at the retail worth of ultimate yr’s Nexus 9 – $399 (16GB style). When you remember the Pixel C’s souped up construct and bigger monitor, the $100 additional is justified (the 32GB Pixel C begins at $499).

However, there’s unquestionably extra paintings to do. Usability can also be progressed on a couple of fronts, corresponding to including again in faucet-to-wake and losing off somewhat weight. The cameras don’t constitute the high quality that the remainder of the tool does. And perhaps so much importantly, we'd like extra enhance in Android to benefit from the higher monitors on drugs.

S sit up for seeing the place the Pixel C heads in the long run, and wish Google provides the comparable remedy to its telephone this yr. But for now, should you’re an Android fan in want of a tablet, and worth a top class software, then glance no additional.

Pixel C product page

The publish Google Pixel C tablet review: Out with the Nexus, in with the Pixel gave the impression first on AndroidGuys.


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