Google Pixel C hands-on and first look

by: Joshua VergaraSeptember 29, 2015
2.5K

At today’s Google event, the company showcased a new generation of the Chromecast, as well as two new Nexus phones. One of the better-kept secrets, however, was a brand-new Google tablet.

The latest tablet might be from Google, but it’s not a Nexus. It’s a Pixel device, but not a Chromebook. Is Google’s new Pixel C bound to have some form of identity crisis? We are not sure, but we can definitely tell you it’s special. Let’s show you how in this first look.

pixel c first look aa (7 of 12)

Right off the bat you can tell this device is a high-end product. Its solid metal build and sturdy Bluetooth keyboard are enough validation of this. We also have that fancy color bar we see in other Pixel devices. Sliding the cover to the side will uncover the keyboard, which you can dock the tablet into by using a mighty strong magnet. Seriously, it’s so strong you will have a hard time undocking that tablet!

After turning the tablet on we found that it’s really as good as they get. The screen’s 2560×1800 resolution is stunning, as is the panel’s quality. We also can’t forget this thing is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which will grant you all the capabilities and applications Google’s mobile OS has to offer. In a way, this is likely a better deal than having Chrome OS, so we shouldn’t be complaining about this being a Pixel gadget running Android.

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The Pixel C happens to be no slouch in terms of performance, either. The NVIDIA Tegra X1 SoC is more than enough to keep your apps and casual tasks running smoothly, not to mention gaming and media consumption, which the CPU is actually optimized for. It’s a high-performance tablet all-in-all.

We couldn’t forget about that keyboard, which should be a beauty considering its high price point. We found it actually feels quite nice and is very reminiscent of a laptop keyboard. The chiclet system makes the keys easy and smooth to type on, and because of its depth, travel for each key is rather small. It’s a pretty smart duo, as the tablet can detect when it is docked to the keyboard and act accordingly.

pixel c first look aa (5 of 12)

What I really enjoyed about the tablet is how much it looks and feels like the rest of the Pixel line-up, though. As previously mentioned, it even has that light bar, which now has a bit more functionality. You can double tap on the back of the tablet and the bar will tell you how much battery the tablet has left. Speaking of the battery, this one clocks in at 34 Wh, which really doesn’t tell us very much, but Google is promising over 10 hours of battery life, which is definitely nothing to scoff at for a tablet like this one.

We are pretty excited to see a high-end tablet coming from Google, but the prices are not the most welcoming we have seen around. The tablet starts at $499, while the keyboard is $149. You can pre-order it now and it will become available before the holidays come around.

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Should you buy it? We can’t say until our review goes up, but what we can tell you is that this looks to be a tablet that can take care of both work and play. It’s keyboard and elegant design make it a perfect tool for the serious user, while its specs and software also make it a powerful gaming and media machine. The Pixel C is great for those who want something more than just a communication tool or entertainment hub out of their tablet – this is more of a PC replacement of sorts.

What do you think of the new Google Pixel C? Is it the Android tablet you’ve been waiting for? Let us know in the comments!

  • Colby Medeiros

    Does this have a micro SD card slot?

    • lamenting

      No

      • Kamalnath

        that’s a pity. don’t wanna see google go the apple way….

  • Daniel Cho

    This…this is the Android tablet that we deserved, and certainly the one we need right now. Finally. A stock Android tablet with an Aluminum build, high-end SoC, and a gorgeous display. Android tablets should have been like this since the beginning. Finally something the iPad can compete with.

    • fitnesspro22

      Atta boy

  • Martin W Dubois

    What about a mouse?

    • Diskus1

      Like with most (?) Android devices, any bluetooth mouse works.

  • WorldTraveler

    I wish it had a touchpad

  • Bri Bru

    I wonder how much it weighs. It is essential for the tablets to be light.. at least for me.

    • nebulaoperator

      On its own, the tablet weighs a little more than a pound — adding the companion keyboard brings the total weight to just under two pounds.

      • fitnesspro22

        Piece of cake. At the gym I do bicepts, 15 reps with 60 lbp, followed by another 15 with 70 lbp. Three sets of 15 reps each, tricepts of 235 lbp., etc. This Tablet is featherlight.

  • madmax

    Can you tilt the screen forward? Can you ‘dock’ it in portrait mode too, for viewing/typing? The docking mechanism looks sturdy enough for both scenarios, so I hope Google didn’t screw this up.

    No microSD is a bogus move. Updated mouse support (right-click, highlighting, copy/paste) would be a smart thing to do. Pricing looks steep – with Google emulating MS here. Aspect ratio looks good, 1.42 (between 4:3 and 3:2??).

  • Kanoosh

    what’s the storage option(s) ?.. if it has a 16gb it better have a Micro SD card slot ..if not, make the base model 32gb ..or else we RIOT!

    • Marcus Hanselmann

      $499 32Gb and $599 64Gb

      • Kanoosh

        sweet , thanks :)

      • Andrei

        At this price, it comes close to the Surface 3, which could be a much better option for productivity tasks.

        • wiggles

          Yeah that’s what I thought when I bought the Surface Pro and keyboard … then I returned it when all of the apps were not available as windows apps. FAIL!

        • fitnesspro22

          Google updates are unbeatable.

  • Akira Tabuchi Yagui

    With that price, I’ll keep with the MS surface pro 3 for a while…

  • lamenting

    Bah wrong article. Damn your mobile site!

  • Aki I.

    Does it have a cd rom drive? It better or it will fail because that’s what I want i need.

    • Reed

      Android doesn’t support this. I have no clue what tablet on earth you’re thinking of that supports this besides the surface 3.

      • Aki I.

        I thought it would be obvious but i guess i should have ended with /s.

    • Thomas Cai Jinzhan

      meh…it need an iomega zip and jazz drive in order to succeed.

    • fitnesspro22

      and I need a 30 year old lady with big ass and a 14 G of ass Rom drive. Apple will not do it on account of that foggot at the helm. Perhaps all mighty Google will. LOL.

  • Chauntella Stephanie Brown

    Lol the prices are more than welcome!
    That’s the problem with people, yall expect high end devices to cost less. Compared to the overpriced Ipad Pro, yall should be grateful to be able to grab this at this affordable price. Have to be realistic folks!

    • Asif Hasan

      Exactly what I was wondering when I was reading the article.

    • Interstellarview

      Android + Keyboard = Good.
      Price $500 = Bad.

      I understand Pixel is a high end product but
      They should make a similar product for $250.
      Minimum specs could be:
      Ram = 2 Gb
      Memory = 32 Gb
      Screen = 10 inch
      Micro SD = Yes
      Keyboard = Yes
      USB = Yes
      OS = Android

      I would buy one of those if available.
      Thanx.

      • fitnesspro22

        I don’t want minimum. I want the best. The price is reasonable. If you don’t like it, wait till next year model and get this one for less. Just don’t sound like a Jackass’s opinion. Thank you.

        • MrBling

          Oh so you like to give away money…
          What a wonderful world this is LOL

          A fool and his money, no less.

        • Eric Brickley

          And now you are calling someone a Jackass? You seem like the jackass here.

        • (Keista)

          No one asked what you want, thank you very much

      • (Keista)

        TBH in 2015, almost 2016, 2gb of ram is simply not acceptable on a tablet. that goes similarly with 32gb of storage. There are a lot more requirements that google has to make in order to make a name for a new product. Also, if you are in fact looking for a low low budget tablet, there are many out there similar to the spec you want and at low price points. For the possibly amazing specs of the pixel c, 500 is better than expected, I would happily pay the extra for the keyboard as well if I become interested in tablets.

      • Raven

        I have no problem with the price. I paid $500 + $150 for an Asus Transformer and keyboard dock many years ago and I would buy this tablet to replace it if it wasn’t for the glaring lack of expandable storage and ports. With my ancient TF101 I have both a Micro SD and full size SD slot, 2 full size USB ports, and a HDMI port. Despite being terribly dated by today’s standards, that tablet is still far more useful to me because of all of the slots and ports.

    • fitnesspro22

      Exactelly. Most “sheep” don’t realize what it takes to create and built such device. In common parlance it is known as ignorance. Plainly stated, one cannot have his cake and eat it too.

      • Chauntella Stephanie Brown

        Well said fitnesspro22

      • SizeDoesMatterUknow

        If you’re Rich AND Dumb, maybe.
        But common folks might disagree. ;)

        Knock urself out.

      • Eric Brickley

        You are the wolf, or just a snarky human who refers to others as sheep?

        • meagan.donald

          Here is how it is possible to get fifty five bucks /hour… After being without work for half-a-year , I started earning over this internet company and today I possibly can not be more satisfied. After 3 months doing this my income is around 5000 bucks-per month -Check link on MY-_________-PROFILE_____ for more info

    • Kamalnath

      ya but the keyboard is overpriced. not to mention that they charge 100$ extra to upgrade it to 64gb version….

  • Stephan Osther

    I will buy it if i can get it in europe!

  • Chris Menon

    I think it should have been Chrome OS, because this tablet is supposed to be for productivity, and Chrome OS is more orientated towards productivity than Android

  • Meridani

    Why isn’t there any more than 3 tablet out there with active digitzer?

  • Hanson Eze

    cool thou

  • Batflek

    where is the LTE connectivity? They put so much effort in designing a good tablet, and they missed one of the most critical parts of a mobile/companion device?

    • Kamalnath

      should be there. otherwise the device won’t be complete….

  • Paul

    I don’t know that I would call it a “PC replacement” just yet. Would have loved to have seen a touchpad included on the keyboard..

  • nebulaoperator

    In my personal Prettiest Android media device ever produced. I will be success.

  • Scr-U-gle

    So those apps built for 72dpi phones can look nice and pixelated.

    Definitely the Andi tablet you deserve.

  • Shawn Maloney

    Looking forward to the full review. I need to new tablet that performs well and will last awhile with good specs. This could be it. Little pricey though.

  • catapult

    It’s nice I guess, its better than Apple’s take on the surface pro, and the pricing is definitely a welcome… I wish the new nexus devices were launched cheaper in india

  • Shawn Maloney

    Pre Orders? It does not appear on the google store yet it seems

  • nishantsirohi123

    get me this and the microsoft foldable keyboard and the surface

  • ophtha84

    Looks great

  • fitnesspro22

    I read most of the comments, answered many, however cannot help but wonder about so,ooo many juvenile comments. Com’n guys you’re Android gigs, not some ignorant Apple sheep. Google just unveiled some real stuff. Enjoy it. I can hardly wait to order the new NEXUS 6P. I have enjoyed my iconic NEXUS 5 for 22 months and continue using it. I may even keep it for illicit dating. LOL. Good luck and have fun with the new Googles

    • (Keista)

      I have pre-ordered the 6p and I am really happy with what google did. I love the cooperation with Huawei to make a phone that wont suck, and the low low price that brings Samsung to shame

  • Daryl Mackie

    Can you dock this into the keyboard in portrait orientation? Will the magnets work that way too?

  • Vishal Khubani

    Not available for preorders. Article is incorrect