Pixel C: Google has a crack at the fondleslab-with-keyboard game

That worked out really well for Microsoft, right?


First Microsoft mated a tablet with a keyboard, then Apple came late to the party. Now Google has done the same. From an engineering perspective, Google's new Pixel C slab looks to have left them both in the dust.

The central problem with trying to use a tablet with a detachable keyboard is the difficulty in using the devices on your lap. Microsoft's Surface kickstand is unstable balanced on knees and gives users very little room, while Apple's iPad Pro relies on a folding cover. The Pixel C relies on magnets, and is the only one of the three that looks to have cracked the lap slabtop use case.

The Pixel C looks very like a Chromebook Pixel, with a mag alloy case that splits to reveal a standalone 10.1-inch tablet weighing a pound that sits on top of a Bluetooth keyboard. The tablet attaches to a flap on the keyboard using magnets and sticks hard – hard enough to give the unit a good shake and it still won't fall off.

As designs go, it's rather a good one in that it allows the footprint of the device to stay the same size as the keyboard, while holding the tablet at an angle of between 100 and 130 degrees.

The keyboard charges inductively from the tablet and, fully charged, the keyboard has a battery life of two months. The tablet alone has a battery life of about ten hours, thanks in part to Android Marshmallow's Doze power conservation mode.

The tablet itself is thin and light, with a good 308 pixels per inch and 500 nits brightness. There are twin stereo speakers on the front of the unit, four microphones for voice control and/or noise cancellation, and cameras both front and back.

Inside, the hardware runs on an Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, a Maxwell GPU, and 3GB of RAM. The unit is powered with a Type-C USB connector and Android Marshmallow will allow for fast charging to get a few hours of battery life from ten minutes spent plugged in.

It's not cheap, however. The Pixel C with 32GB of storage will set you back $499, or $599 for the 64GB version, and on top of that you've got to buy the keyboard separately for an additional $149 when it's ready to order at Christmas. But that's still less than a Surface or iPad Pro. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Meet Wizard Spider, the multimillion-dollar gang behind Conti, Ryuk malware
    Russia-linked crime-as-a-service crew is rich, professional – and investing in R&D

    Analysis Wizard Spider, the Russia-linked crew behind high-profile malware Conti, Ryuk and Trickbot, has grown over the past five years into a multimillion-dollar organization that has built a corporate-like operating model, a year-long study has found.

    In a technical report this week, the folks at Prodaft, which has been tracking the cybercrime gang since 2021, outlined its own findings on Wizard Spider, supplemented by info that leaked about the Conti operation in February after the crooks publicly sided with Russia during the illegal invasion of Ukraine.

    What Prodaft found was a gang sitting on assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars funneled from multiple sophisticated malware variants. Wizard Spider, we're told, runs as a business with a complex network of subgroups and teams that target specific types of software, and has associations with other well-known miscreants, including those behind REvil and Qbot (also known as Qakbot or Pinkslipbot).

    Continue reading
  • Supreme Court urged to halt 'unconstitutional' Texas content-no-moderation law
    Everyone's entitled to a viewpoint but what's your viewpoint on what exactly is and isn't a viewpoint?

    A coalition of advocacy groups on Tuesday asked the US Supreme Court to block Texas' social media law HB 20 after the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals last week lifted a preliminary injunction that had kept it from taking effect.

    The Lone Star State law, which forbids large social media platforms from moderating content that's "lawful-but-awful," as advocacy group the Center for Democracy and Technology puts it, was approved last September by Governor Greg Abbott (R). It was immediately challenged in court and the judge hearing the case imposed a preliminary injunction, preventing the legislation from being enforced, on the basis that the trade groups opposing it – NetChoice and CCIA – were likely to prevail.

    But that injunction was lifted on appeal. That case continues to be litigated, but thanks to the Fifth Circuit, HB 20 can be enforced even as its constitutionality remains in dispute.

    Continue reading
  • How these crooks backdoor online shops and siphon victims' credit card info
    FBI and co blow lid off latest PHP tampering scam

    The FBI and its friends have warned businesses of crooks scraping people's credit-card details from tampered payment pages on compromised websites.

    It's an age-old problem: someone breaks into your online store and alters the code so that as your customers enter their info, copies of their data is siphoned to fraudsters to exploit. The Feds this week have detailed one such effort that reared its head lately.

    As early as September 2020, we're told, miscreants compromised at least one American company's vulnerable website from three IP addresses: 80[.]249.207.19, 80[.]82.64.211 and 80[.]249.206.197. The intruders modified the web script TempOrders.php in an attempt to inject malicious code into the checkout.php page.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022