Pixel Slate is one of the most confusing products I've used during my Android Police. On the one hand, it feels mature: the Chrome OS is really a real-world operating system in 2018, and using Slate as another Chromebook is a great experience. On the other hand, it is also frustrating unfinished: the Chrome operating system is not a tablet operating system in 2018 and is not something that will change overnight. This may make the whole "slate" of the pepper pie look like a later idea. (Note: this is not our review, which will appear later in the week because I want more time with this.)
Sure, you could easily predict how much the detachable hybrid was announced last month. These are things that are obvious to anyone who has used a Chromebook or an Android tablet in the last few years, and you're banging your exoskeleton on top of the other will not make any whiz bang magic you would not have expected. What we have to say: When it comes to software, Pixel Slate is not surprisingly more than the sum of its parts. Google has not removed any rabbit from its hats. But I do not think it necessary.
The right things
Good enough is good enough, at least to get started.
Pixel Slate is exactly the "good enough" product that Google has desperately used to play with Apple and Microsoft in the highly sexy, but rather technical, journalist segment, and "pretty good" is good enough, at least to get started. There is no way Google can afford to stay out of this market, and Slate is a perfectly competent product, if not a game change. It also has only a meaning given the state of the space that lies over the intermediate environment between "I really live in Excel and Outlook" Surface Pro and "this is for emails that are too long to type on the phone my "iPad Pro. Slate has a great screen, front stereo speakers, two USB-C ports (unfortunately there is no headphone jack), a selection of Intel zippy processors (my review unit is i5) and an extraordinary battery life.
But Chrome is running, so here's about overturning computer behaviors from Chromebooks, claiming that the platform does not have the core credibility to guarantee an initial level. A persistent drought in video editing, music creation, design, image manipulation, and "Productive Productivity" (which is not a thing) is still an easy target, but I do not think it is right. First of all, the strongest cries here tend to come from those who invest in platforms that have no serious interest in leaving – people who would not move into the Chrome operating system even if they could. Secondly, I do not understand the meaning Google is trying to persuade these people to quit Windows, MacOS or even iOS, so everything – that Chrome OS does not post topics from other platforms – is he feels more and more difficult.
A computer for the next billion
The vast majority of people who buy computers have no idea how to do something in Adobe Premiere or DAW or any other very serious software – and they will never do it.
You may not know, but millions of American school children use Chromebooks every day. Keeping them on the Chrome OS in 20 years and beyond is of great importance to Google. Argumenting to the deep-rooted public, tribal that he should try something new is not … no. 40-year-old corporate demography will never be interested in a work Chromebook, nor do musicians and independent designers want a wide range of highly specialized programs, often only available on iOS and Mac. But, curiously, these people and their workflows receive the lion's attention in product advertisements – even if they are an absolute drop in consumer sales. This is because the suggestive marketing power is convincing: support for the latest iteration of a known suite of creative applications is a key wait and a brilliant demo from a partner can convince ordinary consumers that they will also realize their creative dreams – if only they buy in an ecosystem.
However, the vast majority of people who buy computers have no idea how to do anything in Adobe Premiere or a DAW or any other very serious software – and they will never do it. These cases of use are, for most people, absolutely imaginary.
The Chrome operating system, however, asks us a simple question: How much of your time is spent in a browser window?
However, these are still the things that appear smoothly in Apple and Microsoft ads, plastered on panels and product pages, as if this were everyone uses a computer for. The Chrome operating system, however, asks us a simple question: How much of your time is spent in a browser window? For almost all of us, the answer is "much – and more than ever." Think about it. In a browser, you can watch almost any movie or TV show. You can make money, pay bills, shop online, manage travels, emails, use all chat platforms, and enjoy unlimited content. And, more and more, you can do even more if you invest in Google platforms.
Google Photos is a perfectly functional image editor, and cloud storage and search make it more of an advantage than photo management locally for most people. Google Documents have gone from laughing to endless acceptance for its ubiquity at work like Microsoft Word. Google Duo finally brings native video conversations to Chrome OS. Android web messages make laptop messages a pretty painless experience. Most web applications accept notifications, giving a more native feel. The new integration of Pixel Artera assistant is insanely fast, offering Google's unparalleled AI a more impetus performance on the platform. The Google Stream project even teases streaming in the browser and, for the most part, looks quite promising. And for what you can not do in a browser, Android apps have proven surprisingly capable, if they are not perfect, to increase the sensitivities of the Chrome OS.
A new version of Google Now offers a major performance improvement on Pixel Slate technology
Taken together, these things make Pixel Shield feel like the future; a manifestation of the vision of the larger Google platform on the web platform. But if Chrome is not a platform you're interested in, Slate will not change that – and I doubt any Chrome product would be. And even if you're invested in Google services like the Chrome operating system, Slate is still a dubious choice for most users: if you pay $ 600 or more for a tablet to watch Netflix, YouTube, and show recipes in the kitchen is, you have to excuse me, crazy. If that's what you want, you buy a basic iPad – they're half the price and have native applications you'll actually use. And to kill this argument before we start: The Pixel Slate is not iPad Android (even if it competes with iPad Pro). There will never be an Android iPad. The iPad completely dominates the market for "people who want iPads". Even Samsung can not break that nut.
The power of Chrome is Slate's weakness: the Web itself
The mobile web was designed for touchscreen screens, but the desktop is not yet there.
For all the beautiful things I have to say about slate, I can not suggest anyone to buy an independent Chrome tablet, at least not yet. The Chrome OS is not a great experience for touching, especially on such a large screen. The virtual keypad is virtually unusable on a 12.3 "display. Tapping on webpages is often either unreactive or too receptive (things are pressed while running, for example)." Notifications are constantly in the way and ungrounded annoying to reject them, everything is clearly a result of Chrome being the first web platform. The mobile web was designed for touchscreen screens, but the desktop is not yet there, and Chrome's desktop browsing experience in -a tactile environment is extremely imperfect.It is still much better than it would have been five years ago, which shows how fast the web develops and adapts to the capabilities of our devices.
Flipside to all these issues is that you probably buy Pixel Slate because you want a Chromebook that doubles as a tablet, not the other way round (but if you are, my advice is: no) – and so none of them really matter a whole lot. Pixel Slate is far from a better laptop than an iPad, because it runs on a platform that was designed from the first day for laptops. Here's the unseen truth about all video editing and content editing applications on iOS: these have never been available on Android or Chrome OS (Google says Adobe Premiere Rush comes, which, OK). That means the only tablet stuff that actually matters for Chrome goes down to content consumption.
And when I want to use it as a tablet for Netflix, YouTube or just to read the news, Pixel Slate is absolutely fine! It is not the seamless, seamless experience taken at iOS, but it does not have to be to do these things. Do you need the native Netflix application to use Netflix? Or YouTube? Or the New York Times? Of course not, and anyone who claims otherwise has probably not used the web versions of these services in years and should be completely ignored. Finally, viewing YouTube in 4K on Pixel Slate on the web is nothing but watching iPad Pro in the app and who does you care about at the time?
Understanding Pixel Slate as part of this larger image – the evolution of the web itself – requires a step back that a product review can not really afford.
I would also argue that the Chrome OS becomes more capable faster than iOS, MacOS, or Windows, and that many of its toughest edges in the first touch-screen applications will change over time (as has been the case for Chromebooks ). This is because the evolution of the Chrome operating system is just as much a change to the operating system as it is itself much faster, richer and stronger. And, of course, this benefits all platforms – each computer has a browser – but has an exaggerated effect on the Chrome operating system due to this philosophy on the web (for example, because desktop web experiences become more accessible to the touch, a Chrome tablet becomes much larger viable).
Understanding Pixel Slate as part of this larger image – the evolution of the web itself – requires a step back that a product review can not really afford. That's why when our review will not be presented, I will not recommend Slate for most buyers (it's too expensive and limited as an autonomous tablet, and Pixelbook is the premium Chromebook to buy if you do not really want a huge , hard to detach). I still believe that liberation was the right call. Pixel Slate is a bandwidth that Google has eventually removed – and it's one that they will have to erase over the years. Required. For this reason, I have the feeling that, just a year ago, it will not be the same product that launched today – it will be better. And that makes the Chrome operating system so exciting. But here and now it still matters, and right now the burning pixel is expensive, compromised, and probably more than a bit confusing for the average consumer.
They parse for the course for a Google product, then.