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Google Pixel tablet is coming — everything we know so far

Tom's Guide logo Tom's Guide 6/4/2022 Alex Wawro
Google Pixel Tablet tease at IO 2022 © Provided by Tom's Guide Google Pixel Tablet tease at IO 2022

There's a Google Pixel tablet in the works powered by Google's Tensor chip, and it's due out sometime in 2023.

That comes courtesy of Google itself, which gave us an early look at this Pixel tablet during its Google I/O 2022 press event. We don't yet know much about this new slate, but we know it will likely run Android 13 and is designed to complement Google's existing lineup of Pixel devices, including the Pixel 6a and Pixel Watch that were also unveiled at today's I/O event.

Here's what we know so far about Google's planned Pixel tablet, which will hopefully prove good enough to claim a spot on our list of the best tablets on the market.

Google Pixel tablet: Latest news (Updated June 4)

Google Pixel tablet: Price and release date speculation

Thus far we don't know much about the Pixel tablet, but we do know the release date, and it's....2023. 

So we could see it debut any time that year, but realistically it's unlikely that Google would bring this new tablet to market early in 2023.  It seems far more likely that the Pixel tablet would debut in the spring or fall, when Google has traditionally released hardware. 

Fall seems especially likely when you consider that Google's last tablet, the Pixel Slate, was launched in October of 2018. And before that, Google released the Pixel C tablet in December of 2015. So if past behavior is any indicator, expect to see the next Google Pixel tablet debut in the latter half of 2023.

Google Pixel tablet: Design

At the Google I/O 2022 event where it was unveiled we got a brief peek at some promo shots of the tablet, and they suggest it will be a pretty bland-looking tablet.

Based on that teaser, we expect a simple streamlined slate with rounded edges and relatively thick bezels. There's clearly a front- and rear-facing camera, but we'll have to wait and see how good they are.

Unfortunately, the bezels around the display are more prominent than we'd like, so here's hoping Google can shrink them down between now and launch. 

The Google Pixel Tablet could also come with a stylus as a Google tablet codenamed “Tangor” on the Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) website. Given the Pixel Tablet is the only tablet we officially know that Google is working on at the moment, it seems likely that the device will allow stylus input.

If this is indeed true, it could give the Pixel Tablet a neat tool form which to rival others tablets, notably the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8  and recent iPads. 

There’s also the persistent rumor of a Nest Hub with a detachable screen, though that could also be a feature of the Pixel Tablet. The Android code base mentions a Google Dock capable of charging the tablet; when the tablet is docked, it could double as a smart screen.

Google Pixel tablet: Android 13

The Google Pixel tablet is being worked on by the same folks who work on Android, and Google brought it up during its 2022 I/O event as an example of how the company is working to improve the experience of using Android on tablets.

This was part of a larger promotion for all the new features coming in Android 13, including some that should shine on the Google Pixel tablet.

Most notably, Google has committed to updating over 20 of its own apps to be more useful and usable on "large screen" Android devices like tablets (as opposed to "small screen" devices like phones).  In addition, the overall tablet interface is getting an overhaul, as you'll be able to see more info at a glance and have always-on access to a task bar that runs along the bottom. As you might expect, there will also be drag-and-drop functionality between apps.

Google is also working with third-party developers to make their apps more tablet-friendly. This includes Zoom, TikTok, Facebook and Canva. And the Google Play Store will make it easier to find tablet-optimized apps. 

And while we're still learning what to expect out of Android 13, we already know that it will arrive with support for features like virtual surround sound, themed third-party icons, Bluetooth LE audio, notification permissions and better tools for managing your battery usage. And since Android 12L made so many small improvements in the overall experience of using Android on a tablet, it's likely Android 13 will continue that trend.

Google Pixel tablet: Outlook

It's still way too early to have a well-informed opinion about Google's planned Pixel tablet, but what we've seen so far is undeniably intriguing. 

Google made a big show of cutting back its tablet development efforts in 2019, after the presumably disappointing showing of the Pixel Slate, so it's exciting to see the big G roll up its sleeves and take another crack at designing the ideal Android tablet.

The Android tablet market could use some competition, too—just look at our list of the best Android tablets you can buy, and you'll see a preponderance of Samsung tablets on there, including the excellent Galaxy Tab S8 and Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. It would be nice to see Google bring a new challenger to the table that gives Samsung's best tablets a run for their money; we'll just have to wait and see if the Pixel tablet can pull it off.

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