The Google Pixel Tablet is a curious device, with Google’s first slate in a long time serving double duty as a tablet and a smart home display.
That helps it stand out from the tablet crowd, and that’s a good thing too, because in a lot of ways, it falls someway short of the best tablets, even within its price range.
So with that in mind we’ve come up with a list of six things we want from the Google Pixel Tablet 2, so that it can excel as both a tablet and a smart display in the home. We’ve also included information on the likely release date, price, specs, and features – and we’ll add to this article whenever we hear anything more.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The second Pixel Tablet
- When is it out? Possibly mid-2024
- How much will it cost? Likely at least $499 / £599 / AU$899
Google Pixel Tablet 2: release date and price
There aren’t any Google Pixel Tablet 2 release date rumors yet, and as this is the first entry in a new product line, there’s no real history for us to look at here.
That said, a lot of gadgets – including Google’s Pixel phones – see yearly launches, so if the same happens with the Pixel Tablet 2, then we might see it in or around May 2024, as that would be a year after the announcement of the original Pixel Tablet.
The price meanwhile will probably be at least as high again, meaning at least $499 / £599 / AU$899 for a tablet and speaker dock combo (which is the only way you can buy the original Pixel Tablet), but don’t be surprised if it costs more.
Google Pixel Tablet 2: news and leaks
So far there aren’t any leaks about the Pixel Tablet 2, but we can guess that it will use whatever the latest of Google’s Tensor chipsets is at the time of its launch. If it launches in May 2024, that will almost certainly mean the Tensor 3 chipset that we’re first expecting to see in the Google Pixel 8 line.
It’s also sure to support a dock again, since being able to attach the Google Pixel Tablet to a dock and use it as a smart home screen is one of its main selling points.
Beyond that, we can’t really predict what might be offered and what might change, but as soon as any rumors do emerge we’ll add them here.
Google Pixel Tablet 2: what we want to see
In our Google Pixel Tablet review we awarded it 3.5 stars, which is to say that it’s a good but not great device – so it’s one with plenty of room for improvement. Key improvements we’d like to see in the Pixel Tablet 2 include the following things.
1. A bigger, better screen
In our Pixel Tablet review, we noted that despite being listed as 10.95 inches, the screen area of the Pixel Tablet is actually smaller than that of the iPad 10.9 (2022). So it’s on the small side as tablets go, and that’s really not ideal for something that – given its included dock – is clearly designed mostly to be used at home.
It’s also not a particularly special screen, being an LCD panel in place of a superior OLED, with a lacluster 60Hz refresh rate. So we’d like to see big upgrades to both the size and quality of the screen on the Pixel Tablet 2.
2. A different material
The back of the Pixel Tablet has a soft touch finish, which while pleasant under finger but is also quick to pick up dirt and fingerprints. As such, we’d like to see this addressed with the Google Pixel Tablet 2, so that we don’t feel the need to wipe the slate every time we touch it.
3. Better app optimization
Android has never felt entirely at home on tablets and that remains true here, with the main issue simply being that most apps aren’t well optimized for their larger (and primarily landscape) screens.
Often, you’re just served stretched versions of phone apps, and somehow we found in our review that apps perform even worse on the Pixel Tablet than other Android slates, with the likes of Facebook and Instagram giving you a narrow letterboxed view when the tablet is in landscape orientation.
Software updates from either Google or the app makers could fix this, but if Google is serious about supporting tablets, then the Pixel Tablet 2 really needs great software and well-optimized apps from day one.
4. The option to buy it without a dock
You can only buy the Google Pixel Tablet with a dock, and while that’s probably how most people would want to buy it (since without the dock it’s nothing very special at all), we’d like to be given the option with the Pixel Tablet 2.
That would allow buyers to get a very affordable tablet if they choose to pick it up without the dock – and then they could always still buy a dock later if they decide they want one.
5. A bigger battery
The original Pixel Tablet has a 7,020mAh battery, which isn’t particularly big for a 10-inch+ tablet, and indeed our reviewer found it didn’t last as long between charges as many other tablets.
In fairness, this is a slate that’s likely to stay docked a lot of the time, and it charges while docked, so battery life isn’t as much of a concern here as it would be with most tablets, but there’s still definitely room for improvement.
6. A better dock
Whether or not Google gives users the option the buy the Pixel Tablet 2 with or without a dock from the get-go, we’d also like that dock itself to be better; more specifically offer improved sound quality.
The current dock is a perfectly fine way to pump out sound – whether you’re watching a show or streaming music – but the sound quality is indicative of the wider package, middling. What’s more, the fact that the dock is non-functional when the Pixel Tablet is undocked feels like a huge oversight on Google’s part.
Being able to connect to the dock wirelessly or tie it into part of your wider smart home setup would be a huge bonus for those who already envisage having multiple docks in different rooms as a place to set down the Pixel Tablet wherever they end up, while also building out a multi-room audio setup simultaneously.
This post originally appeared on TechToday.