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.
2400 x 1600 (235ppi)
|12.3-inch "Molecular Display"
3000 x 2000
|Processor||7th Generation Intel Core i5||8th Generation Intel Core m3|
Up to 10 hours of use
Up to 10 hours of use
|Connectivity||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
dual-band 2.4 and 5 GHz
|802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
dual-band 2.4 and 5 GHz
|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|
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'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
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.
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