At first glance, the new Google Pixel Tablet is just an 11-inch slate powered by Android and Google’s AI-centric Tensor G2 chipset. And that certainly is the case, but it doesn’t take long to realize that Google is trying to market the Pixel Tablet as more than that. Thanks to its included charging dock, it’s a dual-purpose device that can act as a smart home display and hub. And in Google’s view, this is the way to fix Android tablets.
Google seems to really want to push this dual-purpose idea, and to this end, the company includes the charging dock – which has a built-in speaker – alongside its tablet for $499, which sounds like a fair deal. Google presents this dual-purpose Android tablet idea as the expected default way to experience the Pixel Tablet. There’s no wall charger in the box, but the tablet ships with a whole speaker stand. It’s a clever idea from which Samsung might be able to learn some things.
Samsung, where’s our complementary Galaxy Tab keyboard attachment?
One of the main things setting Samsung’s high-end tablets apart is that they come with DeX, which can essentially turn them into laptop replacements. Samsung tried to push this laptop replacement concept to the forefront more than ever with the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, but in my opinion, it failed to deliver a clear message and the right tools for this idea to click in people’s minds the right way and truly materialize.
Google, on the other hand, appears to have ticked all the right boxes for its new Android tablet concept. Google’s ads, as well as the product itself, communicate this dual-purpose tablet-smart home hub concept very well. And more importantly, the Pixel Tablet’s charging speaker dock is part of the default tablet experience, included in the package, all for $499. There’s just no way around it, unless customers choose to pay extra for a wall charger.
In contrast, Samsung, despite already having the powerful DeX platform at its disposal, failed to communicate clearly what a laptop replacement could be. A big reason why is that the company doesn’t offer a keyboard attachment included in the Tab S series’ prices but sells these accessories separately for exorbitant prices.
Needless to say, because Samsung’s keyboard attachments are, in fact, a high barrier to entry, this hinders the evolution of DeX and prevents the Tab S series from reaching their full laptop replacement potential and possibly even revolutionizing Android tablets in new, clever ways.
Whether the Pixel Tablet is a threat to the Tab S series and whether or not Google will successfully convince people that its new tablet is also a smart display/speaker/hub is to be determined. But the way the company presents its dual-purpose tablet idea deserves merit. And if Samsung can learn anything from Google’s Pixel Tablet launch, it’s how to try to sell a new tablet concept.
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