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Everything you need to know about the Pixel Slate

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The Pixel family has welcomed a new member on October 9: The Pixel Slate (also known under the code name “Nocturne”), a highly-rumored new Pixel tablet that uses Chrome OS and may provide a viable alternative to conventional Chromebooks. Here’s everything we can say about the Slate’s specs, design, and important features.

A thin and simple design

The Google Pixel Slate has a simple, thin design with rounded edges and comes only in midnight blue. It’s a tablet at its core, with the Pixel Slate keyboard sold as an expensive ($199) extra. Since it’s a tablet first, the design of the device isn’t too remarkable, but it fits nicely into Google’s prevailing design language. It’s simple, but inviting.

There are a few feature hidden in the design that might make a difference. One is a fingerprint reader in the power button. There’s also dual front-facing speakers for better audio while holding the device. And finally, the tablet has front-facing and rear-facing cameras. These cameras support portrait mode and can take wide-angle shots.

The Pixel Slate Keyboard is an optional add-on. It’s a folio style, which means it connects to the base of the tablet and then folds over it to provide protection. Strangely, Google has opted to use round keys for the keyboard — an odd choice rarely seen on mainstream keyboards. The keyboard is backlit.

Google’s Pixel Pen also returns, but the company didn’t say anything about changes to its design.

A new version of Chrome OS

Google Pixelbook android appsDan Baker/Digital Trends

There was a lot of speculation about what the Pixel might run ahead of Google’s event. In the end, it appears Google has decided to update the existing Chrome OS with a new look.

Since it’s a tablet, the new design is focused on touch use. It looks a lot like Android, with rounded icons, big buttons, and heavy use of large grid-like menus to provide easier navigation. Android app support continues, but the rumored addition of support for Windows installations wasn’t mentioned.

The new version of Chrome OS boasts a few other features focused on security. That includes built-in virus protection, automatic background updates that ensure the OS is always up to date, and Google’s Titan security chip, which helps prevent hackers from hijacking the device

Pricing & Availability

Google didn’t put a date on the Slate’s availability, saying only that it’ll be available “later this year” in the U.S., Canada, and U.K.

Pricing starts at $599 for the tablet only. The keyboard is $199 and the pen is $99. Both accessories are optional and not included in the base price.

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