+ Friday October 18th, 2019

The Android tablet died a long time ago — although some manufacturers keep trying to make it happen. Even Google stopped making tablets until we saw them release the Pixel Slate last year. This one though ran Chrome OS with the ability to run Android apps. Now it looks like Google are stopping production of all tablets, Android, Chrome OS or otherwise.

The Pixel Slate was seemingly priced beyond what most people wanted to pay for a detachable Chromebook and along with that it was beset with a number of bugs and issues resulting in apparent poor sales. Computerworld has reported that Google has scrapped the two tablets it had in development instead focusing on the laptop form factor instead.

Of course this report, and acknowledged by Computerworld itself, is ambiguous in itself. What is Google’s definition of a tablet? Does it consider the Pixel Slate a tablet? Apparently Google’s definition of a tablet is a “device that detaches completely from a keyboard base or doesn’t even have a physical keyboard in the first place”. If true the Pixel Slate is considered a tablet but the Pixelbook a laptop — convertible laptops are still laptops funnily enough.

A Google spokesperson confirmed these details to Computerworld with many of the engineers working on the tablets already being moved into the laptop section.

The two new tablets that have been scrapped were not very long in their development and it is not unusual for companies to begin development of products only to scrap them before they see the light of day. The salient point though is that apparently Google will no longer be in the tablet market — it will continue to support the Pixel Slate though. This was confirmed by Google’s SVP of Devices and Services Rick Osterloh not long ago:

This doesn’t stop other manufacturers from making their own Chrome OS tablets especially given the emphasis on ‘hardware’ by Rick Osterloh and the confirmation Computerworld received. Google will most likely continue to work on the work on the tablet form factor on the software side but will just be making any of their own in the foreseeable future.

It seems we are back to the status quo from prior the Pixel Slate introduction — tablets are out, laptops are in.

This doesn’t mean Android is done with tablets. Android Q will of course still support the tablet form factor among others.

Source: Computerworld.

Scott Plowman   Editor

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Scott is our modding guru - he has his finger on the pulse of all things ‘moddable’, pointing us towards all the cutting edge mods hacks that are available. When he’s not gymming it up, or scanning the heck out of Nexus devices, you'll find him on the Ausdroid Podcast.

Outside of Ausdroid, Scott's a health care professional and lecturer at a well known Victorian university.

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Jamie
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Jamie

I got a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2016) for $100 off Gumtree a few months back, it’s stuck on Oreo, but I love it. Manufacturers should stick to making 10″ Android tablets only, 7-8″ is not big enough when you consider most phones now are between 5″ and 6.5″. Bring down the price, too. I honestly reckon that if a company started making a sub-$400 10″ Android One tablet (with the standard two years of updates), with 2GB of RAM minimum, 32GB storage minimum, SD card support, and a default/native portrait orientation (I’m so sick of landscape oriented Android… Read more »

Tibb So
Ausdroid Reader
Tibb So

I’ve got the same or similar tablet (Tab A6 10.1 4G version P585Y with S-Pen). Mine is also stuck on Oreo (8.1) with November 2018 security patch. It is a good tablet and it still functions perfectly so there is no reason it wouldn’t be usable with Android P or even Android Q but Samsung would never allow that. I agree that more of these tablets at a decent price should be available but I’d go further and say they should have easy access to Android updates as long as the hardware still works. All mobile & tablet devices should.… Read more »

Jeni Skunk
Ausdroid Reader

My own tablet is the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2016) 4G/LTE with S Pen P585, and I’ll be very sorry when it finally fails. It’s a tablet that got so much correct, that its discontinuation and replacement with less capable models feels stupid and shortsighted by Samsung. I agree with most of what you say, however, default orientation being portrait for a 10.1in 1080p tablet wastes the screenestate of the tablet. Landscape should be the default orientation for such a tablet. A 10.1in 1080p 4Gb\64Gb Android One tablet, with microSD, would indeed be brilliant. If it also had S… Read more »

Tibb So
Ausdroid Reader
Tibb So

Samsung make very good Android tablets, the Tab S4 LTE being an excellent example and if Samsung continue developing DeX as they have, their Tab range could have a very interesting future. Maybe an Android tablet booting a desktop version (DeX) could be a better offering than a ChromeOS tablet booting an Android version.

Sadly, Samsung are beyond crap when it comes to software updates for their Tablets and because of this you will end up abandoning a Samsung tablet long before the hardware let’s you down. Samsung probably wants it that way.

Mathew
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Mathew

I use my Pixel C on a daily basis. The magnetic detachable keyboard also acts a screen protector.

Lenovo is most likely the brand I will replace it with, but I can hope for a Nokia table.

chris
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chris

My surface pro and go do that and i love it. They simply can’t compete with a full function machine like those when their prices are the same.

Darren
Ausdroid Reader
Darren

My Nexus 9 is pretty long in tooth but still used almost daily. Not really sure what to replace it with when it dies, but it may end up being a Samsung tab.

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