Should you buy the Google Pixel Slate?

Pixel Slate
Pixel Slate (Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

Best answer: If you are familiar with Chrome OS and looking for a tablet or two-in-one, the Pixel Slate is the most expensive and powerful of the bunch. But it has its problems and isn't for most people. The HP Chromebook X2 is a cheaper, more capable Chrome 2-in-1 that may be better for your particular needs.

How much is too much?

Google's Pixel brand of Chrome OS devices are some of the best built and beautiful laptops and tablets you'll find. It's a bit cliché, but they have the same great industrial style we see in the MacBook Air and iPad. They're also usually the most expensive Chromebooks you can buy.

I'm not afraid to spend more on a product that's better, nor am i afrid to recommend the same. But when you're talking about Chromebooks, there is one thing that needs to be considered: every model, from every manufacturer, has the same software and features. That means you're basing your buying experience on the hardware, just like you would be when buying a Windows laptop or tablet. Think of the Pixel Slate as the Microsoft Surface Pro of the Chromebook world.

The Pixel Slate is both over-spec'd and overpriced. It represents the Pixel name well when it comes to Chromebooks.

The hardware, even in the base model, is quite nice. The 12.3-inch Molecular Display is one of the best you'll find, the body is perfectly machined with ergonomic curved edges and time was taken to make sure the center of balance is actually in the center of the tablet. Nobody can say that the hardware isn't spectacular. Nor can anyone say the hardware is cheap.

If you're looking for the very best Chrome tablet/two-in-one and don't mind paying too much, then you'll love the Pixel Slate. But there are other products that have great hardware and a much lower total price. Before you buy a Pixel Slate, you really need to look at the HP Chromebook X2, which at $599 offers more bang for the buck than the entry-level Pixel Slate.

For $599 you're getting a great 12.3-inch Chrome tablet/two-in-one with a good keyboard and trackpad, plus an excellent Wacom EMR active stylus. The specs aren't as magnificent as you'll find on the high-end Pixel Slate model, but an Intel Core m3 with 4GB of memory provide an excellent experience, and it's more powerful than the Celeron-powered Pixel Slate of the same price.

I have used a wide assortment of Chromebooks and really like the Pixel Slate. But I also like the HP Chromebook X2 and would recommend it for almost everyone in the market for a new Chrome tablet or laptop — or both.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.