Pixel Tablet: Design, Specs, and User Experience

It’s an almost one-year-old device, but I have been using it for a long time. The Pixel tablet is still a good option for many, especially considering its price and features.

Key Specifications

  • Display: 10.95 inch, 1600 x 2560 resolution, IPS LCD (60Hz refresh rate)
  • Processor: Google Tensor G2 (mid-range)
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB
  • Cameras: 8MP front-facing camera, 8MP rear-facing camera
  • Battery: 7020mAh
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
  • Weight: 0.76 lbs (348 grams)
  • Speaker Dock (sold separately): Includes built-in speakers and charging functionality.

Not a Traditional Tablet

If you’re looking for a powerful tablet to replace your laptop or iPad, the Pixel Tablet might not be the best choice. It has a basic 60Hz LCD screen, a mid-range processor, and some software limitations. For example, most apps aren’t optimized to work well when you hold the tablet sideways, which is how you’d naturally use it for many things. It also lacks features like haptic feedback (which makes typing feel less satisfying) and face unlock.

But Here’s the Twist

Here’s the thing: the Pixel Tablet isn’t really meant to be a traditional tablet. It’s more like a smart home hub with a built-in tablet. Google figured most people don’t use tablets all the time, so they made a device that works seamlessly between two modes.

Tablet Mode

In tablet mode, it’s a decent tablet. You can browse the web, watch videos, read ebooks, and use most apps.  However, some apps could be better optimized for the Tablet.

Hub Mode

The real star of the show is Hub Mode. When you dock the tablet on the speaker dock (or plug it in with a regular cable), it transforms into a smart home hub. The screen becomes a beautiful display for your smart home controls, recipes, photos, and more. The sound plays through the speaker dock, which is better than the tablet’s built-in speakers. You can also use all the usual smart home features like controlling lights, checking who’s at the door, and making video calls.  And, conveniently, you can always swipe back to tablet mode if you need to. 

Who Should Get It?

This is a niche product, but here’s who I recommend it for:

  • You want a smart home hub display, not a traditional tablet.
  • You don’t already have a good tablet you plan to keep using for a long time.
  • You’d like a good tablet experience sometimes but don’t need a top-of-the-line device.

Further Considerations

Software: The Pixel Tablet runs Android 13, with Google guaranteeing at least 3 years of major software updates and 5 years of security updates. This ensures your device stays protected and receives new features for years to come.

Fingerprint Sensor on Dock: While the tablet itself has a fingerprint sensor, some reviewers found the lack of one on the speaker dock a minor inconvenience. This means you’ll need to pick up the tablet to unlock it when docked in Hub Mode.

Cellular Version: There are whispers of a potential cellular version of the Pixel Tablet being released in the future. This would be a welcome addition for users who want mobile data connectivity without relying on Wi-Fi hotspots.


Pixel Tablet (Wi-Fi only): $319 USD

Pixel Tablet with Charging Speaker Dock: $419 USD

Overall Impressions

While the Pixel Tablet isn’t perfect (a better screen, haptic feedback, and speaker quality would be nice), I really enjoy using it. It integrates well into my smart home, and the Hub Mode is fantastic.  If you’re in the target market, I definitely recommend it. Even if you’re not, it’s a good tablet with some unique features, especially considering the price.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Google does with future generations of this device, but for now, I’m happy with my purchase.