Google won't be making Android or Chrome OS tablets ever again

RIP Pixel Slate and Pixel C

Credit: Michael Simon/IDG

If you’ve been waiting for a Pixel Slate 2 or Pixel C 2, we have some bad news: Google has confirmed that it won’t be making its own branded tablets any more—Android, Chrome, or otherwise.

Google confirmed a ComputerWorld report that stated the company was done making tablets. The publication said the decision was made public at an internal company meeting this week and included two smaller-sized projects that were in development.

A spokesperson from Google said: “Chrome OS has grown in popularity across a broad range of form factors and we’ll continue to work with our ecosystem of partners on laptops and tablets. For Google’s first-party hardware efforts, we’ll be focusing on Chrome OS laptops and will continue to support Pixel Slate.”

That’s probably for the best. While Google’s Android phones and Chrome OS laptops are among the best in the business, it’s tablets leave much to be desired. They might look pretty in renders, but neither of Google’s consumer tablets were able to hold a candle to the iPad or Surface, and Google hasn’t committed to a regular update schedule. The Pixel C launched in 2015 and hasn’t received a hardware update since then—and it stopped receiving Android updates over a year ago with Oreo 8.1.

Truth be told, Google never really embraced Android on tablets, and Chrome OS is better suited for a convertible laptop form factor. Google transformed the Chrome OS UI with version 70, giving it distinct interfaces for keyboard- and touch-centric form factors, but it’s still more at home as a laptop than a tablet. My experience with the Pixel Slate was less-than-stellar, despite truly gorgeous hardware.

This decision could pave the way for a new Pixelbook this year. Rumors have suggested that Google is working on a follow-up to its premium Chrome OS-based laptop, and the working of its statement conspicuously leaves the door wide open for a new laptop. But if you’re waiting for a smaller or a cheaper Pixel Slate, you’re out of luck.

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Michael Simon

Michael Simon

PC World (US online)
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