Thursday, 11 October 2018

Pixel Slate is a niche two-in-one for dedicated Google users

Google just released the Pixel Slate. It is an impressive device but expectantly - following the Apple and Microsoft trend - pricing is inflated. The Intel Celeron model starts at £549 (add an extra £189 for a keyboard)! To compare, the Acer C302 Chromebook Flip with an Intel M3 processor is priced at £500 and can be bought on sale for £400. If the Pixel Slate sold the entry-level configuration with an M3 processor it might make the starting price acceptable.

Pricing aside, I think Google is taking a specific angle with the Pixel Slate: a device that synthesises desktop and mobile computing environments. The operating system is built around the desktop Chrome browser. At the same time, there is access to mobile platform applications. The Surface two-in-one line offers desktop computing and Apple's iPad-Pro line is a traditional tablet running a mobile operating system. Slowly Google is attempting to bridge the divide between desktop and mobile platforms and this can be further seen with the recent beta support of Linux applications.

Yet, despite trying to take on Microsoft and Apple, the Pixel Slate is a niche product. The Slate's inflated price might be a put-off for many users, especially considering that there are more powerful and better equipped Microsoft laptops at similar prices (Apple laptops are even priced similar to the high-end Pixel Slate configuration). The user-base of Chrome OS are not power users and might not need anything beyond an M3 processor. As stated, something like the ASUS C302 Chromebook Flip is a better choice. Of course, for Google fans, the Pixel Slate offers the very best of all things Google. For this small user-base, loyalty comes first and other products might not be considered. 

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