Google Pixel Slate Intel Core m3 vs i5: Use the $200 savings to buy a keyboard

I spent a month with the Intel Core i5 Pixel Slate, then sold my Pixelbook to buy myself a Core m3 model. Readers have been wondering if you give up performance, as well as storage, for that $200 savings.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

As I approached one month with the Google Pixel Slate, I placed an order for my own Intel Core m3 model while my Pixelbook sold on Swappa. There have been a lot of questions about the performance difference in these two models and after a few days I have yet to find any noticeable differences and am pleased that I was able to save $200 and get the Brydge G-Type keyboard with a total cost of the combo less than the Core i5 Pixel Slate.

While I wanted a way to try to answer reader and listener questions about the Core m3 vs i5 models, it was Marques Brownlee that motivated me to create a video showing the performance of each of these models of the Pixel Slate. MKBHD posted a Google Pixel Slate review, but it wasn't until minute 6 out of 9:32 that we learned he had purchased the cheapest Pixel Slate with just 4GB of RAM and an Intel Celeron processor for $599. 

I would love to have seen the title of his review make it crystal clear he tested the cheapest Pixel Slate as the current title leads one to believe that all models of the Pixel Slate are garbage and that is not what I, and others, have experienced.

Marques was impressed with the hardware of the Pixel Slate and said it had the potential to be a great laptop, but he showed a lot of lag in the device. Given that the Chromebook Pixels of the past and last year's Pixelbook were high end machines for die-hard Google Chrome OS fans, it may have been a mistake for Google to release a low end device without some major caveats.

Also: Pixel Slate review: Google tablet vs iPad or Surface? It's beyond compare

The Intel Celeron model is available with 4GB and 8GB RAM options so it is possible paying $100 more for twice the RAM might have helped with some of the lag issues seen by Marques. My MoTR podcast co-host, Kevin Tofel, is a Chromebooks expert who teaches me about these devices. He also wrote up an article on the Celeron model and points out that comparing a $599 Pixel Slate to a $999 Apple iPad isn't an apples-to-apples comparison.

While the Pixel Slate is being sold as a tablet, it is a Chromebook first with a focus on the full desktop version of the Google Chrome browser while Apple has spent years refining the Apple iPad as a tablet first device that has limited functionality as a desktop alternative.

In my video I tried to perform some of the same things as Marques with multiple apps and Chrome tabs running, scrolling on text and video heavy web pages, rotating between portrait and landscape. As you can see in my video, there isn't any real difference in performance between the m3 and i5 models while both perform as fast as one would like and expect.

I'm not trying to convince anyone to buy a Pixel Slate over an iPad or Surface Pro device since we each have our own needs and desires. However, for me, the Pixel Slate is nearly perfect and has performed like a champ since the day I started testing out the evaluation unit. I have no regrets with my Core m3 model and look forward to more extensive testing over the coming weeks and months.

Also: G-Type Keyboard for Pixel Slate hands-on: Brydge's solution perfects Google's tablet

Google Pixel Slate review: in pictures

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