Since Google sent the Core i5 model of the Pixel Slate to reviewers, there haven’t been many reviews to see how the other four configurations work. As I said in my review, I think the $799 Core m3 version will be hit the sweet spot for the majority of Chrome OS users looking at the Pixel slate, but what about the $599 and $699 Celeron models?
This video review shows off the base Celeron Pixel Slate, which comes with 4GB of memory and 32GB of storage; for an extra $100, you can double both the RAM and storage capacity, which I’d recommend if you’re thinking about a Celeron-powered Pixel slate.
Much of the 23-minute video echoes the pros and cons of my Pixel Slate review as well as other reviews from mostly full-time Chrome OS users. But you can see the overall performance of the device both in desktop browser mode as well as tablet mode, plus using Android and Linux apps. And there are some benchmark comparisons early on.
I’m not terribly surprised by the slow rendering when resizing Android apps or the Google Play Store on this device. Nor does the overall performance look good enough for my needs. As mentioned in the video, you can get comparable performance from a $200 to $300 2-in-1 Chromebook.
So why does the base Celeron Pixel Slate start at $599 and what are you getting for that amount over the lower priced Chromebooks?
One immediate benefit is the 3000 x 2000 display, which is stellar, in my opinion. Audio quality will also be noticeably better on the Pixel Slate. Improved and easier user authentication is another plus for the Pixel Slate, thanks to its integrated fingerprint reader. And if you want a true slate form factor, you get that with the Slate; with a 2-in-1, the keyboard is still attached, although it’s out the way.
If you were thinking about buying a Celeron-powered Pixel Slate, should you? I wouldn’t because I know it can’t meet my needs of having enough horsepower for a fast experience in Chrome OS, Android, and Linux. But my needs aren’t necessarily your needs.
The first thing you should do is decide if you need a true tablet device; if you don’t you’re likely better served by a less expensive 2-in-1 device. Or you could spend that same $599 on a much more powerful 2-in-1 like the Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14, for example. The Core i3 inside the Dell is more of a desktop class chip and the device comes with 128 GB of storage or four times that of the base Pixel Slate. Plus the Dell includes a stylus; you’ll pay $99 for a Pixel Slate pen if that’s your jam.
Assuming you do want a tablet and not just the next shiny device, my recommendation is to clearly evaluate what you plan to use the device for and match those usage models with my Pixel Slate buyers guide.
Based on the Celeron performance shown in the video, if your needs are basic, this model should be fine. Keep your expectations in check, however, because if your use cases change — you want two dozen browser tabs while running a few Android apps at the same time — the base Celeron model won’t likely cut it.