The Pixel Slate isn’t new at this point, but it’s an interesting piece of hardware. The hardware looks amazing, the accessories also look high quality and it’s running Chrome OS. It all sounds perfect. Unfortunately, reality doesn’t live up to the promises. Let’s start with the configuration options:
- 8th Gen i7 with 16GB RAM 256GB storage
- 8th Gen i5 with 8GB RAM 128GB storage
- 8th Gen m3 with 8GB RAM 64GB storage
- Celeron 8GB RAM 64GB storage
- Celeron 4GB RAM 32GB storage
The entry level with the Celeron comes at the right price-point, around $500, but reports are that the Celeron and 4GB RAM is woefully under-equipped to match the high-performance looks of the device. And unfortunately, they top of line is probably out of the price range of most buyers, around $1500.
The physical configurations are also interesting, the Slate can be a tablet, a laptop with either a rigid or flexible keyboard and a tablet in tent mode. The keyboards and Pixel Pen are nice additions as well. Unfortunately, all these things are additional and will increase the overall price of your purchase.
Another interesting feature which isn’t exclusive to the Slate is the support native Linux applications. You can now run Linux applications in addition to the Chrome OS and Android applications that you could previously run. This does open the door to having Chrome OS be a full replacement for Mac for software development. More on this in a future post.
I personally got the i5 model and the performance has been good. I’ll save my full review for another post, but the TLDR is that the Slate is an excellent replacement for most users but probably priced too high. A better alternative would be the original Pixelbook. The current Slate doesn’t really provide a better experience. Maybe the next version (if there is one) will have a stronger value proposition or a lower price that will help increase user adoption. Here’s to the future.