At last year’s October event, Google gave us a brief glimpse of its Pixel Tablet, confirming a long-running rumor that the company would let its next tablet moonlight as the Nest Hub. It primarily aims to be a portable tablet and Nest Hub-like smart display in one.
Now, SnoopyTech — a leaker with a proven track record — has provided product shots from the Pixel Tablet dock tipster calls the “Google Pixel Tablet Stand.” Whether or not this is the official name is but as utilitarian as the brand name sounds, it seems plausible given that Google actually makes a product simply called the “Pixel Stand”.
Google Pixel Tablet Stand pic.twitter.com/YFH6tf9ooBMarch 23, 2023
As you can see from the images embedded in the tweet above, it really looks like someone took the Nest Hub and cut off the screen.
For comparison, here’s what the Nest Hub Max looks like:
The fabric-covered stand/speaker combo includes a flat, angled bead-shaped surface that the tablet magnetically snaps into while charging on its four exposed pogo pins. A single port on the back ensures that the accessory is minimalistic.
Notably, it looks a lot like the Pixel tablet and dock that appeared on the Facebook Marketplace last year.
Meet Hub mode
Thanks to the latest apk dive from 9to5Google (Opens in a new tab)We also have an idea of how the Pixel Tablet will perform when connected to the dock. Digging into the Google Home app, the site found that the Pixel Tablet enters “Hub Mode” when docked, enabling features such as the ability to cast content.
The site also found a string called “people_devices_hubmode_answer”, which appears to match the owner of the tablet for voice commands. “Everyone else will be treated as a guest,” he adds.
The dock itself appears to be treated as a speaker within Google Home, with the ability to map it to a room as you would any other smart home device in the app. Hopefully, this means you’ll be able to purchase more than one device to hold your tablet while you’re on the go from around the house.
Before the iPad and HomePod
The only thing we know about the Pixel Tablet’s release date is that it’s tied to this year. But with Google I/O 2023 confirmed for May 10th, it wouldn’t be entirely surprising if it arrived sooner rather than later.
While Google wouldn’t be the first company to create a dock that turns a tablet into a smart speaker—Amazon experimented with a ‘Show Mode Charge dock’ that turns the Fire TV into portable Echo Shows—adding a chunky speaker to the equation could be a game-changer. .
But there may be competition coming. Last year, it emerged that Apple was also testing ways to turn iPads into smart displays for the home.
This could be a catch: While Apple only has the HomePod and HomePod mini in the smart home space right now, there are an awful lot of iPads out there in the world — it is, after all.
If a Pixel Tablet release is imminent, Google has a head start here, given the HomePod with a screen He reportedly backtracked to the year 2024 (Opens in a new tab). Hopefully, Google’s take on the Pixel Tablet will be strong enough to ensure that Apple pulls out all the stops with its own offering.
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