Three-in-one clamshell

Google Pixelbook

The new Android tablet

Google Pixel Slate

Google's Pixelbook is one of the company's most ambitious products and offers a very unique and stylish look. The display is incredible, and the keyboard and trackpad make it a joy to use. Unfortunately, the price makes it difficult to justify buying.

$999 at Best Buy

Pros

  • Great display
  • Thin and light
  • 360-degree hinge
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Powerful internals

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No SD card expansion
  • Poor audio quality
  • No fingerprint reader

The Pixel Slate is Google's first Chrome tablet device and the company's only tablet offering. It uses the latest eighth-generation Intel processors so it's blazing-fast, but the price and lack of a keyboard cover may be a bit of a turn-off.

$799 at Best Buy

Pros

  • Great display
  • A true tablet experience
  • Powerful specs
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Ultra-portable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No SD card expansion
  • Chrome not fully touch-friendly
  • Keyboard folio cover not included

Battle of form factors

Google has merged Android apps into Chrome OS and now the company is serious about building a proper Chromebook and Chrome tablet for productivity as well as entertainment. While there are some major benefits the eighth-generation Intel processors bring to the Pixel Slate, essentially the decision between the two comes down to one thing — which form factor do you prefer?

Note: We're comparing the $799 Intel Core m3 model Pixel Slate with 64GB of storage against the $999 entry-level Pixelbook, since those are the models most people should buy. The Pixel Slate's eight-generation Intel Core m3 processor offers performance comparable to the Pixelbook's seventh-generation Intel Core i5. An eighth-generation Core i5 Pixel Slate with 128GB of storage is also available for $999.

Pixelbook Pixel Slate
Display 12.3-inch LCD
2400 x 1600 (235ppi)
10-finger multitouch
12.3-inch "Molecular Display"
3000 x 2000
10-finger multitouch
Processor 7th Generation Intel Core i5 8th Generation Intel Core m3
Memory 8GB 8GB
Storage 128GB 64GB
Fingerprint reader No Yes
Battery 41 Whr
Up to 10 hours of use
48 Whr
Up to 10 hours of use
Connectivity 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
2x2 MIMO
dual-band 2.4 and 5 GHz
Bluetooth 4.2
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
2x2 MIMO
dual-band 2.4 and 5 GHz
Bluetooth 4.2
Dimensions 11.4 in x 8.7 in x 0.4 in 11.45 in x 7.95 in x 0.27 in
Weight 2.4 lbs 1.6 lbs
Price $999 $799

It's apparent that a lot of thought went into making the basic experience the same across these two products. That's good, because you can use them both as a tablet — the Pixelbook has 360-degree hinges and folds over itself — or as a more traditional laptop with the purchase of a Pixel Slate keyboard. Both also fully support the Wacom AES-powered Pixelbook Pen (not included, $99 at Best Buy to use for taking notes, drawing, or communicating with Google Assistant.

What you need to do is decide whether you would rather use a tablet most of the time or a laptop most of the time, because that's the deciding factor here. The Pixel Slate Keyboard is an additional $199, which isn't exactly peanuts.

  • The Google Pixelbook as configured plus the Pixelbook Pen is a $1,098 purchase.
  • The Google Pixel Slate as configured plus the Pixelbook Pen plus the Pixel Slate Keyboard is a $1,097 purchase.

Once you make both products comparably featured, the price is a wash — they both cost the same. But the Pixelbook as configured has 128GB of storage versus the Pixel Slate's 64GB (neither model has an SD card slot), while the Pixel Slate is a far better tablet experience without the keyboard attached and has a fingerprint sensor to make security much more convienent. This makes the product recommendation very easy.

It all comes down to one thing: Do you prefer a tablet or a laptop?

If you prefer a tablet experience, buy the Pixel Slate and the Pixel Slate Keyboard for those times when you have to use it at a desk. If you prefer a laptop experience, buy the Pixelbook and fold it over when you have to use it as a tablet. And if you'll never use either as a traditional laptop, you'll save $100 by buying the Pixel Slate without the keyboard. The storage difference can matter if you plan to install large Android apps or Linux programs, but Google Drive and USB-C thumb drives can an offer and endless amount of storage for media or documents.

When you want a laptop

Google Pixelbook

Google's most ambitious product

The Pixelbook is expensive and the audio can be disappointing, but its fantastic trackpad and keyboard, beautiful display and elegant look make it one of the nicest laptops you'll ever use.

Google's Android tablet

Google Pixel Slate

The Pixel tablet we've been waiting for.

A lot of people have been waiting for a great tablet from Google that they can run all their favorite Android apps on. As a bonus, it's also a full Chrome desktop, though it's a little pricey and skimps on the storage.