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Should you buy the Pixel Slate Keyboard?

Best answer: The Pixel Slate Keyboard attaches easily without any wireless pairing, has great keys for typing, and adjusts to any angle. However, it also makes things difficult if you want to use the Slate on your lap and doesn't do a great job turning the tablet experience into a laptop experience. Unless you really need a keyboard right now it might be better to wait and see how third-party options stack up.

It's not perfect

Powerful tablets that can be productive have been a thing since the first Microsoft Surface. There's a reason: They provide the convienence of using a tablet when it's easier to hold and tap things, then can get down and dirty as a laptop when you really need physical keys and a mouse pointer typing or intricate tasks. The balance is good because some things, like viewing a slide deck or even watching Netflix for example, are better on a tablet in your hands while writing a long proposal or coding a web app aren't.

They also make for an ultra-portable workstation because of how thin and light these sorts of keyboards can be. You'll see many road warriors using a Surface or an iPad Pro between flights at the airport, because they're easy to carry and they can get the job done.

The Pixel Slate Keyboard is the same way. It's thin, protects the display and gives you a set of great keys and trackpad when you need to do anything that isn't best done on a tablet. It's not without one substantial flaw — it's a little floppy.

When you're working at a desk or table, it's great and I can't say enough good things about the keyboard and how it makes the Pixel Slate better. That goes away when you're trying to use it on your lap, though, and the thin and light construction turns into a bit of a headache.

That's known as "lapability" and the Pixel Slate Keyboard is really bad in this department. The 12-inch tablet isn't super heavy and was engineered to have it's center of gravity in the middle, but it will still flop forward or back if the bottom of the keyboard isn't well supported and level. That's difficult to pull off when resting on just your legs. It can even get bad enough that you'll accidentially click the trackpad when typing. Ouch.

Thankfully, there are other options. You can check out our list of the best keyboards for the Pixel Slate.

We love having options, especially third-party ones, and there is one here in particular that we want to try the minute it becomes available: The Brydge G-Type Wireless Keyboard for Google Pixel Slate (opens in new tab). It looks to solve the floppy problem by being a hard plastic keyboard that should offer more support for that 12-inch display while you're using it in your lap. It's currently in the pre-order stage, so we expect to see it become available soon.

Chrome tablets may be a new thing, but Google didn't try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the keyboard accessory. The thin Alcantara-covered Pixel Slate Keyboard is going to be perfect for some of us, but not all of us.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

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.