Google Pixel Tablet Review: A Promising Evolution Of 2-In-1 Devices
(Photo by Oscar Green for Boss Hunting)
— Updated on 24 July 2023

Google Pixel Tablet Review: A Promising Evolution Of 2-In-1 Devices

— Updated on 24 July 2023
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

2023 is shaping up to be a very big year for Google. Not only will the company finally release its very first foldable flagship with the Google Pixel Fold, but it has decided to deliver its very first proper tablet in years. Below, I’m going to attempt to provide a balanced overview of said new device in this Google Pixel Tablet review, helping you decide whether or not it’s worth investing in the company’s long overdue attempt at seriously competing with the Apple Air and Samsung Galaxy tablets.

Google Pixel Tablet Highlights

  • Dimensions: 258 x 196 x 8.1 mm
  • OS: Android 13
  • Chipset: Google Tensor G2 (5 nm)
  • Rear Camera: 8 MP f/2.0, 24 mm (wide)
  • Selfie Camera: 8 MP f/2.0, 24 mm (wide)

Google seems to take its time when it comes to consumer tech. While foldable phones have been in the market for years, the Google Pixel Fold is the company’s most important device to date. How it performs will largely determine Google’s place in this neverending race to dominate the lucrative market of personal devices.

The Google Pixel Tablet is less interesting as a prospect, given tablets have somewhat fallen out of fashion and the company’s chequered history with Android tablets has been unexciting at best. In fact, Android tablets to date have always fallen behind their Apple counterparts, and most of this has to do with the apps on the Play Store and how they have (or haven’t) been optimised.

RELATED: iPad Air 5 Review: Perfectly Fine If You Don’t Need The Pro

However it goes down with consumers in the coming months, the Google Pixel Tablet is still a crucial release for the company following the success of the stunning Google Pixel 7 Pro and the recent release of the value-driven Google Pixel 7a. And given Google once dominated the market with Nexus tablets, it could be seen as a bit of a comeback after years of practically abandoning tablets altogether.

The Google Pixel Tablet is also driven by value. At $899 in Australia, it’s positioned as a mid-range device where the price tag isn’t so off-putting in a fiercely competitive market but is also high enough that one would reasonably expect a premium experience.

Does the Google Pixel Tablet bring something new to the table? Not really; at least not yet. Google has included plenty of features that would easily tempt people over from competing brands, but this is more or less the mid-range tablet you expected. Excellent, refined, very attractive and efficient enough.

The main point of difference here comes with the detachable charging dock, which also acts as a reasonably good quality speaker when it’s hosting the tablet. Put the Google Pixel Tablet in ‘Hub mode’ and you essentially have an excellent smart display.

It’s then clear what Google has made here. The company has basically taken the super successful Nest Hub Max and split it into two parts. Although, the Next Hub Max is $299. The Google Pixel Tablet is $899.

RELATED: iPad Air 5 Review — Perfectly Fine If You Don’t Need The Pro


Google Pixel Tablet review
(Photo by Oscar Green for Boss Hunting)

Design is the defining factor of the Google Pixel Tablet. We’ve become accustomed to referring to modern tablets as 2-in-1 or hybrid devices. This is also a hybrid device, just worked a bit differently. It’s a hybrid of the super helpful Nest Hub Max and a mid-range Android tablet.

Yes, it’s a creative push from Google, which has seen a lot of success from its smart home hub. Yet when the device is in tablet mode, it’s more of a slightly above-average tablet than a serious competitor to more specced-out mid-range devices from Apple and Samsung.

A decade ago, you couldn’t walk into a JB Hi-Fi without seeing a dozen different tablets competing for your attention. Now, the category is more of an afterthought. No one really uses tablets anymore and they are usually targeted at families with multiple people using them at once. Nowadays, parents basically use them as distractions for children at restaurants.

Looking at the Google Pixel tablet, it doesn’t appear to be much different than your standard Android tablet. You have an 11-inch LCD display on the front framed by bezels just thick enough so you can hold the device without smudging the screen. However, they could still stand to be a bit thinner.

RELATED: The Best Gifts For Men, Period

(Photo by Oscar Green for Boss Hunting)

The soft-touch finish on the back is actually quite nice and it hides fingerprints well. You’ve got a single 8 MP camera in the back corner, which is satisfactory enough for video calls and document scanning, but very little beyond that. I wouldn’t be taking photos with this, despite how good Google’s software has become at touching up the end result.

A set of speakers on either side of the tablet are tinny with next to no bass, but decent enough when it comes to volume. Magnetically attach it to the speaker dock, however, and you’ve got an immediate switch into Hub mode. This is when the speaker takes over and adds a lot of low-end, yet still not enough to compete with any of Google’s standalone speakers.

I actually really like the speaker dock. While one is included in the box, you can buy multiple separately as well in case you want smart home displays in different spaces around the house. This is a very neat feature, more so because each dock can hold different data sets. So for example, you could have a set of scrolling photos on display when the tablet is docked in one room, but an entirely different set when the tablet is docked in another. This is a decorative feature, rather than a practical one.

google pixel tablet review
(Photo by Oscar Green for Boss Hunting)

The dock also holds the tablet at a great angle. I’ve been using it mostly on my bedside table so I can watch Netflix at night without having to use my Surface laptop or awkwardly hold a phone. For that, it’s pretty much perfect. It also works well as an oversized alarm clock or just a general smart home display.

There is no magnetic keyboard or stylus, however, there are rumours that some are on the way. This would add a lot of functionality although I don’t see many people wanting to use the tablet as anything more than a basic note-taker, an entertainment hub or a digital photo gallery. It’s not very fast and the display isn’t very fluid with its pitiful 60Hz refresh rate.

Interestingly, in Hub mode, the tablet only charges until 90%. I assume this is an easy way to preserve long-term battery life which is a smart move by Google. But will long-term battery life matter too much if Google eventually releases a better version of this in two years?


google pixel tablet review

Google is great at software. Even the hardiest of Apple fanboys couldn’t deny that. What the company has done lately with the 7th generation Pixel phone is endlessly impressive. Google’s engineers show the same amount of ingenuity here, so even though the hardware is spectacularly dated, the hybrid nature of the Google Pixel Tablet works seamlessly.

While the tablet itself is woefully underclocked and behaves very much like a mid-range Android tablet, despite using the Google Tensor G2 — the same chipset used in the Google Pixel 7 series — it’s nice to see that the Play Store finally has native apps that have been optimised for the larger screen.

Apps not working well has been the number one reason Android tablets have fallen far behind Apple’s popular devices in recent years. This is a step in the right direction although you’ll still find third-party apps like Instagram and Twitter are more just big phone versions of the same app, rather than tablet-specific versions. There’s next to no incentive for developers to optimise their apps, however, so this all depends on if Google can revive the Android tablet’s popularity.

(Photo by Oscar Green for Boss Hunting)

New gestures introduced in this version of Android 13 allow for smoother transitions between apps and easier multitasking. There’s also a really neat new way to switch users, which personally has no value to me but would be good for families with multiple users fighting over the same tablet.

Voice control also works just fine. That’s your primary way to control the device since there is no keyboard (yet). It’s clear Google wants me to use Android’s voice dictation feature if I want to take notes, which is good enough and has gotten fairly accurate over the years in terms of both speed and grammar.

An area I’m largely disappointed in is charging. The battery itself is fine and lasts as long as you’d expect an average Android tablet to last (just over 15 hours on my test) but charging is outrageously slow. The speaker dock is only rated for 15 watts of juice, which is not a lot. It’s also interesting that the dock is the only out-of-box way of charging the device. You don’t get any USB-C cable in the box, even though there is a port if you want to charge the tablet separately. The dock itself has a barrel connector, which is also a strange choice seeing as even Apple is moving to USB-C charging with the iPhone 15 (apparently).

Do note that this is a Wi-Fi tablet only. There is no cellular model. Nor would it be necessary anyway. This is a tablet strictly for home use. It’s not good enough to take travelling.

Verdict & Value

Google Pixel Tablet Review

The Google Pixel Tablet does for tablet PCs what Nintendo Switch did for hand-held gaming, I guess. This hybrid device can immediately switch functions completely once docked and it works incredibly well. But gaming has endless utility; smart displays don’t unless you have a boss smart home set-up which is an expensive investment.

Google has kickstarted a new product category with the Google Pixel Tablet and it’s a fascinating one. But as with all inaugural entries, there are issues that should be refined. All 2-in-1 devices come with compromises and the Pixel Tablet has many.

I would have really liked to see a high-end tablet with an OLED display and a 120Hz refresh rate make use of this inventive speaker dock. What we get is a painfully dated tablet with promising software instead. Google is introducing a lot of potential but, as you’d expect, it isn’t quite there yet.

Google Pixel Tablet





  • Switches functions immediately once connected to dock
  • Really great for streaming content in bed
  • Play Store finally has apps that work on tablets
  • Seamless support for multiple users
  • Works brilliantly as a smart home display


  • Not really necessary if you already have a smart home display and a tablet
  • Battery is very slow to charge
  • The tablet itself feels dated in terms of hardware
  • No USB-C charging for the speaker dock
  • Onboard speakers are very weak

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the Google Pixel Tablet in Australia?

The Google Pixel Tablet retails for $899 in Australia.

Does the Google Pixel Tablet support Nest Cam updates?

Not yet but Google has stated in a recent Q&A that this functionality will come with a software update.

Is the Google Pixel Tablet worth it?

If you need a smart home display and a tablet, then I would recommend the Google Pixel Tablet. However, if you already have one of those then at $899 this first-gen device is not yet worth the investment.

Subscribe to B.H. Magazine

Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


Share the article