Google Pixel C Goes on Sale, Ready to Take on iPad Pro

Google's first 2-in-1 hybrid, the Pixel C, is now available for $499. You can also pick up the optional keyboard for $149. Combined, the two pieces form a viable and cheaper competitor to the Apple iPad Pro ($799) and the Microsoft Surface Pro ($899). 

Inside Google's new 2-in-1 hybrid, you'll find Android 6.0 Marshmallow, an Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, a Maxwell GPU and 3GB of RAM. The Pixel C looks a lot like  Google's Pixel 2 Chromebook, and that resemblance is no surprise; they are both made of anodized aluminum and feature the same general shape.  

MORE: Pixel C Hands On: Keys Are Missing, Functionality Isn't

The Pixel C's display is 10.2 inches with a 2560 x 1800 pixel resolution, and on the edge you'll find a USB Type C connection. The Surface Pro 4, by comparison, features a 12.3-inch display (2736 x 1824) and the iPad Pro sports a 12.9-inch screen (2732 x 2048). 

The Bluetooth keyboard, which is held on to the screen with magnets, is missing five, rarely used keys, such as the bracket and pipe keys that are usually used by coders. A hot key brings up an onscreen keyboard so you can still use those keys when necessary. The tablet can be tilted between 100 and 130 degrees for a comfortable typing experience. During our hands-on experience we found the keyboard responsive. 

When you close the screen over the keyboard, the tablet charges the attachment. Google claims the Pixel C should last up to 10 hours on a charge, but we'll have to wait to confirm that in our labs. The Surface Pro 4 lasted 6 hours and 5 minutes on our battery test (continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi), while the iPad Pro lasted 10:04. When we compared those two side by side, we named the Surface the winner due to its design, keyboard, performance and operating system's multitasking abilities. We'll be curious to see how the Pixel C shapes up against these two. Stay tuned for our full review.  

The Pixel C is the latest addition to the Google hardware family, which includes the Pixel 2 Chromebook, Chromecast, Chromecast Audio, OnHub, Nest, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player. 

Anna Attkisson
Managing Editor
A lover of lists and deadlines, Anna Attkisson heads up features and special projects for, in addition to covering social networking and accessories. She joined the LAPTOP staff in 2007, after working at Time Inc. Content Solutions where she created custom publications for companies from American Express to National Parks Foundation.