Google I/O 2022, its developer conference kicked off today with a two-hour-long keynote. The presentation covered everything from Google Maps and YouTube to cyber security and finally the hardware.
While I was expecting a new Pixel phone (or at least the Pixel 6a) and the Pixel Watch, what caught me by surprise was the announcement of a new Pixel Tablet. Google's last Pixel tablet was the Pixel Slate, back in 2018 but this was more of a hybrid computer, coming with a keyboard attachment and running Chrome OS.
From the sparse details I saw in the presentation, the planned new Pixel looks more like a Nest Hub Max display without the base and is due to run on the tablet version of Android 13. It also plans to use the same Tensor chip that features on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro phones. This all sounds like very good news so far.
Unfortunately, the Pixel Tablet isn't due until 2023, so details are slim, and a lot could still change in terms of design and specs before then. However, it's a sign that Google is treading very firmly back into the hardware market. Especially with the Pixel Watch as well.
There is some question about where this tablet will sit. Will it be an entry-level, mid-range or high-end model? There's every chance we will eventually see all three but my guess is that this first model will be a mid-range offering. Something akin to the iPad Air. But now that Google is designing its own chips, there's no reason it couldn't square off against the iPad Pro.