Google Pixel Slate: Rumored specs, features, leaks, price, release date

After a torrent of leaks seem to have uncovered every last detail about Google’s forthcoming Pixel and Pixel XL phones, the spoilers are fixing their attention on the company’s rumored convertible tablet.

Word has it that the Google Pixel Slate is on the docket for Google’s launch event scheduled for Oct. 9. The convertible tablet is said to resemble Microsoft’s Surface Pro — which itself was updated on Oct. 2 — with a keyboard cover, magnetic clasp and kickstand. 

The reports about the Chrome tablets have been preceded by an abundance of extensive, detailed information about Google’s rumored Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL — including photos and videos published by Russian bloggers and more photos and information gleaned from a Pixel 3 XL that was apparently left in the backseat of a Lyft. Google hasn’t confirmed anything about any of these reports about the phones or tablet.

But the company has invited media to an event in New York City on Oct. 9. In addition to introducing new tablets, new phones and perhaps other devices, Google is expected show off a new wireless charging stand and the latest version of its Android operating system, known as Android Pie, which features new AR capabilities and upgrades to its voice assistant. 

Read: Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL: Rumored specs, features, leaks, price, release date

The most recent version of Google’s Pixelbook, from 2017. 

Josh Miller/Techhnews

Again, Google hasn’t formally anything beyond the date of its event. Everything here remains squarely in the category of rumor.  But we’ve collected what we think we know about Google’s forthcoming tablets and convertibles below, and we’ll continue to update this article regularly with news and rumors. 

Editors’ note, Oct. 4: This post was originally published on Sept. 21, and will continue to be updated with news and rumors about the Google Pixel Slate.  

Rumor: One or two new Chrome tablets

We don’t know whether Google is developing one, two or perhaps more new Chrome tablets. That noted, the codenames Nocturne and Atlas have been mentioned by multiple sources. They could be the same device, two separate devices or completely made-up. The Chrome Unboxed article posits that one of them could be a Surface Pro-like tablet with slim bezels, a high-resolution display and an attachable keyboard. But we’ve also seen photos of what looks like a lower-end convertible tablet.

Read: Everything we expect at Google’s Oct. 9 event

Rumor: One will be called the Google Pixel Slate

An Android Police reporter says that one of the new Chrome OS tablets, codenamed “Nocturne,” will be called the Google Pixel Slate. Sounds plausible. And the reporter is credible.

Rumor: Intel Core i7 CPU onboard

Chrome Unboxed, which has been trafficking in Google tablet rumors for months, reports that the Phone Arena blog has found purported specs and benchmark results for the Pixel Slate. GeekBench’s Android benchmarking app shows multiple results for a variety of “Google Nocturne” machines running an array of Intel processors — including a dual-core eighth-gen Core i7-8500Y — and, in some cases, 16GB of RAM.

Rumor: The full Android Pie experience

The same Chrome Unboxed article notes that the “Nocturne” GeekBench instances show a Google machine running the newest version of the company’s mobile operating system, Android 9 — currently available only on Pixel phones as well as the OnePlus 6 and the Essential phone. If Google unveils a new flagship tablet on Oct. 9, it’s quite possible that it would run the newest version of its OS. 



Rumor: Conventional Chromebook design

Previously, Chrome Unboxed had published images of what it said was a Facebook ad showing a sleek Google tablet with very slim bezels — consistent with what we’d expect to see from the second edition of the premium Pixelbook. Frankly, the images looked a bit like stock photography — and a few weeks on, we haven’t seen additional images or information that suggests a high-end device. Instead, we’re seeing more leaked photos of convertible tablets that look a whole lot like those we’ve seen before in the budget Chrome OS convertible-tablet category. Of course, there could be more than one device in the pipeline.

Rumor: Round keys


Perfectly round keys.

Chrome Unboxed

Previously, Chrome Unboxed published a video showing a “Surface Pro type of detachable” connected to a distinctive keyboard. The section of keyboard shown includes a few volume buttons, some number keys and one or two other keys — all of which appear to be perfectly round. Apart from those circular keys, however, the tablet’s design is consistent with the newer images we’ve seen.

Rumor: It might also run Windows

The developer community has been trading rumors about “Campfire,” an update to Chromebook firmware that would allow people to securely boot the systems into Windows 10 in addition to Google’s Chrome OS. XDA Developers first noticed it mentioned within references to Google’s own Pixelbook, but has since seen enough code variations to imply that it will probably be supported for other manufacturers as well. Plus, the code changes are happening quickly enough that we might see it become available for Google’s big announcement scheduled for Oct. 9.

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