Google announces the Pixel C, a new 10.2-inch premium Android tablet aimed at productivity

by: Matthew BensonSeptember 29, 2015

pixel c 3

For months now, there have been rumors floating around about Google not having a tablet offering for 2015, though the assumption has been that there would be no new Nexus to sell. Rumors had popped up of a purported 8-inch device, however they were quickly written off and forgotten. Those longing for a new tablet need not fret, as today Google has announced a somewhat unprecedented product: the Pixel Convertible, known simply as the Pixel C.

The Pixel series, for those who follow Chromebooks, has been previously used only for the most premium offerings, and manufactured and sold directly through Google itself. The Pixel C follows in the tradition of being a high spec, high performance, high price device, though in the case it’s running Android 6.0 Marshmallow as opposed to ChromeOS.

The Pixel C features a 2560X1800 10.2-inch screen with 308ppi, 500 nits of brightness, and sRGB color gamut. It has an Nvidia X1 SoC with Maxwell GPU, 3GB of LPRDD4 RAM, and either 32GB or 64GB of on-board storage. It will make use of USB Type C, is made of aluminum, and as mentioned earlier, will ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. As per the Pixel laptop series, the device also includes an LED strip that can be double tapped to indicate battery life.

pixel c 6

One accessory has been announced so far, an aluminum keyboard which can attach to the tablet in a Microsoft Surface/Apple iPad Pro-type fashion via magnets and connects to the system via Bluetooth. Google has indicated the accessory is the same size as a standard keyboard due to some strategic rearrangement of keys and use of the tablet’s touch screen. It should make for a very comfortable user experience.

The device will retail for $499 (32GB) or $599 (64GB) and will be available for purchase by the end of the year. The keyboard will retail for $149.

A curious creation


The Pixel C is, oddly enough the only real “secret” that came out of Google’s PR event today, as the pair of Nexus devices as well as the refreshed Chromecast dongle had been leaked significantly. The tablet remained essentially unknown until the past 24 hours.

While the Pixel moniker will be sure to excite those interested in high specs and a truly premium product, there is an air of curiosity present as Google has clearly sought to select a branding rather unfamiliar to the general public as opposed to using the Nexus designation that has been employed for years.


Behold the Pixel C’s keyboard size comparison with a standard-issue typing device.

One possibility might be that the Pixel C is meant to stand in stark contrast to the ill-received Nexus 9 that launched last year. The device, while certainly a fantastic piece of kit, was beleaguered by build quality issues and a clear lack of premium construction despite being made by HTC. Given that Project Tango is also marketed separately from the Nexus line, this could indicate that Google itself may start to branch out and create devices that extend beyond the branding, or it just as well could be a one off to test the waters for something else entirely.

Despite the phablet cannibalization, various commentary around the internet had indicated a desire for a simple Nexus 7 refresh. It will be interesting to see how the device fares in a very crowded market with slugging sales. At the very least the use of a widescreen resolution – as opposed to the Nexus 9’s 4:3 – will please some purchasers, and the size clearly makes it stand out from the big-screen phone territory.

It will also be interesting to see how well the device does on-the-whole considering that Samsung has been offering productivity-oriented tablets for years now, including last year’s Galaxy Note PRO that supports the S-Pen and even the new Galaxy Tab S2 which has an optional touch cover. Whereas both the Microsoft Surface Pro and Apple iPad Pro have stylus support, the Pixel C – at the moment – does not, and therefore stands to offer a much more traditional business experience.

What are your thoughts on this particular product? Does it meet demands for a new tablet offering this year or has Google possibly made a mistake in pricing it at such a premium point? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

  • Nerdologist Jon

    I’m really digging this! I think tablets should by default should come with more on board storage!

  • Tony T.

    Now that Nexus has fingerprint scanning baked in, I wonder if Google will finally integrate stylus compatibility into the “Nexus” line, whether it’s with a phone or tablet like this next year. A Nexus Note of some sort would be amazing. No waiting games for updates like with Samsung phones.

  • somedude
  • Javid Nazim Mammadov

    No LTE??!

  • Toukale

    This thing is DOA, very few on android land will pay that kind of cash for android tablet. Hey, your can ask Amazon with their fire tablets and how well those sold when they tried to price them like iPads.

  • ppateel

    Is there a stylus? Not the kind that substitutes for a finger but one like Galaxy Note, or Surface pro?

  • Jason Wilson

    I don’t get it. Why not this exact device but with Chrome OS instead so it more directly competes with Surface/iPad Pro?

    • LordElysian

      Because ChromeOS does even less than Android.

  • LordElysian

    Yeah, no. This doesn’t have a MicroSD card slot, and Android still sucks on tablets. Very few apps on Google Play are actually optimized for tablets compared to just being blown-up phone apps, there aren’t many apps in Google Play for purposes beyond content consumption, Android tablets still do not have a stock version of split-screen multitasking like all other tablets do, and Google still doesn’t have an IDE out for its Android tablets. People are still better off getting a Surface or an iPad.

    • Kiss my Asthma

      Very true, the problem that had plagued Android on tablets from day one is the lack of tablet optimised apps, the phone apps really do look horrendous when compared side by side with an iPad app. This is quite sad, as Android is way more intuitive than Windows and obviously leaps and bounds ahead of the prison of iOS, yet I am still forced to recommend it to this day due to the lack of a viable alternative.

      • SurferWind

        I want a “Droidbook” Laptop with Android.
        I would like Android + keyboard + mouse.
        Must have a Micro SD slot.
        RAM should be 2 GB.
        Disk should be 64 GB.
        Price should be under $200.

        My two cents.

    • s2weden2000

      not a problem..relaX …

  • Jerry5850022

    A new product compete with Jide Remix. interesting.

  • RAK

    i think ill stick with my tab A for now

  • czech_boi

    Would have purchased one of these if it had a Micro SD card slot. For work probably better off saving the money and saving up for a Surface Pro

    • kcz7

      I’m curious on what they’ll debut next month. I’ll hold my purchasing power until I find out and make an open minded comparison. So far, this Pixel C is weak. Just my opinion.

  • kcz7

    I like the X1 in this. Should look good graphically & can handle the business. What I don’t get: it’s towards the end of 2015 and the highest storage option is 64GB w/no included microSD slot? I don’t give praise to Apple much, but even they have a top end of 128. Heck, ASUS has a phone that has 256 storage… a frick’n phone! Goodness gracious…. sometimes, being the tech enthusiast I am, I can’t seem to wrap my mental capacity around the sheer thought process of certain “tech reveals.” This is just another example of me shaking my head in disbelief & being speechlessly awe stricken (in a bad way).

    No microSD, only 64GB, 64 is $599, no stylus, no ChromeOS, kb priced @ $149 . . . I don’t know who they think they’re competing with. . . lol, I just don’t know. Even the MS3 starts @ $599 and has 128GB. And stylus support. And full Windows (even if they are using an Atom CPU).

    *long sigh* . . . *shrugs shoulders*

  • Kamalnath

    no micro sd slot & 64GB model costs 100$ more. smells like an ipad to me….