Google may have killed its iPad Pro 'killer' before releasing it to the masses

Google may have killed its iPad Pro 'killer' before releasing it to the masses
The Pixel Slate is definitely not a bad-looking device

We don't expect many people to remember this, but Google unveiled something else besides the Pixel 3 and 3 XL smartphones and the Home Hub smart display at a fancy press event nearly six months ago. The Pixel Slate was the search giant's first tablet released in three years, following a little-known 10-inch Pixel C, which in turn came after a not-very-popular Nexus 9 developed in collaboration with HTC back in 2014.

The Google-made Pixel Slate was also the company's first-ever tablet powered by Chrome OS rather than Android, theoretically ticking most of the boxes needed to take on Apple's market-leading iPads. The 12-incher certainly looked sleek, with a premium body constructed out of aluminum and a 7 mm wasp waist, sporting a sharp "Molecular" display at a 3000 x 2000 resolution, while packing up to an 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB RAM.

Best of all, this bad boy promised to undercut the latest iPad Pro generation at a starting price of $599, although that obviously included a significantly humbler chipset and memory count. Unfortunately, you can't actually buy the Pixel Slate at $599 or $699 right now. The two Intel Celeron configurations are listed as "out of stock" at the time of this writing on the official online US Google Store, but apparently, that status hasn't changed in months. In fact, 9To5Google claims the company only sold a small batch of these relatively affordable devices way back in November.

Not technically vaporware, but pretty darn close


While a tiny number of Celeron-powered Pixel Slate units with 4 and 8GB RAM exist, shipping to super-early adopters and reviewers who were generally disappointed with the performance of these entry-level iPad Pro "killers", it sure doesn't look like Google ever plans to roll out additional inventory. The company's statements on the matter are too vague and evasive to think otherwise, not to mention any excitement that may have surrounded this tablet last fall has vanished into thin air.

It's hard to compete against this 11-inch beaut

It's hard to compete against this 11-inch beaut


For all intents and purposes, the Pixel Slate is now a $799 and up device, which actually matches the starting price of an 11-inch iPad Pro (discounts notwithstanding). The two are tied in storage space, requiring separate payments for optional keyboards and styluses. The "new" entry-level Pixel Slate version comes with an Intel Core m3 processor inside, but 200 extra bucks can get you an upgrade to Core i5 power and double the 64 gigs of local digital hoarding room. Then again, who would ever pay $1,000 for a Google tablet with Chrome OS?

It's obvious affordability was the key selling point here, although that was almost never a real option. Of course, if the user experience on these Celeron models was half as bad as some reviewers complained, pulling the plug must have come natural for Google.

Does this mean we won't get a sequel?


If the Pixel Slate came from any other company, the logical answer to that question would have been a resounding yes. But Google is known for its stubbornness in pursuing seemingly lost causes. You don't really think the Chromebook Pixel sold like hotcakes before spawning a follow-up effort in 2017's Pixelbook, do you? The Pixel smartphone family's estimated shipment figures haven't exactly set the world on fire either, and yet here we are waiting for both a new high-end generation and a somewhat surprising lower-end addition to the lineup.

Google may have killed its iPad Pro 'killer' before releasing it to the masses

The point is you probably shouldn't rule out the 2019 or 2020 release of an upgraded Pixel Slate. But Google needs to go big or go home already. While the market is not thriving, Apple, Amazon, Samsung, and Huawei are still doing pretty good global business. Not to mention Microsoft. There's certainly room for more competition, which Big G can provide by taking tablets seriously. 

No more false advertising, half-baked models, and perhaps most importantly, where are the discounts? We haven't seen a single deal on a single Pixel Slate configuration since November, while Pixel 3 promotions have been piling on over the last couple of months

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12 Comments

1. RevolutionA

Posts: 390; Member since: Sep 30, 2017

Google's software experience is no way comparable to iOS. They failed horribly in the tablet market.

2. KingSam

Posts: 1344; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Chrome OS was praised for being a light OS. How did we get here?

6. vgking9699

Posts: 89; Member since: Mar 01, 2019

Cuz people were only mostly buying chrome os devices cuz they were cheaper than iPads and windows/Mac devices but then once google and others tried making more expensive chrome os devices people realized they weren’t worth more than the older cheaper $200-$300 and they may as well buy an actual iPad

8. RevolutionA

Posts: 390; Member since: Sep 30, 2017

They got nowhere. Light OS? What kind of a thing is that? People take such kind of things light to their heart.

4. User123456789

Posts: 392; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

The restrictions of iOS are very annoying.

9. iloveapps

Posts: 406; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

The android as open flatforn is annoying. Scam, ads, not secure, doesn’t value privacy and malwares everywhere. Android users are the products. No wonder why businessmen and executives from different OEMs are using apple devices.

11. Alex_12

Posts: 38; Member since: May 30, 2018

There is no problem with security and malwares... Google update with security patch every month and it has a dedicated security chip.

3. User123456789

Posts: 392; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

If it was 16:9 screen with Snapdragon cpu, it would be perfect ...

5. surethom

Posts: 1582; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Make a android 11" tablet please.

7. vgking9699

Posts: 89; Member since: Mar 01, 2019

Won’t happen as google announced a year ago they were ending android support for tablets passed Oreo Now more recently google announced they are closing down their tablet and laptop departments and moving those employees over to other departments This basically came from so many android users being cheap and mostly just using free apps which gave little to no motivation to app devs to optimize their apps for android tablets That’s why even with more apps on android than iOS, iOS still makes twice the money But the main reason android has more apps is cuz even separate keyboards and themes are counted as separate apps which just keeps the app count higher Also cuz of android so openness it can looked at as too easily hacked or easy to put on apps which are illegally going against others copyrighted material like all the Nintendo emulators Customers who like emulators are happy to use them but as a developer it shows you that others can easily upload hacked or stolen versions of your games So devs can he worried to risk placing their apps on the store cuz someone else can just hack it For example, Pokémon go is very easy hacked on android so it can be worrisome for Niantic Thus more Devs tend to flock to ios If you don’t believe me about so many cheap users on android, just think about all the free government phones given to homeless people or very low income people, then think about all the androids people get through carriers like straight talk, boost mobile, virgin mobile, metro pcs and cricket wireless So many people then are ones who probably didn’t even pay for their phone themselves and therefore don’t ever really spend money on apps which again given devs less reason to optimize their apps But in comparison, iPhone and iPad cost more and then are typically bought by people who have more money and thus can actually afford to pay for apps so then of course devs put more effort into their iOS apps cuz they know more people will actually pay for them

10. japkoslav

Posts: 1372; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

If something like a HP Chrombook X2 is a vastly superior device to what Google can offer as a high end, we have here a serious example of Google not even caring for what they release to public. Why should we care if not even manufacturer cares in the first place?

12. Leo_MC

Posts: 6381; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

For €300 one can be persuaded to get a Chromebook instead of a Win tablet, but for €600 one can get a Surface Pro - last generation - tablet, so it's almost impossible fir Chromebook to be a choice; for €1k, we get into premium territory and it's even harder to sell a Chromebook to users.

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