One of the exciting and frustrating things when it comes to writing about technology is the onslaught of leaks that happen every week (or every day). It’s almost impossible to avoid knowing about any potential device or feature that might be on the device. And it’s not limited to just one brand or company, as evidenced by the iPhone 15 features revealed just a month after the iPhone 14’s release.
With the Pixel 6, Google decided to change things up a bit, as it unveiled its new flagship line in August 2021 and tried to release the devices just two months later. It was unexpected, but a calculated move to start building the hype train up to the final reveal.
Most tablets are boring now
This trend continued in 2022 as the Pixel 7, 7 Pro, Pixel Watch and even the Pixel Tablet were unveiled at I/O ’22. The difference this time is that while the first three of these devices will arrive this year, the Pixel Tablet isn’t scheduled to land until “sometime” in 2023. But instead of just leaving the good enough, Google has gone ahead and even introduced itself. More features coming to a device you can’t buy yet.
There is a very good chance that the Pixel Tablet will help change the direction of a market that has become very boring. Aside from the iPad, cheap Android tablets dominate, but there aren’t too many differences between the Amazon Fire HD 8 and the best Android tablets. Of course, the interfaces are different and you don’t have access to the Play Store on Amazon’s tablet. But regardless of the platform, you can download any apps you want.
The Pixel tablet could change the market
One of the major changes we’re seeing is in the various features Amazon has added to its ever-growing line of Fire Tablets. Instead of just being a media consumption device, there’s a new push to turn these tablets into displays like the portable Echo Show. When you’re at home, toss your tablet into the dock and use it like any other Amazon Echo Show. Functionally, it worked well for Amazon’s tablets and is just a “bonus” if you want a cheap tablet.
As revealed at the Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch event, Google is planning a similar but different approach to this idea of a modular tablet. Some of the leaks we’ve seen have spilled the beans, forcing Google to “share goods” without making the tablet available once again.
Essentially, Google is also releasing a “Charging Speaker Dock,” explaining what the pogo pins on the back of the Pixel Tablet are for. When docked, your Pixel tablet turns into a larger version of the Nest Hub Max. This includes being able to control your smart home accessories with your favorite Google Assistant or play music while cleaning the house. After cleaning, simply remove the tablet from the dock and use it for whatever you want.
As the resident tablet nerd for Android Central, this has me excited about the Pixel tablet. The tablet market needs a little spark, and while we’ve seen Lenovo try to do something like this in the past, it just never quite panned out. The Smart Tab M8 and M10 are still great tablets that do double duty as smart displays. But perhaps something with a more elegant design, such as what the Pixel Tablet has to offer, could actually be the catalyst for the tablet market. According to recent reports, the upcoming iPad may also include the same feature, most likely with Apple’s HomePod branding.
Playing the waiting game is boring
While I really like what Google is promising here, I’m impatient. Google had something to announce its return to the tablet market after more than four years since its last attempt. But it’s quite another for him to ruin all the fun by holding off on his next product until sometime next year. We couldn’t even get an exact release date.
When the time comes for the Pixel Tablet to be released, all the wind will be out of its sails. I wouldn’t be surprised if the price and availability announcement comes as a mere blog post. And while the argument could be made that Google is doing enough to keep everyone happy, I’d like to offer a counter.
Google may be having a “One More Thing” moment
With everything we’re constantly seeing, how cool would it be if Google gave us a “One More Thing” moment? The Pixel tablet could be just that. I don’t know if we’ll see another device between now and I/O 2023, so I’m not sure when are it could happen.
At the moment, I think a lot of people will forget about the Pixel tablet once you walk into a store and pick one up for yourself. Perhaps there’s still room for the unexpected, as details have recently surfaced regarding a possible ‘Pixel Tablet Pro’ variant.
Or maybe Google will wait until the alleged Pixel Fold is ready and launch both at (or around) the same time. There’s a lot of focus right now on improving the tablet experience, which in turn is improving the experience on phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 4. I guess I’ll just keep kicking the can down the street until I buy a Pixel Tablet. , but here’s hoping the surprise comes in early 2023, Google’s latest tablet and its first foldable phone.