And the reviews are coming as well now that NDA has ended.
We tested it and found it competent if nothing special (at least IMHO). Though it does have a bit above average LCD in terms of accuracy and image quality, though most will still prefer the OLED in the Galaxy Tab S8 + and allegedly to come in all models of the Tab S9.
One thing that I don’t quite get is the blatant inconsistency in review like this one on The Verge, where the author almost praises the bezels where as with other screeds on the iPad and Samsung’s Tabs he dings them.
Same with the mediocre battery life…
It’s almost as if the reviewers signed some secret agreement to be nice to Google this time out, perhaps considering the almost universal ripping they gave the Pixel Slate, years back (which wasn’t nearly as bad as most remember, especially after it got it’s first major OS update, about 2 months in)
The one other thing all the reviews are seeming to key on is that this is in no way meant to be a productivity first device and thus compete in that way against the iPad or Samsung’s Tab S series, but as an entertainment device and/or a portable version of Google’s nest devices.
TLDR Meh, it’ll do…
PS: It does support all versions of the USI pen standard including the newly announced 2.0 spec, but OTOH USI pens are still at best adequate and come nowhere near Samsung’s S-Pen, or Apple’s pencils (1st or 2nd gen)
Google Pixel Tablet review: the dock makes all the difference - The Verge
PPS: the built in stand is adequate though a bit cheap feeling, but does have the neat if marginally useful trick of flipping fully around to hang the Pixel tablet off of something like a door handle, something my wife did with in in the kitchen to watch a you tube cooking tutorial, though that seems to be a marginal use case IMHO
Some of them didn’t sign on:
Strikes me that Google aimed this device just above the Amazon Fire line, but enough below the Samsung premiums. Always trying to suck the jelly out of the middle of the donut.
Dave2D likes it… but the video is 100% about the Nest Hub-alike docking, speakers, charging and how it would be good for his kids/family.
Mr. Mobile did a decent review of it. Overall: meh.
One of my engineers made an intriguing discovery about the pixel tablet yesterday.
We also happen to be testing the Amazon fire max tablet and the engineer noticed what looked like a similar pin out interface with the Fire’s keyboard connector and the Pixels dock connector.
And sure enough after some checking with a probe, he was able to fashion a makeshift cable that allowed the Fire Max keyboard/trackpad accessory to work with the Pixel tablet.
Other than a couple minor issues such as “reverse scrolling” being the only option for the trackpad and the volume control keys triggering the screen brightness controls on the Pixel, it more or less worked.
Additionally at least with a handful of apps that support it on the Samsung Tab S series, it triggered the “laptop UI”.
So this has me wondering even more who the Pixel tablet is/was for. IMHO while with the dock it provides a decent if not outstanding smart display experience, it doesn’t do so in a compelling enough package especially considering the price compared to say the Google Nest Home Max or Echo Show 10.
Given that, I wonder if a keyboard/trackpad from Google is in the works or if this will be quickly abandoned like the Pixel Slate was.
BTW: We discovered one outstanding aspect of the Pixel tablet which is that it’s WIFI is one of the very best tablet implementations we’ve tested. How much that might matter to potential buyers is highly doubtful IMHO
Since I’m a nerd for this kind of stuff, how does the pinout differ from standard USB OTG?
Here’s a shot of the pogo pins on the Fire Max and the OTG pinout (ID shorted to ground for peripheral mode):
If I’m not mistaken, a lot of Chinese tablets (eg. Cube i7 Stylus) use the OTG pinout for their keyboard accessories. But I’m not sure if they somehow implemented a reversible design, like the 6-Pin Surface keyboard connector.
Assuming the Fire/Pixel keyboard is reversible, it would be interesting to see how Amazon/Google assigned the pins.
Or you could wait in case this rumor turns out to be true.
So according to Amazon, the fire keyboard is reversible but no technical response from Amazon so far on specifics though it tests/identifies as “unknown OTG protocol”
As to the Pixel tablet, we don’t have one of our own yet so I can’t do too much digging in to it since it belongs to a customer.
That being said, there are numerous function calls that the controller responds to, but as of yet anyway, don’t actually seem to do anything. Definitely not vanilla OTG though as for instance it does not (at the moment anyway) recognize/respond to any of the storage class commands or protocols.
Lisa’s review from two days ago: