My Thoughts on the Pixel C

As Jono and I recently received Pixel C’s, we thought that instead of doing a traditional review (the device is 6 months old, so plenty of those exist), it might be fun to do a segment where I give my quick thoughts, he gives a short rebuttal followed by discussion including the rest of the Bad Voltage team. Here’s my bit. Tune into Bad Voltage tomorrow to see hear Jono’s rebuttal and the ensuing discussion.

The Pixel C is the first Android device in the Pixel lineup. The 10.2 inch tablet has an Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, 3G of RAM and either 32 or 64G of storage. It contains the sensors, cameras and other items you’d expect out of a high end tablet and is USB-C based. The device is very well constructed and with the optional keyboard weighs almost as much as Jono’s Macbook Air.

As the device has been out for over 6 months, I won’t get into specs or basic usability as much as I normally do. There are plenty of existing reviews out there if you want that information (although if you’re interested in me doing a more in-depth review at another time, I’m happy to do so). I will say that the device has a really premium build quality and performs extremely well. That shouldn’t come as a huge surprise as it starts at $649 once you factor in the keyboard. On that topic, the keyboard feels better than I anticipated and while its magnetic system is a little tricky at first, it’s not nearly as bad as Bryan would have you believe.

One thing many existing reviews mention is that while the hardware is fantastic, the hybrid nature of the device is really held back by Android. This review is to let you know that soon this will no longer be the case. Why? I’ve been running the Android N Developer Preview on the device for a while and the addition of Multi-window support has the potential to flat out change how useful the Pixel C is. The current split screen mode is a good start and has changed how I use the device. I think freeform mode will be the real game changer, although it looks like Google may choose to make that feature a manufacturer option, at least initially. If you have a device capable of running the Android N Beta, I recommend checking it out. So far it has been stable enough for me to use daily. The one minor change I’d make to the device is the addition of a small track pad. That aside, if you’re looking for a high end hybrid tablet, with Android N the Pixel C is definitely worth a look… especially if you can find one at a discount as it ages.

–jeremy

From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

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