If you wanted a new 2-in-1 or convertible from Google this year you’re out of luck — Google has passed the torch to its hardware partners for all things tablet-ish.
In June 2019, we heard that Google had scrapped any plans of making tablet devices going forward. Nobody was really surprised; the Pixel Slate showed that Google wasn’t really great at making a tablet that people wanted to buy and instead made a model that was big and powerful and as expensive as possible. It was the 13-inch iPad Pro version of Android/Chrome tablets.
It was cool, though. Google wasn’t bailing on tablets entirely — it would instead focus on making great convertible or 2-in-1 products like the Pixelbook so Android and Chrome would still be developed on an in-house design that would allow a focus on using software without a keyboard and trackpad. Except, not really: the Pixelbook Go, Google’s newest Chromebook, doesn’t fold over into any sort of tablet at all.
The Pixelbook Go isn’t a lot of things. It has no support for the Pixelbook Pen, no biometric options, and is as expensive as other products from companies like ASUS or HP that offer both. It was clearly designed to be light and portable and cute with its round corners and ribbed lower deck. And that’s great! Some company needs to make a Chromebook just like that and there are plenty of people who want a Chromebook just like that. But the omission of any sort of 180-degree hinge is a little puzzling since the original Pixelbook and almost every other Chromebook under the sun has one.
If you want a tablet that runs Android apps buy a Tab S6 and cherish it forever.
So it’s not like you can’t buy a Chrome tablet that runs your favorite Android apps. In fact, if that’s what you were looking for there are a lot better options than anything to come from Google recently. The problem is on the development side of things.
Maybe Google plans to sell the original Pixelbook or the Pixel Slate forever (it doesn’t). Maybe Google can just “wing it” when trying to optimize Android and Chrome for a more tabletized experience (it can’t). Maybe Samsung can carry the torch and do all the work that Google should be doing (no thanks). Or maybe it’s finally time to break down and buy an iPad if you really want a tablet since Google has cried uncle.
If you’re dead set on buying a tablet and want to stay with Android, buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab S6. It will last you for a good few years and then you can reassess the landscape.
The Best Tablet
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
$650 at Amazon
What a tablet should be
The Galaxy Tab S6 has a gorgeous design, an amazing display, and the power to chew through anything you can throw at it. It truly is the best Android tablet you can buy.