Google’s Pixel Slate Takes Aim at iPad Pro with Chrome OS

Google just announced the Google Pixel Slate, a Chrome OS tablet with detachable keyboard. Starting at $599, the Pixel Slate doesn't include Google's $199 Pixel Slate Keyboard or its $99 Pixelbook Pen. All three are due later this year.

Trond Wuellner, Director of Product Management, introduced the tablet at the company's Pixel 3 event this morning, touting the tablet's 293 pixels-per-inch screen, which features 6 million pixels in total. He didn't reveal the tablet's physical dimensions, however. The Slate should last up to 10 hours, and weighs 1.6 pounds, though neither of those specs take a docked keyboard into account.

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The Slate features front-firing speakers, which Wuellner said create a surprisingly large soundscape, with clear highs and lows. Buyers get three months of YouTube TV free from Google, with is three times as long a trial period as you get without the Slate.

The $199 Pixel Slate Keyboard snaps into the left edge of the Pixel Slate. The keyboard features circular, backlit "hush" keys, which Wuellner says are great for not distracting your colleagues. The folding-style folio keyboard supports a variety of angles, and includes a touchpad.

Since the tablet doesn't include the keyboard, and Google emphasized the device's "true desktop experience," it's not hard to see that the search  engine titan is positioning the Slate as a competitor to Apple's iPad Pro. (Apple's productivity tablet is powerful, but still needs a few tweaks before it's a full-fledged laptop replacement.)

The Slate also features a tablet-optimized view of Chrome OS with a new launcher, which highlights frequently used programs, and lets you split your screen between two apps. Google Play support is included, so you can run apps like Netflix , Slack and Spotify.

Of course, Google Assistant is baked into the Pixel Slate, just as it was in the Pixelbook. Parental controls also come standard, so you can manage each family member's usage. Night owls get a blue-light filter, which may help them fall asleep at night.

Wuellner also talked up the Pixel Slate's security, courtesy of its Titan security chip. The Slate's power button features a fingerprint sensor for biometric security.

Google didn't reveal much about the device's specs, leaving out details about the processor, RAM and storage. Also, according to The Verge, the Pixel Slate has no headphone jack.

Expect better photos than you'd normally get from a tablet or laptop, as the Slate's 8MP front and rear cameras include Portrait Mode for Bokeh effects. According to Wuellner, the Slate's wide-angle front-facing lens should make for a great teleconferencing experience in Hangouts.