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The Google Pixel Slate is a tablet that runs Chrome OS with a 12.3-inch ‘Molecular Display’

By Alvin Soon - on 10 Oct 2018, 12:45am

The Google Pixel Slate is a tablet that runs Chrome OS with a 12.3-inch ‘Molecular Display’

Google has officially announced the Pixel Slate, after the leakiest series of leaks in recent product history.

The Pixel Slate is a 2-in–1 tablet that runs Chrome OS. It comes in one colour, midnight blue. Google is positioning as both a work and entertainment device. The 12.3-inch screen boasts 293ppi and is a custom display that Google’s calling a “Molecular Display.”

There are dual front-firing speakers that direct stereo sound toward the user. If you purchase the US, you’ll get three months of YouTube TV free (in the US, at least). The 8MP rear and front cameras also ship with machine learning algorithms to take better pictures.

You can even snap Portrait Mode photos with the Slate, and the front camera has a wide-angle lens for chat. Google says the front camera, which it calls “Duo Cam,” has a sensor with larger pixels for better low-light performance.

There are single USB-C ports on the left and right side. The power button is also a fingerprint scanner that Google is calling “Pixel Imprint.” It lets you unlock and sign in with the touch of a finger.

A keyboard folio with a magnetic clasp and kickstand transforms the Pixel Slate into a laptop-like device, much like the Microsoft Surface. The keyboard features cute circular keys and is backlit. Google says the keys are soft and will be quiet so you don’t go clackity clack in the library.

There’s a touchpad at the bottom and a Google Assistant key near the spacebar. Media keys dot the top row, as well as Chrome OS-specific keys like back, refresh, and menu.

The Pixel Slate also supports the Pixel Pen. The Pen launched with the Pixelbook last year, but now there’s a new midnight blue version to match the Pixel Slate. You can also connect a monitor, mouse, and keyboard to turn it into a desktop Chrome OS workstation.

Chrome OS laptops have been around since 2011, and Chrome OS has steadily evolved since its launch. The Chrome operating system supports Chrome and Android apps. Google’s G Suite of office apps, including Gmail, can work both online and offline on Chrome OS.

Google says the Pixel Slate runs the full desktop Chrome OS browser, so you won’t be limited to the mobile version of sites. That also means you can run the extensions you’re already familiar with on the desktop.

The UI has also been optimized for touch. The launcher has been reconfigured with machine learning suggestions. Virus protection is built in, and so is automatic updates.

There’s a Titan M security chip, which is security technology from Google’s server operations. It provides stronger protection for the Slate.

Google says the Slate can get up to 10 hours of use on one charge. And that you can get up to two hours of power with a 15-minute fast recharge.

Convertible Chrome OS devices, like Google’s own Pixelbook, are already available on the market. But the Pixel Slate is only the second tablet to run Chrome OS after the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, which was announced earlier this year.

The Pixel Slate starts at US$599, and that's for the model with 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, and an Intel 8th Gen Celeron CPU. A total of five SKUs are available, with the most expensive US$1,599 model sporting 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and an Intel 8th Gen Core i7. The Pixel Slate keyboard costs US$199, and the Pixelbook Pen costs US$99. The Slate will be available later this year on the Google Store in the U.S., and in major retailers in the U.S., Canada, and the UK.

It’s unknown yet when the Pixel Slate will arrive in Singapore, or if it will arrive at all. Google opened the Singapore Google Store in April this year, but it doesn't sell the entire range of Google Products. The Pixelbook, for example, was not made available; neither were the 128GB Pixel 2 XL and Chromecast Ultra.

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