Google's genius tablet move: Making a not-iPad, challenging not-Apple

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Google's genius tablet move: Making a not-iPad, challenging not-Apple
During the recent Google Pixel 7 event, the company finally shed some light on its upcoming Pixel Tablet, and surprisingly – it's not going to be an iPad competitor at all.

Google is being pretty clever with it, aiming for a completely different market, completely different users, and to challenge a very unexpected foe of a company.

Let's talk about Google's upcoming Pixel Tablet and appreciate Google's clever thinking behind it.

Apple dominates the prosumer tablet market, so…

Let's face it – although lower-end Android tablets are quite popular due to their low prices, especially in emerging markets, Apple's iPads generally dominate the worldwide tablet market.

And it's far from just casual consumers who are buying the iPad. Although it is about perfect for casual movie and YouTube watching, social media stuff, mobile gaming and web browsing, the iPad is way too powerful to be used just for that.

Even the cheapest budget iPad offers higher performance than the majority of flagship Android tablets, so a special, niche, yet forward-thinking kind of user saw an opportunity to start using it – the prosumer.

That's someone who will do all the fun, casual things on their iPad, like chilling and watching some YouTube, or reading some articles, but it's also someone who wants to create content on their tablet, perhaps even professionally.

Artists, writers, music producers and even video editors have turned to the iPad as their one and only device for both work and play, and as someone who's also tried all that on Apple's tablet – it's quite the fun and unique experience!

Meanwhile, on the Android side of things, Samsung also offers some amazing tablets like the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, which, in terms of features and customizability, crush the iPad, in theory… But no matter how hard Samsung tries to rival the iPad for that sweet, sweet prosumer market, Android itself is the real problem, and that's out of Samsung's control.

Recommended Stories
Android is just not optimized and unified enough, nor does it offer the same selection of polished, pro-grade apps as iPadOS. So despite Samsung's highly commendable offers to deliver both great hardware and features, its tablets are nowhere near as adopted by those types of users.

And Google's watching closely. Google itself tried to push prosumer tablets in the past, such as the Pixel Slate, which was kind of a disaster. Its budget model was almost ridiculously unusable due to its weak performance. Even before that, seven years ago Google tried to make keyboard-ready Android tablets like the Pixel C a thing, but they didn't really make waves either.

So after those attempts, and after seeing Samsung delivering way better tablets with way more features and still not really reaching the iPad, Google is smart to try something completely new.

Google's vision for what an Android tablet in 2022 should be is clear in the upcoming Pixel Tablet – an all-in-one device for the casual user. Here's what makes it such…

…Google is targeting casual users, hard!

At first glance the Pixel Tablet is looking to be a regular, average tablet – familiar-looking and clean, if not a bit generic. We have a clean recycled aluminum back, with some nano-ceramic coating on top, plus a single back camera, which is common for most midrange and lower-end tablets.

On the front we have some very iPad Air or iPad Pro-looking rounded-corner bezels (albeit white), surrounding a 10.95-inch display. We don't know the display's exact specs yet, but I wouldn't hold my breath for AMOLED, with LCD being more likely. As yes, this seems to be a tablet aimed at the average consumer, and in turn, should be fairly affordable. So corners will be cut.

Speaking of cut corners, inside the Pixel Tablet we'll be getting 4GB of RAM, and as for what will be powering the slate – why, it's Google's own Tensor chip!

So indeed, the specs clearly say "casual tablet" and not a "pro device." And that's okay.

But there's something else, something quite genius that Google has decided to do with this tablet, in its efforts to make it as appealing to the casual consumer as possible…

When you're done using it as a tablet – watching videos, social media and web browsing, etc. – you can actually dock it on something aptly named the Charging Speaker Dock.

All of the sudden, your Pixel Tablet is now a smart speaker! Or more accurately – a smart display! And not just that, the tablet will even charge from this dock! So we kill two birds with one stone (what a brutal expression)!

Not only do you get a tablet for your casual tablet needs, but when you're done using it, instead of stuffing it in a drawer to collect dust, or having it be in the way – just place it on its dock! Say you keep the dock in the kitchen – you put the tablet on it, and now it's not only charging, but it's turned into a recipe browser, a smart assistant waiting for your command, or perhaps even a video calling device to chat with your friends and loved ones, while you're preparing a tasty meal!

This is by far the most clever move Google could've pulled in regards to its upcoming tablet – hitting all the marks for what's trendy with most consumers right now! And with that, the Pixel Tablet will directly rival Amazon's devices, not Apple's.

Amazon's Echo smart speakers are extremely popular, and its Echo Show smart displays in particular will need to get better and more versatile, or at least cheaper, if they're going to compete with what Google's about to drop on the market.

And while the Alexa smart assistant, which comes with Amazon's smart devices, is revered by many, let's face it – Google bringing its Google Assistant to more homes is quite a promising power move. As phone enthusiasts, we all know from experience that this is arguably the most competent virtual assistant one can get, and even the most non-tech-savvy consumer is likely to have a great time using it.

Are you excited for the Pixel Tablet? Will you be getting one, and what will you use it for?

Join the discussion and share your thoughts – do you agree that the way Google has designed its upcoming Pixel Tablet is a genius move, or are you disappointed, because it's not targeting pro users? Will you be getting one once Google releases it, likely in early 2023?

And if so, do you plan on using it more as a tablet or more as a smart home device (e.g. a hub for controlling your other smart home devices)?

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless