Google's last tablet was the Pixel C, launched all the way back in 2015. While Google made significant changes to Android in the intervening seven years — both in terms of usability and design — it didn't pay any attention to the tablet segment, and as a result, the category has languished in recent years. Only Samsung releases tablets with any regularity, but all of that is about to change.
Google is finally getting serious about tablets again, with Android 12L giving us a first look at how Android can scale across large-screen devices like tablets and foldables. We've already seen more launches in this space in 2022, with the likes of Xiaomi, Realme, and OPPO introducing new products.
And now Google is set to re-enter this segment with the introduction of its first tablet in seven years. During the hardware I/O keynote, Google's SVP of Devices and Services Rick Osterloh showed off an early look at the Pixel Tablet that's slated to debut in 2023.
Osterloh said that the Pixel Tablet is designed to be the "perfect companion to your Pixel phone" and that it is the "most intelligent tablet in the world." Google didn't share many details about the hardware itself other than state that the Pixel Tablet is powered by its custom Tensor platform.
We didn't get much in the way of a screen size either, but Osterloh confirmed that the tablet will be positioned in the premium segment — meaning it will go up against the best Android tablets — and that it is on the larger size.
Given that Google isn't set to launch the Pixel Tablet for at least another year, it's interesting that the brand is even willing to talk about the existence of the product.
That said, doing so allows Google to reinforce the idea that it is fully committed to tablets. Osterloh revealed that the goal with the Pixel Tablet is to give current Pixel owners a first-party alternative to the likes of the iPad and Galaxy Tab.
Google has been focused on phones for the first six years of its hardware efforts, but with the introduction of the Pixel Watch, Pixel Buds Pro, and the upcoming launch of the Pixel Tablet next year, Google is finally building out a broader ecosystem of devices. We'll have a lot more to talk about the Pixel Tablet in the coming months, so stay tuned.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.