The Pixel C is Google's laptop-tablet hybrid and it's pretty cool


Google's press conference event just ended on a very casually served high note – after presenting the new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, talking about the new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio, the company showed us its brand-new laptop-tablet hybrid, which it calls the Pixel C.

The Pixel C is a very interesting-looking piece of tech – it consists of the well-known combo of tablet and detachable keyboard, however, there are no ports, latches, or any types of connections to be done between the two devices – ever. The keyboard and tablet stick to each other via powerful magnets – as was demonstrated on stage, the user can either carry the hybrid by holding its tablet portion, or clutching the keyboard, and the two pieces would not detach from each other. When the keyboard is not in use, it can either close over the front of the tablet — classic laptop style — or be tucked over the tablet's back, allowing the user to use the screen in the classic touch manner.

The keyboard connects to the Pixel C via Bluetooth, and the tablet is smart enough to know to hide the Android virtual keyboard whenever it detects that the user is ready to use the physical accessory. However, this is not where the “partnership” between the two devices ends. Being a bluetooth keyboard, the accessory would, naturally, require a battery to function. The user is not to worry about recharging it, however, as the keyboard will be inductively charged by the Pixel C whenever the hybrid is in the “closed” state.

Hardware-wise, the tablet is nothing to sneeze at, too. It packs a quad-core Nvidia Tegra X1 CPU, with a Maxwell GPU, and 3 GB of RAM, and Google was especially proud of the device's prowess. Its screen has a 10.2-inch diagonal and a bit of a weird resolution – 2560 x 1800, which results in a pixel density of 308 PPI – pretty crisp! Additionally, the display is said to be able to achieve a 500 nits brightness level, which sounds very well usable even under direct sunlight. Of course, it will also depend on actual screen reflectiveness. The device's knack for media consumption is rounded off by its stereo speakers, perched on either side of its frame.

As far as software goes – of course, it's going to run Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. More interestingly, Google promised regular software updates every 6 weeks, which sounds just a bit curious – how far are these updates going to take the device down the line?

The Google Pixel C's launch is supposed to happen some time around this holiday season, priced at $499 for the 32 GB model, and $599 for the 64 GB one. Unfortunately, the keyboard is a separate accessory and will set you back another $149.

Any takers?

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64 Comments

1. kkmkk

Posts: 699; Member since: May 06, 2013

go to hell apple this the true king of productivity not your I-pad pro s**t

4. Rydsmith unregistered

You need help...

5. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Why must everyone mention Apple in EVERY single article? Sh-t is annoying.

7. epic_ninja420

Posts: 131; Member since: Nov 18, 2014

umm no this is an overpriced pile of dung too. Surface 3/ Pro 3 are WAY better options for similar money

51. sgodsell

Posts: 7215; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

This new Pixel C tablet has 1 teraflops of processing power. To put this tablets speed into prospective, the Xbox One game console has has 1.3 teraflops. The Surface 3 is only has a few hundred megaflops. Even the Surface 3 pro in terms of graphics is slower then the Nvidia X1. BTW the pro 3 is a lot more money. This Surface 3 is the same money, and is a lot slower then the Pixel C.

59. osbert

Posts: 125; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Running android though. So... unless you or someone else starts writing worthwhile software, pointless having that power.

65. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

This will not be more powerful than the Nvidia Console..which was already benchmarked and scores lower than the pro 3. X1 teraflop is never going to be realized in this form factor. Not only that once the pro 4 hits, the pro 3 will probably be the same price as this thing.

2. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Yea 149,- is way too much compared with the ALL NEW INNOVATIVE APPLE PENCIL that "only" cost 99,-........Whats up with your "standards" iphonearena............

13. paul.k

Posts: 293; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

Unsure which PhoneArena you are reading. Our article does not say nor imply "way too much". Do check it out!

30. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

"Unfortunately, the keyboard is a separate accessory and will set you back another $149." But you do say that it UNFORTUNATELY will set you back ANOTHER 149$.....As far as I know, almost all oem's sell things on the side. Even M$ sell the keyboard that actually works as an extra part.....And compared to a pencil that cost 99$, then I'm having an extremely hard time seeing it as unfortunate that I will have to pay for an exceptional piece of typing tool. ....

33. Rydsmith unregistered

So...where is the "way too much" in that post?

62. ninja_master

Posts: 306; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

None he's obsessed with apple

3. Rydsmith unregistered

Eh...I see no compelling reason for this over a Surface 3 for the same price that can do A LOT more, and can even run an Android Emulator (Blue Stacks or Andy) to use Android apps.

52. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3123; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I don't see a compelling reason for this over a Surface 2 RT! Is Google on crack to ask $149 for a bluetooth keyboard? The Type Cover 2 is backlit and uses the tablet's own power. Don't argue about apps because there really aren't that many tablet apps on Google or for iOS. It's not fair to compare any Mobile OS-based tablet to the Surface 3 or the Pro.

6. epic_ninja420

Posts: 131; Member since: Nov 18, 2014

Who is google kidding with that pricing? I'll take the Surface 3 for the same price with a full OS. Hell after 10/6 you can probably score a Surface Pro 3 for similar money.

14. loccoc402

Posts: 33; Member since: Nov 07, 2013

I think the pixel C is more mobilelity and it is way better to entertain on the pixel C compare to surface 3.

17. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

If the Surface 3 had an i5 with wp10 and native Android I would have bought it. I don't trust the crappy atoms though after my netbook and our office e computers with atoms.

32. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

Core m would have been better for surface 3.

48. jalebi2000

Posts: 181; Member since: Mar 01, 2015

core m would make it too close to the i3 version though. Surface 4 (non pro) needs a 11-12 inch screen with intel core m

50. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

By performance, yes, but you can fit core m in smaller space, needs on low power and runs cooler and no need to fan. So core m is good for Surface and i5 and i7 for surface pro, i3 version is no more needed.

45. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

I don't trust a mobile OS to do any real work. And if you worked my job, you wouldn't touch an android. All OS and systems have problems, but the surface 3 will eat this for lunch. Full OS vs Mobile OS with 'apps'. How is that productivity dock coming...

53. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I see you also don't quite understand, Taters. He mention Windows 10 with native Android on a Microsoft product. Don't see that happening. I still prefer either an iPad Pro or Pixel C. Surface Pro 4 maybe but Surface 3 is too last year.

8. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Not a word whether SD is available or not . Probably not.

24. Techist

Posts: 311; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

If it did, I would probably consider it. But I agree with you, probably not.

25. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

I could hear whispering in the background: Cloud cloud cloud storage

9. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

I hoping the Surface Pro 4 takes after this and includes Android without blue stacks. They size of the device and the keyboard mechanism is perfect. Just need an Intel i5 and Windows 10 in this form factor then perfect!

10. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Hindered by the OS. At least the iPad does split-screen now, and Samsung and MS tablets have for years. I hope Google has a productivity-oriented update up its sleeve for this one. Stock Android is great for phones, not so much for tablets.

15. loccoc402

Posts: 33; Member since: Nov 07, 2013

Android 6.0 will had split screen for tablet. you can search on the google

22. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Oh cool! My Nexus 9 can finally stop rotting in a drawer somewhere! Why aren't people making a bigger deal of this?!?

46. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Because its still a mobile OS...

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