The ongoing quest for the perfect balance between productivity and entertainment has led to the emergence of an array of versatile devices. Key among these for 2023, the Google Pixel Tablet has taken the spotlight, promising a seamless fusion of work and play within a single, elegantly designed package.

The first of its kind to offer a companion speaker dock system, the Pixel Tablet is all things Google and Android. And much like the way its Pixel phones are the best of what can be achieved in smartphone, the Tablet endeavors to do the same for tablets and productivity.

The Google Pixel Tablet is the latest addition to Google’s lineup of premium devices, aimed at offering a seamless blend of productivity and entertainment. Designed as a direct competitor to established tablets in the market, the Google Pixel Tablet stands out with its integration of Google’s ecosystem and a focus on user experience. That, and a really cool speaker dock experience, too.

Powered by Google’s proprietary software experience, the Pixel Tablet runs on the latest version (13) of Android. This build enables smooth multitasking, intuitive navigation, and enhanced creativity. And thanks to Google’s Tensor G2 chip, it’s quite smart at what it does.

Google’s suite of productivity apps, along with seamless integration with Google Drive and other cloud services, ensures a seamless workflow for both work and personal tasks. If you live and operate in the Google world, you’ll take to the Pixel Tablet in no time at all. Similarly, if you’ve ever owned a Pixel phone, you already understand how cohesive things can feel when Google software is paired with Google hardware.


The Pixel Tablet boasts a sleek and modern design, featuring a slim profile and a high-resolution display that brings content to life. The minimalistic build exudes a premium feel while maintaining durability. The tablet’s edge-to-edge display not only enhances the visual experience but also provides ample space for creative tasks and reading.

While it comes in a few new colors, they line up nicely with others in the Pixel and Nest family. They’re a nice blend of muted and soft shades that match pretty much any decor.

The tablet boasts a 10.95-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 pixels, offering a pixel density of 267ppi and a smooth 60Hz refresh rate. The display’s 24-bit color support enhances the visuals, and the touch-screen responsiveness is notably impressive.

With a peak brightness of 500 nits, the screen remains easily visible even in direct sunlight. Positioned above the display, a front-facing camera resides within the bezel, accompanied by a volume rocker and a combined power button and fingerprint sensor on the top right. The fingerprint sensor’s slight recess ensures accurate finger placement, and thus far has delivered reliable reading and results.

The tablet’s bottom edge features two discreet rubber bumpers, providing protection against scuffs. The short sides showcase four slits, home to the internal speakers. These speakers can reach impressive volume levels, maxing out at 90dB during testing. However, the audio quality tends to be light on bass.

Even at higher volume levels I found there to be little, if any distortion. They are great for a tablet, and things get even better when you dock it.

On the left side, you’ll find a single USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 1 port, allowing convenient separate charging of the tablet when needed, apart from the Speaker Dock. The rear panel accommodates a modest 8-megapixel camera positioned in the top left corner, adorned by a glossy Google G logo. Four contacts are strategically placed to connect with the Speaker Dock’s pogo pins, facilitating seamless integration. They “bite” quite strongly, giving me no reason to worry about the tablet sliding down or falling forward.


The Google Pixel Tablet runs on Google’s Tensor G2, also found in the Pixel 7 series and Pixel Fold. It features four 1.8GHz efficiency cores, two 2.35GHz mid-range cores, and two 2.8GHz performance cores. While the benchmark scores that I looked up might not be class-leading, my real-world performance is generally smooth.

The tablet handles multitasking impressively, with minimal lag even with numerous apps open. Gaming, including titles like Hay Day, Genshin Impact, and Very Little Nightmares showcased good performance, but I did notice some warmth on the back after extended sessions. Nothing that I’d worry about and pretty common for tablets in general.

Battery life, while not reaching Google’s claims of up to 12 hours of streaming, remains solid and good enough for my needs. The tablet endures multiple hours of streaming, gaming, multi-tasking, casting, and more before I even really think about charging it.

Speaking of which, charging options include USB-C in the tablet itself and the Speaker Dock. Using the included charger, the Pixel Tablet gets to 100% in about 2 1/2 hours using either method but the Dock optimizes charging to protect the battery. This setting can be adjusted but I don’t know why one might do that.

Software Experience

The Pixel Tablet’s software is a standout feature. Google has dedicated significant effort to enhance the tablet experience, updating over 50 apps and encouraging third-party developers to follow suit.

This optimization allows apps to make the most of the larger screen space, such as Gmail’s dual-pane view and Google Photos’ desktop-like design. Notably, WhatsApp functions as a linked device with a two-pane view, making interactions smoother. An appealing change is Google Chrome defaulting to desktop webpages, akin to iPad’s Safari.

While some apps lack tablet optimization – including Slack and Instagram – the interface has notably improved for Android tablets. Having been around Android tablets since they first launched, I’ve seen how the operating system has evolved over the years. There’s something so comforting and convenient about an app that optimizes itself for not just a bigger display, for Android in general.

It’s 2023 and that means we should have more app optimization than currently exists. We’re a few generations into folding phones and split screens; more titles should leverage Android’s capabilities. Thankfully, Google has done a decent job of keeping its own suite of titles modernized.

Families will appreciate the tablet’s versatility, offering up to eight profiles, including child profiles. Child profiles come with filters, content restrictions, time limits, and subject customization for a personalized experience. The setup process is engaging, allowing kids to select avatars and subjects they love, and the home screen showcases cards with apps and content, resembling a more streamlined version of Amazon’s Fire Kids tablet.

Given the physical design of the Pixel Tablet, it feels like the sort of thing that sits prominently in a family room or common area. It’s the type of product I can imagine multiple people wanting to use or take turns with in the evening. Moreover, it’s a great way for everyone to look at your connected home and interact with Google Assistant.

For smart home enthusiasts, the Pixel Tablet introduces a new Home interface. You can control smart devices even when the screen is locked, with a convenient Home icon for quick access. However, some improvements are needed – the widgets cannot be resized, and while you can control devices to some extent, more intricate actions might still require using the Home app itself.

If you have other Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers, the Pixel Tablet can join your home setup, enabling grouping with other speakers for synchronized music playback throughout your house, mirroring the experience offered by other smart speaker systems.

One feature I really came to enjoy quickly was its bidirectional casting ability. It’s not just about casting content to other devices; you can also cast to the Pixel Tablet, a unique feature for tablets. For instance, if you’re enjoying a song or video on your phone, you can seamlessly transfer it to the Pixel Tablet for a more immersive experience. This functionality requires the tablet to be in its dock, naturally, but it might change where you place it.

While similar in appearance, it’s not quite a full-fledged smart home hub like the Nest Hub Max, lacking support for features like Thread and Matter. But, given Google’s track record, I’d bet they integrate those features in future models.

Speaker Dock

Designed to complement the tablet’s entertainment prowess, the Speaker Dock aims to enhance audio experiences and elevate the overall immersion for users who prioritize top-notch sound quality.

The Speaker Dock itself boasts a minimalist yet sophisticated design, aligning seamlessly with the tablet’s aesthetics. Its compact form factor ensures it doesn’t occupy unnecessary space, making it a convenient addition to any setup.

The docking mechanism is both secure and effortless, with a satisfying magnetic click that ensures a stable connection between the tablet and the dock. It’s quite interesting to dock the tablet as it largely obscures the speaker on the front side. It’s almost as if the screen hovers on its own, appearance-wise.

Upon placing the tablet into the Speaker Dock, the immediate improvement in audio quality was striking. The dock features a set of high-fidelity speakers that deliver impressive clarity and depth. Whether I was streaming my favorite music, watching a movie, or engaging in a video call, the Speaker Dock provided a substantial audio boost, transforming the tablet into a portable entertainment hub with an immersive soundstage.

Movie dialogue felt crisper, music gained a new level of vibrancy, and the overall audio experience felt more dynamic and engaging. Even at higher volumes, the Speaker Dock maintains its composure, with minimal distortion and and otherwise pleasing sound.

You can purchase the Speaker Dock for about $129 through Google’s store and that’s something I might recommend for families. Or, depending on how you use yours, it could be wise to have one for work and one for home.

Target user

The Google Pixel Tablet is ideal for a wide range of users. Professionals seeking a portable workstation will appreciate its productivity features, including split-screen multitasking and support for various office applications. And that should get better with time.

Creatives can make the most of its stylus compatibility for sketching, note-taking, and design work. And then of course, casual users looking for a premium entertainment device will find its vibrant display and user-friendly interface appealing.

Final Thoughts

The seamless integration with Google services and the overall user experience are the standout features of the Pixel Tablet. It doesn’t feel, to me, as if it’s a first-generation approach. And where things might be a touch unrealized or less than rich, I imagine an update or two could change things up.

The device’s audio quality is impressive, delivering immersive sound for both work and play. Anticipated timely software updates from Google should ensure that users have access to the latest features and security enhancements. In the chance you hadn’t heard, Google promises the Pixel Tablet will get three OS updates and five years of security updates.

While the Pixel Tablet excels in many areas, there are a few areas that could be improved. The availability of third-party apps optimized for tablet interfaces is relatively limited. Again, however, things will no doubt improve with time and adoption. I don’t see Google forgoing this design for future releases. Likewise, Android 13 (and beyond) only make things better for developers.

The price point places it in the premium category, potentially making it less accessible to budget-conscious consumers. But, when you factor in that this is not just a tablet, but more of a hub for entertainment and communication as well as a smart home companion, it starts to justify its price.

The Google Pixel Tablet offers a compelling package for users seeking a versatile device that balances productivity and entertainment. With its sleek design, powerful performance, and integration with Google’s ecosystem, it’s a strong contender in the tablet market. The Pixel Tablet’s overall performance and user experience make it a worthy investment for a wide range of users.

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