Google has a long and complicated history, with tablets coming back up to the Motorola Xoom, the first officially sanctioned Android slate. He has released some tablets under the Nexus and Pixel lineup, including the new Pixel Slate. However, Google's hardware team is throwing sponge on tablets. Instead, it will focus exclusively on the form factors of laptops.
The news first broke out as unverified report in Computerworld, but Google spokespersons then confirmed the basic details. A few hours later, Rick Osterloh, head of hardware at Google, is presented on Twitter with additional details. In his tweet, Osterloh says that Google still supports its partners who make tablets running Android or Chrome OS. However, this is no longer on Google's roadmap.
So you can stop hoping for a Pixel Slate 2. This device was launched last year to present unenthusiastic reviews, citing poor performance, bulky design and a high price. Apple is continually improving the iPad, so there's still plenty of room for high-end Chrome devices like the Pixel Slate. On the Android side, Samsung is the only company that is seriously trying to sell high quality tablets. Nowadays, most Android tablets are extremely cheap portals, like Amazon Fire devices.
That's right … Google's HARDWARE team will only be dedicated to building laptops, but make no mistake, the Android and Chrome OS teams are 100% committed to the long term by working with our partners on tablets for all segments of the market. (consumer, business, education)
– Rick Osterloh (@rosterloh) June 20, 2019
Google's first foray into Chrome tablets will be the last, but other device makers will likely continue with Chrome OS. Android should have been a more viable tablet operating system, but Google never did what it took to get its iPad in order. At least Chrome OS has more features and can work as a desktop computer with a connected keyboard Google aggressively adds operating system optimized features for tablets and can run Android applications. This has made Chrome OS devices popular in the world of business and education.
This change in strategy means that the Google tablet team is dissolved. Most of these engineers will join the Pixelbook team and their tablet projects have the essentials. Google apparently had two Chrome tablets in preparation. Both would have been smaller than Pixel Slate with launch windows in 2020. Now they will never see the light of day.
If you absolutely must own a Pixel slate, you can buy one from Google from 800 USD. It will continue to work and get updates, which are automatic with Chrome OS. Nevertheless, you might want to wait until the inevitable fire breaks out.