What you need to know
- Google has reportedly stopped its plans for making tablets.
- It's now focusing only on laptops.
- Two smaller versions of the Pixel Slate were in the works.
Since Google ushered in its "Made by Google" brand in 2016 for the company's big focus on hardware, we've seen one laptop and one tablet released — the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate. A few months ahead of when we're expecting Google to unveil its latest batch of hardware for 2019, a report's come out saying that Google has officially scrapped all of its plans to create tablets and is instead putting that effort toward just laptops.
Before we go any further, there are a couple of things to clarify:
- None of Google's other hardware ventures are being canceled. The company's phones, smart home gadgets, etc. are all fine. Tablets are the only thing getting the ax.
- Google's future laptops will still likely have touchscreens and 2-in-1 designs — just not fully detachable ones as we saw with the Pixel Slate.
This news comes from Computer World, according to which this was confirmed to them directly by a Google spokesperson.
A Google spokesperson directly confirmed all of these details to me. The news was revealed at an internal company meeting on Wednesday, and Google is currently working to reassign employees who were focused on the abandoned projects onto other areas. Many of them, I'm told, have already shifted over to the laptop side of that same self-made hardware division.
As a result of this news, Google's apparently canceled two tablets that were in development. It's said that they were smaller than last year's Pixel Slate, but that's likely all we'll ever know about them. As for the laptop side of things:
As for the future, a Google spokesperson tells me it's quite possible we'll see a new laptop-oriented Pixelbook product before the end of the year.
Google will continue to keep the Pixel Slate updated through June 2024 as initially planned, but as far as we can tell, that'll be the last tablet we see from Google for a while.
Interestingly enough, this isn't the first time a report like this has come out. Back in March, it was reported that Google had taken employees that were working on laptop and tablet devices and moved them to new departments.
The Pixelbook is still widely regarded as one of the best Chromebooks you can buy, so it's exciting to hear that we should soon get a successor to it. The Pixel Slate, on the other hand, was met with mostly mixed reviews from critics and consumers alike. Google already stopped selling two versions of the Pixel Slate, so it'll be interesting to see if any other versions meet that same fate in light of this news.
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