A tablet-keyboard combo that’s ergonomic to the core

Google’s Pixel Slate can be teamed with a terrific keyboard for snappy work functionality

Google Pixel Slate with Intel Core, from £749, and Pixel Slate keyboard, £189
Google Pixel Slate with Intel Core, from £749, and Pixel Slate keyboard, £189 | Image: Hugh Threlfall

Once, while my MacBook was being repaired, I took an iPad Pro and associated Apple keyboard on a work trip to Gothenburg. En route I unexpectedly had to put together a text-heavy piece of work and suddenly the tablet-plus-wireless keyboard combo became a little irksome. Not having a keyboard trackpad and cursor was frustrating and having to rely on the Apple Pencil for marking out text and moving it around, while not impossible, was irritating and slow. 

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Google’s new Pixel Slate with its optional keyboard is not the most glamorous of road-warrior kit: it’s thicker and heavier than the latest iPad Pro and lacks the iPad’s top-of-class processing speed. Yet as a workaday hybrid laptop equivalent (ultra-tablet as they are sometimes called), it’s superior. Much of the advantage lies in the terrific keyboard, with a trackpad controlling a cursor and proper clicky keys that are lighted, which always makes me, er, delighted. There are also two USB-C ports, a fingerprint scanner and the benefit of Google Assistant, which is more agile than Siri. Non-Apple, non-Windows tablets normally suffer from having Android as the operating system, but the Pixel Slate has Chrome OS, which is more PC-like and supports Google Play, allowing you access to Android apps. The Pixel Slate is not a full PC, but it’s still more flexible and serious-work-friendly than an iPad. Do opt for the Intel Core versions, though. Functionality is noticeably snappier.

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