Google Has Made a Welcome Change to Its Pixel Tablet

Google Has Made a Welcome Change to Its Pixel Tablet

Bit of a day for tablet lovers, hey? Early in the morning, Apple revealed its latest iPad Pro and iPad Air, the two high-end variants of its tablet lineup. But over on the Android side of life, Google not only announced the Pixel 8a but it made a subtle little change to its Pixel Tablet, it’s now offering the tablet without the purpose-built smart speaker it originally came with.

When you order the Pixel Tablet from Google, you’ll be given two options – the Pixel Tablet only, or the Pixel Tablet and Charging Speaker Dock. When the tablet first came out, it set itself apart from the rest of the tablet market quite well by having the Charging Speaker Dock included in the box, albeit at a fairly high price compared to Apple’s base iPad.

There was a fair bit of logic to this, unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Tab product range and Apple’s iPad range, the Pixel Tablet was oriented more towards smart homes. It didn’t launch with an official stylus or keyboard set, though it did ship with compatibility for these things.

The device also shipped with a fair speclist. You can pick one up with either 128GB or 256GB storage, along with 8GB RAM, and Google’s Tensor G2 chip.

But because it’s aimed more as a smart home device and less as a traditional tablet, it’s difficult to draw a parallel between it and, say, the entry-level iPad. I tried to do so last year, and while generally speaking the entry-level iPad is much more affordable and is much better for productivity (with its official keyboard and Apple Pencil support), the Pixel Tablet made much more sense as an in-home device that didn’t move too far from the loungeroom to the bedroom – especially with the extremely sound-rich speaker dock.

I will say though that I’ve been using the Pixel Tablet nonstop since I wrote my review of it in June, and I’ve been loving it constantly – though the Voice Assistant can often be quite inconsistent. It’s cool that you can just say ‘Stop’ to make a timer or alarm stop, but sometimes I’ve found this to just not work. OS-wise it’s very fast, and is an adequate companion for when I’m working from home.

I use it constantly for video calls, watching Twitch streams beside my computer, controlling my smart home, and controlling my Spotify tracks, and all things considered, I think it’s a worthwhile device.

Anyway, the tablet-only Pixel Tablet will be available from the Google Store, JB HI-FI, Officeworks, and Harvey Norman from May 14 for $729 – or $829 with 256GB storage. It’s available in Porcelain or Hazel.

If you change your mind and want a Charging Speaker Dock, or want an extra one, you can buy these separately for $189.

Image: Gizmodo Australia

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