Google Pixel Tablet Relaunch: News, Rumors, Price, and Release Date

Google isn’t exactly known for its love of tablets. Android 3.0 Honeycomb was the first version to support large-screen devices, but it was mostly seen as a quick stopgap measure to curb the growing number of tablets modifying an experience that was meant for phones only (looking at you, Samsung and HTC). The release, however, was considered to be so rushed and so bad that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was released half a year later. Google didn’t seem keen to make its own Android tablets either, be it the old Nexus brand or the short-lived Pixel C, but that’s not to say its own fans haven’t been clamoring for an official Google tablet for years. That finally happened nearly a year ago with the Pixel Tablet, which painted this large device as something different from an iPad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab. Rather than launch a new Pixel Tablet 2 this year, however, Google is apparently making the rather unorthodox move of relaunching the existing model, and it seems like it will be a mixed bag based on what we’re hearing so far.

Designer: Google

Google Pixel Tablet: Design

The most important thing about this “relaunch” is that there is no word on any major internal or external changes to the Google Pixel, and that’s not entirely a bad thing. There are some whispers about a new and darker color option, but that seems unlikely at this point. The Pixel Tablet’s design is largely driven by Google’s vision of what the tablet really is for, which all boils down to a device that’s meant more to stay at home than accompany you wherever you go.

The Google Pixel Tablet’s aesthetics are simple, homey, and a bit traditional. Unlike the flat and sharp edges of the likes of the current Apple iPads, Google’s design has curved sides and a gentler demeanor. It’s not something you’ll flaunt outdoors but will be perfectly at home inside the house. That’s primarily because Google’s purpose for its tablet isn’t on-the-go productivity or entertainment but as pretty much a portable smart display for controlling your smart devices, making video calls, or playing music. The fact that you can only buy the Pixel Tablet with its charging speaker dock pretty much drives home that identity.

This will be the exact same Pixel Tablet that Google is said to be “relaunching” in just two weeks but with a slight twist. The accessories for the tablet are being changed, and this speaker charger will no longer be bundled with the Pixel Tablet by default. Although it’s only the accessory lineup that will change, it also subtly changes the message that the product will be sending. Strangely enough, the design will also remain the same, so it’s not a complete overhaul of its identity either.

Google Pixel Tablet: Specs and Software

We’re unlikely to see any internal changes either, which means we’ll be seeing the same 2022-era specs like a Tensor G2 processor and 8GB of RAM, for starters. Truth be told, the Pixel Tablet hardware was plenty fine for what it was made for and can even support a bit of gaming on the side. Whether that holds true in 2024 and beyond is a bit uncertain, however, especially with Google opening up the device to new use cases that may demand more from the hardware.

What is basically changing is that Google will no longer ship the Pixel Tablet with the Charging Speaker Dock, which has important ramifications as far as pricing goes. More importantly, however, it is rumored to introduce new accessories, namely an official Google stylus as well as a keyboard for the tablet, most likely a keyboard cover like those sold for the Galaxy Tab S9, for example. Unfortunately, there are no leaks on the design that these products will take, but given the design of the official Pixel Tablet Case, we’re expecting something that will match the tablet’s aesthetics as well.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra

Designer: Samsung

Of course, the Pixel Tablet has had support for a wide range of styluses implementing the USI 2.0 standard as well as the myriad Bluetooth keyboards in the market. But having Google’s official stamp pretty much sends the message that the Pixel Tablet is also good for creativity and productivity, whether it’s making art, scribbling notes, or typing documents. The keyboard case even makes a case (pun intended) for bringing it out of your home and setting up an ad hoc office in a cafe somewhere. The Pixel Tablet’s hardware could still be up to the task, but more resource-hungry apps could hit a wall easily with this configuration.

As for the software, the Pixel Tablet will still be running Android 14 by the time it launches, but we’re expecting to see more AI-related features drop through updates. Circle to Search, in particular, will be easier to do with a stylus, and Google’s NotebookLM AI-powered app will be more useful if you can quickly type with a keyboard. The Google Pixel Tablet will be growing up from being a homebody to a digital nomad, allowing you to enjoy and utilize Google’s services anywhere you go and on a larger screen.

Google Pixel Tablet: Price and Release Date

Google’s new pricing strategy will be a mixed bag. On the one hand, you will finally be able to buy a Pixel Tablet on its own without having the Charging Speaker Base forced on you. Presuming the standalone base still costs $129, then the solo Pixel Tablet could be made available for only $379, hopefully a bit lower. This makes the tablet more accessible, especially for people who have better-sounding speakers anyway.

On the other hand, all accessories will have to be purchased separately, and the price tags might be hard to swallow. According to the rumors, the Pixel stylus and keyboard could amount to around $100 each, setting you back $579 for the complete mobile office package. A total of $699 if you also want a home base at, well, home. Granted, the Apple Pencil is already $120, but that’s normal for an Apple product. One can only hope that these figures are ballpark estimates instead.

As for when all these will drop, signs point to a May 10 “relaunch” for the Pixel Tablet. That’s a pretty odd strategy given that Google I/O 2024 will be taking play on May 14. The only way this will make total sense is if there’s a new Pixel Tablet 2 or even Pixel Tablet Pro being announced there, but that will immediately make the Pixel Tablet relaunch dead on arrival unless the accessories are 100% compatible with the new Google tablet.

Google Pixel Tablet: Final Thoughts

Although it might not launch a new tablet, it’s actually encouraging to hear that Google is continuing to support its only tablet not just with software updates but new accessories as well. These are accessories it could have launched on day one, however, but that would have probably muddled the message it was trying to send. It tried to set the Pixel Tablet apart from the iPads and Galaxy Tabs of the market by focusing on its benefits at home. Now it’s sending a different message, one that says it’s finally safe to go out.

At the same time, however, it does make the Pixel Tablet feel old and stale, which is a bit worrying considering Google’s history with Android tablets. It won’t kill off its tablet line immediately, but not having an immediate successor makes one wonder if Google will simply milk the existing model dry and then call it quits. Then again, Google has also been notorious for killing off successful products after a few generations, so the Pixel Tablet’s fate will always be in the air anyway.