Yes, Google sells smartphones and home speakers and smoke detectors and tablets and other gadgets, but the truth should be obvious but is not. Google doesn’t sell too many of anything. What Google is successful at doing is giving things away. Think free search, free software, Android OS, Chrome, Chrome OS, et al.
So, maybe we need to examine why Google wants to sell an iPad killer? Or, maybe it’s a Surface touchscreen notebook hybrid killer. Those are all the rage among personal computer users these days. iPads own the real tablet market.
Ron Amadeo explains:
The device has a more-than-passing resemblance to the Microsoft Surface or iPad Pro: there’s a tablet, and a keyboard cover, and a pen. The tablet is an Intel-powered device with 4-16GB of RAM and a 3000×2000 display. Single USB-C ports are found on the left and right sides, and a pogo pin connection is on the bottom.
Not bad for $599. Without a keyboard. iPad starts at $329 similarly equipped but with more power. The Pixel Slate runs Chrome OS instead of Android, but runs Android applications and Linux applications, so that’s a plus. But I sense this is more competition for Microsoft’s expanded Surface line than a new iPad killer.
Still, the specifications are decent.
There are 8MP cameras on the front and back, and like a Pixel phone, Google is providing computational photography magic in the Pixel Slate. The company is making the Android Google Camera app work on the Pixel Slate, so you’ll get bokeh effects and, hopefully, excellent-looking pictures. The front-facing camera has a wide-angle lens and larger pixels, optimized for video chatting. And for sound there are two front-firing speakers.
A keyboard is $200 and a pen is another $100, so the base model makes it all the way to $899 without gaining any power specifications.
What Pixel Slate and Microsoft Surface are doing is a seemingly vain attempt to reinvent the iPad. The differences are distinct. An iPad is a tablet first. Most of the time it gets used as exactly that– a tablet. Both Surface and Pixel Slate are inexpensive PC touchscreen notebook tablet hybrids which end up being used more as notebooks than tablets.
Apple could counter this seemingly revolutionary approach to kill the iPad simply by making a decent keyboard for all iPad models, and, by adding an intuitive touchscreen to the Mac. Case closed. No more Mac killers. No more iPad killers.