Whether you want to purchase a Google Pixel Slate M3 for work or play, you’ve likely had some questions about the tablet’s battery life, Pen compatibility, and display. In this review, we’ll address those questions and more. We’ll also discuss the price, so you can get an idea of whether it’s the right device for you. But first, let’s take a closer look at its specifications.
Pixel Slate m3 Performance
As a work machine, my time with the Pixel Slate reiterated one thing in my mind, Chrome OS currently only has one “workhorse” in the Lenovo C630.
In my day-to-day workflow, the machine saw the better part of a dozen tabs opened up, the Spotify web app constantly streaming tunes, and the occasional use of an Android app or two.
For the most part, the machine holds up to this. Sometimes when reloading pages, I also noticed Spotify would randomly pause playback. I’d say probably not. By comparison, this same workflow on the PIxelbook, which also has 8GB, doesn’t cause the same problems for me. More than likely, it’s bottlenecking with the m3 chipset.
For lesser workflows, though, the Pixel Slate m3 performs brilliantly. As I write this piece with just a handful of tabs open and no secondary monitor plugged in, the machine handles it like a champ with no slowdowns to mention.
I also spent some time with the device as a tablet solely and the performance is more than adequate there. I’m still not a fan of Chrome OS without a keyboard and mouse, but the machine handled web browsing and Android apps without much fuss. There were some dropped frames from time to time and still a little bit of lag when using features like multi-tasking and multi-window.
Between the upgraded processor and the software improvements Google has made, the Pixel Slate m3 is capable as a tablet, it’s still just not great.
Is it worth buying?
When it comes to the performance of the Pixel Slate m3, I think users are getting a capable product. It works well enough for most tasks, but anything beyond a relatively basic workflow is going to demand a more spec-heavy model.
In my personal opinion, I don’t think the Pixel Slate is really worth its asking price at any point. The $600 price point was compelling, but at $800, nearly $1000 with any keyboard added on, I’d much more quickly recommend a Pixelbook or Lenovo C630 to someone looking to get work done. For those who need a tablet form factor, it’s really hard to tell anyone to buy this over an iPad, especially given the enhancements coming with “iPadOS.”
The Pixel Slate is a product that’s never going to have true mass appeal, but it’s basically perfect for the right user. Who’s that right user? In my eyes, it’s someone who’s constantly jumping between working environments. For that user, there is literally nothing better out there compared to the Pixel Slate.
The Pixel Slate m3 seems leaps and bounds better compared to what we saw from the Celeron model, and it’s a much better base model for Google to be advertising. If you’re interested in picking one up, the Pixel Slate m3 is available at the Google Store, B&H Photo, and Amazon.
The past several days I’ve been using the Pixel Slate have been my first experience with the product, so I’ve got some thoughts on the overall hardware too. As mentioned, stay tuned for a full revisit coming soon from Stephen Hall.
- The display on the Pixel Slate is simply excellent. I don’t miss the 120Hz from my iPad Pro 10.5, although the Slate’s size is a bit unwieldy for use as a tablet.
- Google nailed the audio experience on this product. The front-facing speakers are clear, full, and loud. Plus, they actually face directly at you. It’s a massive improvement over the Pixelbook, though lacks a bit of the bass from Apple’s iPad.
- Pixel Slate’s official keyboard accessory is such a mixed bag. Even when used on a tabletop, the round keys throw off my typing speed and accuracy dramatically, although I’ve slowly been adjusting to it. Those negatives aside, the key travel, responsive trackpad, and adjustable angles are all big highlights. I’d recommend giving the Brydge keyboard a chance first, though.
- Battery life seems pretty great. I never actually killed the device when using it off the charger, even on one day when I was running the second monitor without any power plugged in. Another notable test came from using the device mainly as a tablet for a video where it easily lasted roughly 6 hours on barely half of a charge while streaming video and music at full volume.