Google Discontinues Pixel C In Favor of Pixelbook

Could Google be souring on Android tablets? Today, the company discontinued the Pixel C, its only Android slate, and redirected its listing on the Google Store to the page for the Pixelbook

"As is common when a device has been out for a few years, we're now retiring Pixel C and it is no longer available for sale," a Google representative told Laptop Mag in a statement. "However, we are committed to updating and supporting it, including the recent update to Android 8.0, so customers can continue to get the best out of their device. Our newly launched Google Pixelbook combines the best parts of a laptop and a tablet for those looking for a versatile device."

The Pixel C launched in December 2015 running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, though it eventually upgraded to both Android 7.0 (Nougat) and Android 8.0 (Oreo). The 32GB version cost $499 and the 64GB model sold for $599 -- both pricey, especially for Android tablets. It included a magnetic keyboard that turned it into a pseudo-laptop, and rumor has it that it was originally meant to run Chrome OS. We loved its display and long battery life, but found that Android didn't work so well on its detachable form factor.

The 32GB version of the Pixel C has been off the store for a bit now, but the $599 64GB version stuck around for those who wanted the premium Android tablet experience. Now, the only option for a computer from Google is the Pixelbook, which runs Chrome OS.

While it's always possible that Google will come out with another Android slate in the future, killing the Pixel C without offering a replacement indicates that the company may have lost confidence in the standalone tablet category. The Pixel C was two years old at this point and, before that, the last Android tablet was the Nexus 9, which first appeared in 2014.

The tablet space is now one of the few areas where Google isn't seriously competing. The Pixelbook is a convertible 2-in-1, and while it runs Android apps, that's still not a seamless experience. The only other major piece of hardware that Google develops software for but hasn't produced on its own is a smartwatch.

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