Google announces its first tablet in three years, the Pixel Slate

Google announces its first tablet in three years, the Pixel Slate

The new Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are improvements over their predecessors in literally every way. However, the frosted design of the part that is metal on the Pixel 2 duo fools you into thinking it isn't glass. The phone will be available in three colours - Just Black, Clearly White, Not Pink.

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL obviously both ship with the latest and greatest version of Android, which is Android 9.0 Pie. The Pixel 3 XL has a 6.3 inch display, but it also has a notch while Samsung does not. Always On also makes a comeback.

But that's not to say the Google Home Hub is light on features.

The Pixel 3 and its big brother also have a dedicated security chip - the Titan M, which keeps the OS and your passwords secure. However, the Slate can be configured with up to an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB and 256GB of storage, specs more fitting of Google's aspirations of a laptop replacement. Single USB-C ports are found on the left and right sides, and a pogo pin connection is on the bottom.

The Pixel 3 sticks to 2160 x 1080 pixels - or Full HD+ - which at this size is actually perfectly adequate. What the matte finish does is it gives the Pixel 3 a more distinctive look.

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For those wanting a compact powerful device, the Pixel 3 certainly will be that.

The Pixel Slate will feature an 8-megapixel camera on the front and rear of the device. Has Google made the camera even better? The Pixel 3 XL, on the other hand, starts at ₹83,000 ($1,120) for the 64GB variant, and goes up to a mind-blowing ₹92,000 ($1,242) for the 128GB storage variant.

There's a heavy focus on smart home integration too, with a HomeKit-like Home View section that will act as a place for things like smart lights and thermostats to hang out, having them all in one place to make it easier to interact with them.

The front cameras are dual 8MP sensors. One is a 97° wide-angle f/2.2 sensor and the other is a standard f/1.8 sensor. It incorporates fast charge too, so you should be able to get around two hours of use from 15 minutes plugged in. Unfortunately, the new features have come alongside an increase in cost. When you point your camera at information you want to remember or don't feel like typing in - like a URL or QR code on a flyer or an email address on a business card - Google Lens suggests what to do next, like creating a new contact. That's in stark contrast to the Echo Show, which allows you to take pictures or host video calls with other Echo devices, or even the newly announced Facebook Portal that seems nearly entirely focused on video calling. It will be available later as an update.

Ryan Reith, who leads device research at tech consulting firm IDC, said Google did not change enough in the Pixel 3 for it to stand apart from more well-known competitors. But once you throw in the accessories, the Slate becomes a bit more pricey. Technically, Lenovo's Smart Display is available in two options - Bamboo or Gray - although those colors are not really ones the user can choose from as they are dependent on the size/model chosen.

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