The news announcement of the Google Pixel Slate at the Made by Google event this year(2018) really caught my attention. Android tablets have had a very difficult time finding a place in the market place despite having a great start with the Nexus 7. Since then, it’s been very difficult to find a great use case in the mass market.
One of the bigger challenges with the tablet space is that there are 2 main form factors but with very different use cases. The 7″ – 9″ is used more of a reading device while the 10″ – 13″ device is used like a hybrid device between a tablet and a laptop. The Pixel Slate looks like a promising solution that can replace both my tablet and laptop with one device.
The form factor is a proven one; I’ve used the Microsoft Surface for a couple of years and for the most part, I love it. Where I’ve struggled with it is that Microsoft Windows still excels as a desktop device but still struggles to be a solid tablet device or a Linux development device.
I’m excited about the potential of the Pixel Slate after reading about it. Chrome OS is an excellent desktop device and fits very well in the 12″ form factor of thePixel Slate. The ability to install Android apps gives users access to a very rich ecosystem of apps that are already in market. Project Crostini gives Chrome OS the ability to install Linux apps so this means it becomes easy to install apps like Microsoft Visual Studio Code. I’m hopeful that they’ll find a way to run Docker on Chrome OS. The risk is that this will either be a product that leverages the best of all worlds or it will be a convoluted mess with a ton of conflicts.
That being said though, It’ll be exciting to see what a machine that’s fully loaded with this new paradigm. It feels like Google is putting its best foot forward.