Google didn’t announce any new Nest hardware at its I/O keynote today, but it did give us more details about the next best thing: the Google Pixel Tablet and its Nest-like charging dock, which are both slated to arrive next month.
The Pixel Tablet, which Google first unveiled at last year’s I/O, will ship in June starting at $499. Surprisingly–and happily–that price includes the Charging Speaker Dock, which we’d previously assumed would be an optional (and pricey) extra. You can pre-order the Pixel Tablet now.
Google filled in a variety of blanks Wednesday about the Pixel Tablet, which transforms into a smart display when it’s snapped into the fabric-covered changing dock.
We now know that the tablet boasts an 11-inch (2560 x 1600) display, 8GB of RAM, and storage capacities of 128GB or 256GB.
Available in three colors–porcelain, hazel, and rose–the tablet will have 8-megapixel front and rear cameras, along with four-speaker stereo sound, three microphones, up to 12 hours of video streaming on a single charge, and a fingerprint sensor built into the power button.
As Google previously announced, the fabric covered dock will hold the Pixel Tablet in place with magnets, which have been designed to make it easy to dock and undock the tablet. The base of the dock comes with an integrated 43.5mm full-range driver.
While the Pixel Tablet offers a variety of standard tablet features, it also doubles as a smart home hub, with the tablet going into “hub mode” when docked.
Among the features offered in hub mode are a new “home panel” that allows for smart home control, as well as a digital photo frame. You’ll also be able to summon Google Assistant–although, interestingly (and perhaps tellingly), Google Assistant was never mentioned by name during the presentation.
The Pixel Tablet will come with built-in Chromecast, as well as Google TV app that’s been specifically designed for tablets.
Also available is a $79 case with a rear metal ring that acts as a stand, and you can still dock the tablet even if the case is on.
While the physical and functionality details of the Pixel Tablet and its dock were more or less already out of the bag, the $499 retail price was a pleasant surprise.
Even at $499, however, the Google Pixel Tablet and dock combo is considerably more expensive than the Google Nest Hub and Hub Max, which cost $99 and $229 respectively.
But with no new Nest Hub hardware on the horizon, the Pixel Tablet may be the closest we get to a next-gen Nest Hub display for the foreseeable future.
Updated on May 11, 2023 with corrections: The Google Pixel Tablet was first unveiled at Google I/O 2022, not at last fall’s Made by Google event. Also, the dock’s built-in driver will be 43.5mm in size, not 43.5 inches. Our apologies for the errors.
Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices. You can follow Ben on Twitter.