Unorthodox Computer Challenge : Trial 3 – The Google Pixel C

Back in September, Google dropped an unexpected bomb on the Android community with the announcement of the Pixel C. The Pixel C would be the first Android tablet manufacturered and released by Google itself. As the announcement progressed, it became clear that this tablet would be a very high end machine that was build with productivity in mind. I like Productivity so lets see if the Pixel C can replace my primary machine for the next 2 weeks.

It should be worth noting, this tablet comes with a premium price-tag, however I was able to save up the money to cover this purchase over the past several months thanks to a free service called Digit which takes a small amount of money out of your bank account and puts it into a savings account for you. I was able to save over $550 to help cover most of the cost of this tablet within a few months. You can learn more about Digit by visiting their website (US only for now)

The Hardware

pixel-c-tablet

The Pixel C is a well constructed 10.2 inch Android tablet that is completely devoid of plastic, opting to use a more premium metal. The tablet is a bit on the heavy side thanks to its massive 9,000 mAh battery. Under the hood, you will find a very impressive offering:

  • 64 bit 8 Core Nvidia X1 CPU (4 Powerful Cores + 4 Power Saving Cores)
  • “Desktop Class” 256 core Maxwell GPU
  • 3 GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • 64 GB Storage
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n/dual-band AC
  • 10.2 inch LTPS LDC Display (2560×1800)
  • Bluetooth 4.1+HS
  • Stereo Speakers
  • Headset Out
  • 2MP Front Camera + 8MP Rear Camera
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C Port

Optionally, and strongly recommended to take full advantage of the tablet, you can purchase the Bluetooth keyboard cover or the Bluetooth folio cover. The Metal Bluetooth cover is by far the best choice as it gives you several more possible positions. Both keyboards attach to the tablet with very powerful magnets that hold it solidly in place. I will be using the Metal Bluetooth cover for this challenge along with a slim Logitech Bluetooth Mouse.

The Tablet uses a single USB Type-C connector for charging as well as high speed data transfer. The USB Type-C port supports the “Power Delivery” standard allowing you to charge the massive 9,000 mAh battery in as little as 2 hours from 0%. It used to take me around 8 hours to charge my old Nexus 10 with a similar size battery. As I mentioned back in March, USB Type-C has a lot of potential, this is my first device with a USB Type-C port which means I will need to purchase a few extra legacy cables (Benson Approved)

Finally, I need to say something about this screen; it is gorgeous! The brightness reaches an eye-scorching 500 nits at its brightest and the screen is easily bright enough when the backlight is on its lowest setting.

The Software

Much like a Nexus tablet, the Pixel C runs a stock build of Android with (almost) no modifications done. The only change that Google has done to Android was moved some of the bottom taskbar icons to better take advantage of the form factor. Anyone who has used Android 5.0 or higher should feel right at home here.

Unlike my previous Unorthodox Computer Challenge, there is currently no way to run multiple applications on the same display which may hurt productivity a bit. Google has confirmed that the ability to run multiple applications side-by-side will be introduced in a future release of Android N.

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