Google Pixel Tablet wants to be a fancy Nest Hub – is it having an identity crisis?

Google's Pixel Tablet comes with a charging speaker dock in the box, so is it more tablet or more smart home hub?

Google Pixel Tablet
(Image credit: Google)

It's finally official, as revealed at Google I/O 2023: the Google Pixel Tablet will be available to buy from 20 June. But does Google's latest tablet have a bit of an identity crisis? 

Well, the Pixel Tablet comes with a charging speaker dock in the box, wanting to act as the hub of your home, so I'm not sure if this Pixel wants to be the best tablet or more of a fancy Google Nest Hub replacement.

Either way, the Google Pixel Tablet has been a long time coming. I remember Google's first tablet, the Nexus 7 (which was actually made by Asus rather than Google), which I bought when away on a trip to San Francisco all the way back in 2012. Yep, a full 11 years ago.

Other Google slates have appeared since, of course, but the most recent, the aptly named Google Pixel Slate, was launched in 2018 – so there's been a big and noticeable absence of Google in the tablet space for half a decade. Which, let's face it, is odd for Google, y'know, the maker of the Android platform on which such tablets run. 

How much is the Google Pixel Tablet?

Google Pixel Tablet

(Image credit: Google)

Anyway, back to the all-new slate in question, the Google Pixel Tablet. I was excited to first hear about this product, and Google does have a point, derived from research that it has conducted: simply put, people don't really use tablets all that often; they're often left sitting around collecting dust and depleting battery life.

So why not make a product that can and indeed is designed to sit around? Albeit on an included charging speaker dock. That ticks the charging need. It ticks the sound quality need. And, well, it makes the Pixel Tablet into a detachable and fancier Google Nest Hub, really, doesn't it? I'm not totally sure how I feel about that – especially for a tablet that's £599/$599/AUD$899. It sure ain't cheap.

Physically the Pixel Tablet sure looks different to Google's latest Pixel phones, such as the just-announced Google Pixel 7a, but I wasn't expecting a giant 'bar' design with cameras around the back of this 11-inch slate. It does have the same Tensor G2 sensor and fingerprint scanner as the company's best Android phones though.

Should I buy the Google Pixel Tablet?

Google Pixel Tablet

(Image credit: Google)

Really this tablet, built around an aluminium enclosure and with a nano-ceramic coating on its rear (to look like porcelain but be tougher), is designed to be more roughly handled. That's what I think that coating is all about, whether you pick Porcelain or Hazel finishes.

Interestingly, though, Google doesn't offer its own keyboards and productive peripherals, so really doesn't see the Pixel Tablet as an iPad competitor. Not that you can't use third-party peripherals such as a Bluetooth keyboard with the slate. It's just really not the pitch of this product though, for better or worse. 

When docked the Pixel Tablet enters its 'Hub Mode' for a new home control experience, which is why I see it as an expensive and portable Google Nest Hub alternative really. But the slate can do more too: act as a digital photo frame; cast Google TV, and with Chromecast built-in hand-off to other devices such as your phone; and act as a hands-free Google Assistant hub. 

I'm on the fence on this one: the Google Pixel Tablet is likely a powerful and awesome tablet; but with a price this high and such a focus on the home, is its identity too off the mark to make sense for purist tablet users? We'll find out later in the year when the tablet goes on sale from 20th June. But, that said, Samsung's premium Galaxy Tab S8 models are all pricier than Google's take, so the Android-maker might be onto a winner.

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor and AV Editor at He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.