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Farewell, Pixel Slate: Google pulls the plug on future tablets

Google has confirmed that there will be no follow-up to last year’s 2-in-1 tablet

Google announced today that it will no longer be manufacturing tablets. Senior vice president of devices at Google, Rick Osterioh, confirmed the news on Twitter, explaining that while teams working on Android and Chrome OS will continue to develop new software, the hardware division will focus its efforts solely on laptops.

The statement was then corroborated by another from a Google representative speaking to Gizmodo, who explained that “for first-party hardware efforts, [Google] will be focusing on Chrome OS laptops”. The representative continued to say that owners of the Google Pixel Slate will continue to receive support in the form of software updates.

Google hasn’t actually released a new tablet since the Pixel Slate back in October 2018. At the time, our resident expert Jonathan Bray felt that the device was “not quite the finished article,” a sentiment made particularly frustrating by the fact that Google clearly had the knowhow to produce a cracking 2-in-1 machine.

According to a report published by Computerworld, however, Google had at least two new Pixel tablets in the pipeline, both of which were in very early stages of development. So early, in fact, that they didn’t even have their own codenames: all we know about the abandoned Pixel Slates is that they were both true tablets, smaller in size than their imperfect older sibling.

There’s little point obsessing over what could have been, but it’s worth noting that the original Pixel Slate clearly received a mixed reception at launch; it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to suggest that in light of the middling reviews, Google took a long hard look at its hardware priorities.

In any event, Slate users can rest easy knowing that Google has no plans to drop support for their devices until at least 2024. Fans of the well-received Chrome OS/Android hybrid, moreover, will be pleased to hear that Google’s software developers will continue “working with partners on tablets for all segments of the market.”

And, by way of compensation for the Slates that never were, the Google spokesperson speaking to Computerworld also claimed that some Google Chromebook-related news could be on the horizon.

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