With Google’s Pixel C, the company takes Android tablets high-end. Announced Tuesday at a press event in San Francisco, the Pixel C will have the same brushed-aluminum case with no exposed screws as its Chromebook cousin. Inside will be an Nvidia Tegra X1 quad-core processor with 3GB of LPDDR4 memory. It will also run the company’s latest Android Marshmallow operating system.
The insides will be as premium as the outside. An Nvidia Maxwell GPU will power the 10.2-inch sRGB touchscreen, which has a 308ppi resolution (about 4.6MM pixels) and an impressive maximum brightness of 500 nits. Its aspect ratio of the square root of 2 will echo the A-series paper size used in much of the world, and allow for portrait or landscape mode to accommodate a full-size keyboard.
Well, sort of full-size. Google moved five symbol keys off the keyboard (they’ll be available on the onscreen keyboard), so the remaining keys would be full-size and have an 18.8mm pitch (the distance between the center of adjacent keys), very close to the 19mm pitch on a typical keyboard.
The keyboard attaches to the Pixel C using self-aligning magnets. The Pixel C knows automatically whether the keyboard is attached, so you don’t have to fiddle with settings. With the keyboard attached, the screen can sit at angles of 100 degrees to 135 degrees. When the tablet’s closed, the keyboard charges inductively from it and can last two months on a full charge. When you don’t need the keyboard, it can attach to the back of the tablet so you don’t lose track of it.
The Pixel C will also have the same mesmerizing lightbar as its Pixel cousin, which can show battery level with a double-tap or flash Google’s rainbow color scheme. The USB-C port can be used for charging or connectivity, and is being deployed across Google’s new Nexus devices as well.
Finally, the Pixel C will have four microphones built in so it can be used with Android Marshmallow’s new voice controls. The Pixel C will also have dual speakers.
The Pixel C will be available “by holiday time,” Google promised. It will start at $499 for a 16GB tablet and $149 for the keyboard. A 32GB tablet will cost $599.