Hybrid. A term, to the layman, that is commonly associated with a certain ugly vehicular abomination that claims to be green and is well loved by Hollywood actors who want to appear environmentally conscious. Cameron Diaz has one y’know.
In tech, it is also a term that has been gaining popularity because it usually means you can afford to carry one less device around with you. Yup, we’re talking about hybrid laptops and tablets. Or the laptop cum tablet. Or the tablet cum laptop. Or a “convertible”.
Ribbing aside, the Pixel C does have an impressive spec sheet. At the front, the device sports a 10.2-inch 2560×1800 pixel display that achieves a 308ppi pixel density. On the inside, it is running a quad-core Nvidia Tegra X1 chip with 3GB of RAM and a choice of 32GB or 64GB of internal storage. The Pixel C will come running Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box, abandoning the Chrome OS normally found in other Chromebooks. This is a strong indication that the merging of Chrome OS and Android is probably well on the way. The device also charges its 9,000 mAh battery via USB Type-C.
It also sports an 8-megapixel rear camera that supports 1080p recording and a 2-megapixel front camera, but we do advise against being one of those “tablet photographers”. The tablet attaches to its keyboard via magnets, but the thing that we found great was the fact that the keyboard has a solid base which means you can use it on your lap. For more information on the tablet and its keyboard, head on over here.
Marketing it as a tablet with a keyboard means that the Pixel C was not exactly designed to be a hybrid laptop or tablet. And that kind of shows since it is running Android instead of a dedicated laptop/desktop OS. Clearly it isn’t meant to replace your laptop but we do hope that ChromeOS-Android hybrid comes soon so that we can see what this tablet is fully capable of. Of course, this isn’t the first tablet to come with its own keyboard. Sony has done it with the Xperia Z4 Tablet, Samsung has Galaxy Tab S, ASUS has the Transformer, and even Google themselves have the Nexus 9 with a keyboard.
The Pixel C is currently available in the Google Store with prices starting at USD499 (around RM2,130). The magnetic keyboard is a USD149 (around RM635) optional extra, but it does also come with a folio keyboard, similar to the Nexus 9’s and will also be priced at USD149. Based on these figures, the Pixel C looks like its a pretty good bargain, especially if you compare it with the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet which will set you back RM2,699 for the device and another RM799 for the accompanying keyboard.
Unfortunately, the Pixel C isn’t available in Malaysia. As of this moment there doesn’t seem to be any information on availability in our market but we do hope they will bring it over soon so that we can see first hand what Google thinks is the proper way to build a tablet.