Google Pixel C: Competition In The High-End Tablet Market
Google’s first attempt at a tablet, the Pixel C, has recently hit the markets to some pretty mixed reviews. On one hands, it’s regarded as one of the fastest and most powerful tablets to date. On the other hand, Google made some design choices that might have hurt them in the long run. They will likely fix those minor complaints before the next release and stun the world with an even more efficient device.
Less Portable. More Capable.
Today’s tablets are fighting a constant battle between productivity and portability. Most people want a slim, lightweight tablet that can handle their favorite games and multi-tasking needs for work. Unfortunately, such capable and well-rounded tablets are not as common as you might think. They almost always wind up sacrificing one quality for the other. In this case, Google has sacrificed some portability for improved performance and battery life.
The Pixel C is big and beautiful, but with good reason. It’s thicker than comparable iPad models and weighs a hefty 1.13 pounds, which is more than the high-end iPads and Samsung S2 tablet.
However, it is the first tablet to utilize the powerful Nvidia Tegra X1 graphics processor. Understandable, considering it is also the first tablet built entirely by Google.
They needed something to help them stand out and gain a competitive edge. Sacrificing some portability for the most advanced graphics capabilities any tablet has seen thus far. Nvidia and Google often work closely together during big releases. The Tegra K1 was in the first 64-bit Android, the Nexus 9.
The Tegra X1 features a 256-core Maxwell powered GPU. It is the exact same graphics architecture that is utilized in the newest GeForce graphics cards. It’s more than enough for work and video, but if you’re a serious gamer, then you will appreciate the graphics improvements most of all.
Looks And Feels Expensive.
When you’re paying a high-end price for a high-end tablet, you want a high-end appearance. Google definitely delivers in this department with the Pixel C. It features an anodized aluminum surface that looks more sophisticated than any other tablet on the market.
The additional keyboard is made from the same anodized aluminum, so it all ties together nicely. The material likely adds a little to the scale as well. The keyboard weighs 0.87 pounds, which is actually heavier than the Galaxy S2 tablet is altogether. It also doubles as a protective case when the keyboard is closed.
The keyboard and Pixel C attach via embedded magnets. It’s a fairly strong connection. You can actually lift the Pixel C by holding the laptop, so there’s no worries about disconnections from the weight of the keyboard or tablet. However, tilting the keyboard too far forward will cause it to disconnect.
It’s also a bit awkward to connect and reconnect the keyboard. To disconnect the keyboard and the tablet you have to tilt it back entirely and then slide the Pixel C off of the magnets. It’s unusual, but something you can easily get used to after repeating it a few dozen times.
The Software Side Of Things.
The Pixel C takes full advantage of the newest Android OS update, the Marshmallow 6.0. You’ll see all of the same buttons, tabs, and features you’re used to seeing if you’ve used an Android tablet in the past. All of the apps are laid out in standard fashion and the system is easy to navigate.
The “OK Google” voice search is very accurate mainly because of the powerful processor and the four microphones. The microphones are capable of picking up an “OK Google” command from across the room.
It’s also one of the first to use the newest feature from Android called “On Tap”. This interesting little feature will bring up search results based on what it sees on your screen. For example, if you’re reading an article and hold down the home button it will activate the On Tap feature. A white border will appear around the screen and then it will bring up search results related to what was on the screen. In this case, the search results would relate to the content of the article. It’s an interesting feature and pretty fun to play with.
The Final Verdict.
The Google Pixel C is easily one of the best tablets on the market. There are a few kinks to work out, mainly with the keyboard, but it’s an otherwise exceptional model. It’s clear to see that Apple and Samsung now have some real competition in the high-end tab market.