At I/O 2023 yesterday, Google officially took the wraps off the Pixel Tablet. The tablet was originally teased back in 2022 with many expecting to launch last year, but for whatever reason, it only launched this year.
While it is a decent tablet, we can’t say that we’re completely sold on it and if you’re on the fence as to whether or not you should get one for yourself, then here are several reasons you might be better off looking elsewhere for an Android tablet.
In this day and age where OLED displays are becoming the standard on mobile devices, it’s actually kind of a shame that Google went with LCD.
Now, don’t get us wrong, some of Apple’s iPads are still using LCD and they look fantastic, and we’re sure the same can be said for the Pixel Tablet, but for a tablet launching in 2023, not using OLED seems like a massively missed opportunity.
Also, the fact that it does not come with a faster refresh rate is another disappointment. If our smartphones are capable of putting out displays with refresh rates higher than 120Hz, and if Apple can do it with their iPad Pros, we don’t see why Google couldn’t have gone that route either.
Granted, most tablets still seem stuck on 60Hz so Google is simply following the industry trend, but they could have easily set themselves apart from the competition by bumping up the refresh rate.
Features not for everyone
From what we can tell from Google’s official announcement and presentation of the Pixel Tablet, it seems that the company is trying to position it as a hybrid device between a regular tablet and a smart speaker/smart display, but with the included speaker dock, it feels like they’re leaning more towards the latter.
This is perfect if you own multiple smart home products like smart doorbells, home security cameras, where you can take advantage of the dock and display to stream video and audio, but if you don’t, then there are much better and more powerful alternatives to the Pixel Tablet out there.
Plus, the fact that you can already use your phone to stream video and audio and control your smart gadgets means that unless your home is completely set up for smart home automation and control, why buy another device when your phone works perfectly fine?
Poor value proposition
The Pixel Tablet is priced at $499. This isn’t the most expensive tablet we’ve seen, but given its specs and features, we’re not sure if that price can be justified. Like we said, Google seems to be positioning the Pixel Tablet as a hybrid device between a tablet and a smart hub, but if you’re just looking for a smart hub, there are much cheaper alternatives out there.
For example, Google’s very own Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max are more affordable alternatives to the Pixel Tablet. You might even go down the Amazon route where devices like the Echo Show lineup are way cheaper and given that many smart home devices support Alexa, will end up doing the same thing (more or less).
Also, if you’re after a tablet for the sake of a tablet, Amazon’s Fire Tablets are great options, or if you’re not particularly loyal to any platform, devices like Apple’s iPad and iPad mini are also options worthy of your consideration. Basically, if you’re willing to spend $499, you most definitely have your pick of tablets to choose from.
Last year’s hardware
Had the Pixel Tablet launched in 2022 like many had hoped, the use of the Google Tensor G2 chipset would have been welcome. But considering that the tablet is launching in 2023 and is still using last year’s chipset is kind of a letdown.
This isn’t to say the Tensor G2 is bad. It is a perfectly capable chipset, but seeing as how Google will most likely launch the Tensor G3 this year and with more modern chipsets being available, plus the fact that there is nothing particular about the Pixel Tablet’s hardware that screams “cutting edge”, it already feels “old”.
While Google does make some pretty interesting hardware, we have to question the company’s commitment to the Pixel Tablet. The company has been pretty steadfast in their commitment to the Pixel series of smartphones, putting out multiple new phones a year, but their track record hasn’t been that great for their other products.
If you recall, the last time we saw an Android tablet from Google was back in 2015 with the Pixel C, and look how that turned out. We can’t really blame Google for this though. Obviously if the sales of the Pixel C were through the roof, the company could justify continuing putting out newer models.
It is possible that the Pixel Tablet might end up being a hit, but are you willing to drop $499 only to find out that the company may call it quits on tablets again down the road? Google will of course honor their software updates, but if the company isn’t planning on putting out newer models in the future, we doubt they would be as motivated to introduce new and exciting features for it.
That being said, everything we’ve written here is purely our opinion. There are many reasons why you might think that the Pixel Tablet is perfect for you, and if you feel that way, by all means go ahead and grab one. Some of you might like the design enough to buy it. Some of you might appreciate the fact that you’ll be getting the Pixel experience and timely updates, all of which are valid reasons.
But if you’re still on the fence, then maybe some of the points we’ve brought up might be something to think about.