Google’s last tablet was the ill-fated Pixel slate, a device that was widely criticized—so much so that in 2019 Google said it would no longer make tablets. While classically styled, the company is changing its tune. Today, as part of its hardware presentation at Google I/O, Google announced the Pixel Tablet, a premium Android-powered device scheduled for release in 2023.
Months after the launch of this product, Google is currently only giving us scant details. Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President of Devices and Services at Google, said the Pixel Tablet is a “premium” device that will run on the company’s proprietary Tensor chips, just like the latest Pixel phones. What we haven’t heard about is how much it will cost, how big the screen is, or when it will be released. Based on the renders we’ve seen, it looks like someone took the screen from the Nest Hub.
Naturally, the new tablet will run Google’s version of Android built specifically for larger screens, an initiative that has been worked on for some time. Historically, the biggest blow against Android tablets is that the software never felt like it was built for the larger screen, and apps weren’t optimized to use that larger view. Even changes made to Android to support larger screens doesn’t mean developers will build their apps to take advantage of this space.
But Osterloh said in a briefing to reporters ahead of I/O that Google has clearly heard users want the larger-screen Pixel experience to compliment their phones – so the company is seeing at least some consumer demand for such a device. Whether this leads to market adoption is another question entirely, as neither Chrome OS nor Android tablets have ever caught on in any significant way. Samsung has had some success with its Galaxy Tab lineup, and Amazon’s budget-friendly Fire tablet lineup has both been around, but Apple’s iPad is dominating.
Given that this device won’t be on the market until 2023, it’s too early to speculate if Google has learned from its past mistakes in the tablet space. But the company has made a commitment at I/O to rebuild its more than 20 apps for big-screen devices, and giant developers like Facebook, TikTok, and Zoom are on board. If more third-party developers join when the Pixel Tablet arrives, it may have a chance to redefine what we think about premium Android tablets.
Follow all the news from Google I/O 2022 right here!
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team independent of our parent company. Some of our stories contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.