GOOGLE HAS CONFIRMED that it has abandoned plans for a successor to the Pixel Slate, its 2-in-1 convertible tablet released last year.
The company was working on two next-generation Chrome OS tablets, both smaller than the Slate, which were slated (arf) for 2020. Now, neither will ever reach the release stage.
The company will continue to support the Pixel Slate as part of its promise to keep all Chrome OS devices running for five years. However, any future devices will be the more traditional laptop format, fuelling renewed speculation that a Pixelbook 2 is finally in the works.
Google's hardware lead confirmed the decision on Twitter:
Hey, it's true...Google's HARDWARE team will be solely focused on building laptops moving forward, but make no mistake, Android & Chrome OS teams are 100% committed for the long-run on working with our partners on tablets for all segments of the market (consumer, enterprise, edu)— Rick Osterloh (@rosterloh) June 20, 2019
It's thought that the two abandoned devices weren't 'good enough' from a quality point of view and so the decision was made to just scrap the lot.
Last year's Pixel Slate wasn't the hottest property in town, garnering mediocre reviews for its implementation of Chrome OS, with reviewers saying that it simply wasn't ready for the tablet form factor. It wasn't completely... erm... slated though (that's enough Slate jokes) as the hardware design was applauded.
As such, the pressure was always on to make any successor damn near perfect, and it seems the conclusion was that it just wasn't going to cut the proverbial mustard. With a Pixelbook 2 almost certain this year, given the two-year wait since the last one, most of the staff working on the abandoned projects have been moved to work on that.
The "Made By Google" range has had mixed success over the years as it has attempted to create an Apple-esque flagship programme. Generally, the Pixel phone range, for example, has received a warm reaction from critics and commentators, but that hasn't translated into sales.
Earlier this year, a number of Pixel engineers were redeployed, fuelling speculation about its future. μ
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