Though Google enthusiasts know the Pixel name in relation to the two generations of high-end Chromebooks, Google today announced a new Pixel C tablet that's actually powered by Android. Distinctly separate from the Nexus program, the Pixel C isn't built with a hardware partner — this is all Google.
The Pixel C is a 10.2-inch tablet running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and is built to use a detachable keyboard. The keyboard aligns with the tablet with strong magnets whether it's closed together for storage or open for use, and when the keyboard is attached you can swivel the screen between 100 and 135 degrees depending on how you want it to be set up.
The keyboard connects to the tablet over Bluetooth and offers two months of active use, but you'll never have to charge it separately because it charges inductively from the tablet itself. Google designed the keyboard to match the one from the Chromebook Pixel as well as it could, with a similar key spacing and the same 1.4 mm of key travel. The Pixel C also intelligently knows when the keyboard is attached for use, and switches the interface between taking input from the hardware or software keyboard.
Back to the tablet. The 10.2-inch screen has a 2560x1800 resolution, which is a rather tall aspect ratio but Google says it's ideal for productivity considering its relation to standard A4 paper formatting. On the inside it's powered by an NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor — the same as you'll find in a Shield Android TV, as well as 3GB of RAM. The tablet has an array of four microphones for cross-room audio pickup, and stereo speakers for audio output. Naturally it has a USB-C charging and data port as well.
Google is also talking a big game with software updates on the Pixel C, saying that the tablet will be updated every six weeks, not unlike its Chromebooks — that's interesting primarily because that update schedule wasn't discussed on the new Nexus 6P and 5X smartphones.
The Pixel C will be available for "the holidays," with prices starting at $499 for the 32GB storage model and an extra $100 to bump up to 64GB. The keyboard isn't included in the price, despite being an integral part of the experience — it'll set you back another $149.
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Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.