Google Pixel Slate vs. Pixelbook: Which Should You Buy?

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Google just unveiled the Pixel Slate, which is the company's first attempt at a detachable laptop, and somewhat of a leap from the Pixelbook. Even though we haven't gotten a chance to run our traditional tests, we are curious to see how Google's newest detachable stacks up against the more traditional Pixelbook, currently our best Chromebook for business.

pixel-slate-vs-pixelbook

Here's how Google's two Chrome OS devices compare.

Design

Google's Pixel Slate and Pixelbook both come in a single color, but the Pixel Slate stands out from the Pixelbook's traditional Silver with its gorgeous Midnight Blue scheme.

slate

Despite the Pixel Slate technically being a tablet, its clean back looks sleek compared to the awkward two-tone design of the Pixelbook. And if you get the Pixel Slate Keyboard, a soft polyurethane cover will protect the exterior and comfort your precious fingers.

google-pixelbook

We thought that the Pixelbook was quite stylish in our review, but I'm not a fan of the multiple shades of white in the interior, especially because it makes the keyboard look out of place. It's hard to miss the bezels on the display, and the silicon palm rests look a little awkward.

The Pixel Slate sports slimmer bezels, and the Pixel Slate Keyboard features a simple, dark-blue shade with keys that form a cute, circular shape.

The Pixel Slate and Pixelbook both have sturdy aluminum chassis and are similar in size. The Pixel Slate weighs in at 1.6 pounds (2.7 pounds with Pixel Slate Keyboard) and measures 11.5 x 8 x 0.3 (0.6 with Pixel Slate Keyboard) inches. The Pixelbook is technically lighter and thinner, at 2.5 pounds and 11.4 x 8.7 x 0.4 inches, when comparing the two devices as clamshells.

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The Pixel Slate and Pixelbook both have the same ports (two USB Type-C connections), but the Pixel Slate ditches the headphone jack.

Google Pixel Slate vs. Pixelbook: Specs Compared

  Google Pixel Slate Google Pixelbook
Price  $599-$1,599

$999-$1,649

Accessories Pixel Slate Keyboard ($199), Pixelbook Pen ($99)  $99 Pixelbook Pen
Display  12.3-inch, 3000 x 2000 pixels 12.3-inch, 2400 x 1600 pixels
CPU 8th Gen Intel Celeron, Core m3, i5, i7 7th Gen Intel Core i5, i7
RAM 4GB, 8GB, 16GB 8GB, 16GB
Storage 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Ports Two USB Type-C Two USB Type-C, headphone jack 
Colors Midnight Blue Silver
Size 11.5 x 8 x 0.3 inches 11.4 x 8.7 x 0.4 inches
Weight

1.6 pounds

2.5 pounds

 

Display

Right out of the gate, the Pixel Slate ramps up its resolution to 3000 x 2000 and sticks it to the Pixelbook's 2400 x 1600.

slate-hero

We couldn't test the color or brightness of the Pixel Slate, but it was sharp and vivid when we saw it in person. If the Pixelbook is any indication, it may land somewhere around 117 percent of sRGB color gamut and 421 nits of brightness. Those numbers are pretty solid on their own, so as long as the Pixel Slate keeps up with that, then it'll be good.

Pricing and Configuration Options

Regarding value, the Pixel Slate and Pixelbook are fairly evenly matched, but the Pixel Slate has more configurations.

google-pixelbook-display

The Pixel Slate starts as a mainstream laptop at $599, but the Pixelbook jumps right into premium at $999, which is wide gap for a starting price. The Pixelbook's base configuration comes with an 7th Gen Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD for $999, and the Pixel Slate has the same configuration for the same price with the exception of an 8th Gen CPU. The catch is, of course, that you have to pay $199 for the keyboard.

If you're comparing them as clamshells, you're technically paying $199 to jump from the Pixelbook's 7th Gen CPU to the Pixel Slate's 8th Gen processor, which is well worth the processing power. You should also consider the jump in resolution as well, from the Pixelbook's 2400 x 1600 to the Pixel Slate's 3000 x 2000.

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While the Pixelbook supports up to a 512GB SSD, the Pixel Slate has lower-tier components at lower prices, such as a Celeron and Core m3 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 32GB to 64GB SSDs.

Keyboard and Pen

The Pixel Slate's keyboard was quite springy to type on despite being completely flat, and while we didn't get to measure the key travel, it seemed shallower than the Pixelbook's 0.9 millimeters during our hands-on time. The Pixelbook does have a pair of silicon palm rests, which makes typing that much more comfortable. We're excited to test these keyboards side by side when the Pixel Slate rolls through our lab.

slate-keys

The good news about the stylus is that it has not changed, so the Pixelbook Pen ($99) is compatible for both the Pixelbook and the Pixel Slate. And the bad news is … well, it hasn't changed, so there aren't any improvements made upon the original. However, the pen now comes in Midnight Blue.

Battery Life

The Pixelbook lasted only 7 hours and 42 minutes on our Laptop Mag battery test, which is a bit concerning considering that Google rates it for 10 hours -- the same battery life that it claims the Pixel Slate has. Therefore, we're expecting a similar sub-8-hour battery life on the Pixel Slate, but we'll know for sure once we get a chance to test Google's tablet.

Outlook

It's hard to say how the Pixel Slate will fare against the Pixelbook until we actually get it through our lab, but at a glance the Pixel Slate offers a sharper display, better value for its components and a really neat keyboard (if you're willing to pay extra for it).

On the other hand, the Pixelbook already comes with a keyboard and has a configuration with a beefier 512GB SSD. As long as the Pixel Slate improves upon what the Pixelbook did on our tests, it could be a better and more versatile version of Google's Chromebook.

 Credit: Laptop Mag 

 

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