Historically, Google’s Nexus tablets and smartphones have been made by third parties other than Google itself. All of that has changed with Google’s Pixel lineup, which now includes the Pixel C, developed and produced wholly in-house. It takes its moniker from Google’s beautiful 12.9-inch Chromebook Pixel.
The Pixel C is sleek and subtle because of its all-metal construction, odd 1:2 aspect ratio (about the same as an A4 sheet of paper), and lack of attention-getting branding. Only when the screen is active does a narrow row of LEDs on the backlight up in Google’s colors, which might be considered branding. Double-tapping them shows you how much battery life is left. Although it isn’t the thinnest or lightest smartphone on the market (at 7mm thick and weighing 520g), the squared corners provide the speaker grilles on each side, power and volume control on the top, and a USB C connector on the bottom.
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Although it’s an appealing tablet, the Pixel C shines when coupled with the included Bluetooth keyboard. A remarkably easy magnetic docking hinge on the keyboard secures the Pixel in place, so you don’t have to worry about it falling free by mistake. You won’t knock it back when you tap the touchscreen since it’s stable at any angle up to 90 degrees.
When you don’t need to type, it docks to the tablet’s back and charges inductively, so you don’t have to worry about charging it separately. It gets its power from the tablet when the two are closed. Although Google has reduced the number of keys, the keyboard is still pleasant to use, and each key has a surprising amount of travel. There’s no backlight, which would have made this the perfect project.
The Pixel C’s stunning 10.2in, 2,560×1,800 resolution display makes it a delight to use as a tablet or a laptop. The aspect ratio provides more screen real estate portrait mode and prevents you from mistakenly thinking you’re looking at an iPad. With a pixel density of 308ppi, it’s impossible to distinguish individual pixels in pictures or text (without a microscope, that is).
Colors have more punch and brightness because of the glossy screen surface. The absence of an air gap between the panel and the glassdoor calibrator believes C’s color accuracy is impressive, covering 97.3 percent of the sRGB color space. Only Samsung’s AMOLED Galaxy Tab S2 and Apple iPads beat it out in terms of screen resolution. Although the findings show a deficiency in red coverage, the tablet is still among the best picture quality for Android.
The maximum brightness of 450.6cd/m2 and the contrast ratio of 1,550:1 stand out, making the shallow black point 0.289cd/m2. This means it’s a pity that our review unit’s touchscreen was flaky, failing to react quickly to swipes and presses. However, you seldom couldn’t wipe away a YouTube video or fast browse through Google Photos because of the bug.
Even while the Pixel C is stunning, Android isn’t designed to be used in landscape mode. Even with the keyboard docked, certain apps, like Instagram and Vine, force the tablet into portrait mode, while others, like Twitter, don’t extend to fit the screen when used in the landscape.
Multi-Window Or Not?
Because of this, Android 6 Marshmallow won’t have a multi-window option anytime soon, despite Google’s initial ambitions. That means you can only use one app at a time, which is far less than the Surface Pro 4 and even the iPad Pro, which both have Split View.
Even without multitasking, Marshmallow on the Pixel C is a pleasure to use. Back and Home onscreen buttons have been relocated to the tablet’s bottom-left edge, while the Recents button has been relocated to the tablet’s bottom right.
A 1.9GHz octa-core Tegra X processor used in the Shield Android TV set-top box is now found in the Pixel C tablet. It has big.LITTLE architecture, with four low-power cores that keep the Pixel running smoothly and four high-performance cores that kick in when the going gets tough. The Pixel C performed well in our regular battery of simulated benchmarks, earning 1,347 points in the single-core test and 3,976 points in the multi-core test in GeekBench 3.
As a result, it’s one of the quickest 10-inch tablets available, behind only Sony’s Xperia Z4 Tablet and Apple’s iPad lineup in the multitasking test. While the Pixel’s Peacekeeper browser test score of 1572 was below average, it could still smoothly navigate media-heavy websites.
GPU | Super Power:
However, the Pixel C’s actual strength lies in its graphical capabilities. The Tegra X1 has a 256-core Maxwell GPU that can churn out frames at breakneck speeds like Nvidia’s desktop graphics cards. Quicker than any Android tablet we’ve tested (1,744 on the GFX Bench GL Manhattan onscreen test) and faster than Apple’s massive iPad Pro (3,318) offscreen (3,318 offscreen). Blizzard’s Hearthstone, a 3D card game, runs well, even with the fancier animations.
Best Battery Life:
While the Pixel C has a tonne of power, it has a great battery life, lasting 14 hours 33 minutes on a loop with the screen at 170cd/m2. That’s more than four hours longer than most iPads, making it one of the best Android tablets you can buy right now.
With Android Marshmallow’s Doze feature, you can go longer between charging sessions by placing your tablet somewhere stationary, turning off the screen, and only using the tablet’s battery power. The tablet will then go into a deep sleep, periodically waking up to allow app updates and push notifications. The tablet’s battery remained fully charged the following day even after being left off charge and in standby mode all night.
That’s particularly commendable considering how much power Android tablets generally use while in standby mode. The included USB Type-C power converter takes around five hours to recharge when the battery runs out.