So that late July special of a free keyboard with the purchase of any Pixel Slate is over. If you missed it and have any regrets, you’ve got a second chance: Purchase either the $199 Pixel Slate Keyboard or the $159 Brydge G-Type keyboard (currently $30 off) and Google will drop $250 off on a Pixel Slate.
Unlike the last deal, which only lasted a week, this one is good until August 18. And the Pixel Slate prices are back to their current levels of $799, $999 and $1,599 based on the processor, memory and storage configurations.
To be sure, the Pixel Slate hasn’t been considered a success. After getting hammered in most of the early reviews – from non-full-time Chromebook users, I might add – most of the key issues weren’t fixed on the device for several months. The ill-performing Celeron model was discontinued. And, of course, Google has decided it won’t build any more tablets.
But the Pixel Slate is a far better device now than when it first launched. Virtual desktops are a great productivity booster and the laggy tablet animations that nearly every review focused on have been addressed.
Project Crostini, also known as the Linux beta for Chrome OS has continued to improve, gaining features such as USB device support, a full backup and restore function, and GPU hardware acceleration for many devices.
Is the Android experience any better? No, not really. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you’re considering a Pixel Slate as an Android tablet replacement, I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, pick up a low-cost Amazon FireHD device and “Google-ize” it or consider one of the few brands that still make Android tablets: That new Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 with DeX mode, looks pretty sweet.
For desktop browsing and/or Linux use though? The Pixel Slate is a solid device, particularly if you only use a few Android apps or don’t mind that developers haven’t updated them for tablet use.
There are other and more powerful, Chromebooks out there that cost less than the Pixel Slate, so I’m not suggesting this is the best choice for everyone.
Instead, it’s a different option with a unique form factor that’s light and portable yet easily runs all day on a single battery charge. My point being: If you’re the type of user that prefers a thin and light Chrome OS experience, don’t let the early reviews scare you off, particularly during a sale.