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Google Pixel C hands-on and first look

It's a Google tablet, but not a Nexus. It's a Pixel, 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.

Published onSeptember 29, 2015

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.

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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.

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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!

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