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The tablet industry just gained a new major player, with Google officially launching the Pixel Tablet. For years now, the tablet market has been dominated by Samsung and Apple, with other manufacturers sprinkled in for good measure.
On the other hand, Google's attempts at making a tablet have resembled a nauseating roller coaster ride, from the successful birth of the Nexus (I still have a Nexus 10 tucked away somewhere) to the death of the Google Pixel Slate in 2018. Now, the Google tablet's rebirth marks the start of a new era, one that may actually deserve your attention and money.
The Google Pixel Tablet is comparable to Apple's 10th-gen iPad, which launched in late 2022. But if you're in the market for a new tablet, how do you choose between the two? We explore the best features of both offerings below to help you make the ultimate buying decision.
Google Pixel Tablet
Apple iPad (10th Gen)
Google Tensor G2
Apple A14 Bionic
10.95-inch LCD at 2,560 x 1,600 (276 ppi)
10.9-inch Liquid Retina display at 2,360 x 1,640 (264 ppi) with True Tone
1. You want a tablet that doubles as a smart home hub
In most of the marketing images of the new Google Pixel Tablet, you'll notice how it's presented with a dock, which is a charging station and speaker that comes included with your purchase. That puts the whole 128GB bundle at a fair price of $499.
The dock enables the Pixel Tablet to double as a home hub, by using what's called Hub Mode, similar to how you could use an Amazon Fire tablet as an Echo Show. The regular iPad, alternatively, starts at $449 for the 64GB model and doesn't come with additional accessories.
When you dock and lock your Pixel Tablet, you can have it turn into a digital photo frame, use the built-in Google Voice Assistant to ask questions or play music, and even control compatible smart devices around your home. So when you're not using the tablet handheld, it can serve as a touchpoint for you to adjust things like the temperature of your Nest thermostat.
2. You need longer battery life
The Google Pixel Tablet features a 12-hour battery life when streaming video versus the 2022 iPad's 10-hour battery life. This ensures your tablet doesn't leave you hanging when you need it most, especially if you forget to dock it or have been out and about all day.
If two extra hours of battery life doesn't sound significant, count yourself lucky that you haven't been left hanging in the climax of a Succession episode thanks to a dead battery!
3. You like (or want) the benefits of an Android device
The iPad is known for its iconic, simplistic design inside and out, from the exterior hardware to iPadOS. But simplicity isn't for everyone; it may seem impersonal and boring to many. The Android operating system offers more customization options over the iPad, including the ability to sideload apps and creatively tweak the accent color of the overall UI.
Now that Google has honed its smartphone-making with its Pixel phones, it's putting all that experience into crafting an Android tablet with a (hopefully) better survival rate. Apple's iPad, on the other hand, has been a success in the tablet world for years -- and the 10th-generation iPad is its most refined model yet.
The iPad is to tablets what the iPhone is to smartphones, thanks to Apple's consistent and reliable execution. You know what you're getting with an iPad, and you know the risks of buying one, too. If you're looking for that tried-and-true tablet, and put "smart home features" second in the priority list, then the iPad is the better of the two.
2. A keyboard is important to you
While the Google Pixel Tablet comes with a dock, there's one thing missing that could make or break the tablet experience for many users: A keyboard. Google didn't announce a keyboard accessory for the Pixel Tablet during Google I/O, which is not to say it won't release one at a later date.
The 2022 iPad, in turn, is compatible with Apple's Magic Keyboard Folio, which is available for purchase separately. The drawback? The Magic Keyboard Folio will set you back an additional $249. (That's not to say that cheaper alternatives don't exist.) For anyone who likes to use their tablet as a simplified laptop or just loves having a keyboard for it, the iPad is the way to go.
3. You enjoy the Apple ecosystem
The Apple ecosystem is a cohesive, simple, walled garden where Apple devices just work seamlessly together, shunning all others. If you've already surrounded yourself with Apple products, like an iPhone, AirPods, AirTags, or a Mac, and are in the market for a new tablet, it may be in your best interest to invest in an iPad over an Android tablet, period.