It seems the closest we’ll get to a new Nest smart display this year will be a tag team consisting of the upcoming Google Pixel Tablet and a charging dock with a distinct Nest-like design. Will the duo make their debut at Google I/O next week?
The Tensor G2-powered Google Pixel Tablet looks to have a roughly 10.5-inch display (Google hasn’t revealed the exact specs yet), along with “smooth, rounded corners” and a “premium nanoceramic” finish.
That’s a fancy way of saying that rather than a big black slab, the Pixel Tablet will have a friendlier, homier look–very much in line with Google’s fabric-covered Nest speakers and displays, which are designed to blend in with your home decor.
Meanwhile, Google has pitched the optional Nest dock–which the company officially refers to as the “Charging Speaker Dock”–as a way of getting the most out of the tablet when you’re not actively using it.
Rather than leaving your tablet asleep and gathering dust when it’s not actually in your hands, the Charging Speaker Dock essentially turns the Google Pixel Tablet into an always-on smart display, complete with “easy control of [your] smart home devices,” not to mention a Nest Hub-style photo frame.
The dock itself has a fabric-covered design that looks almost identical to the bases of Google’s Nest Hub displays, while a series of magnets will hold the Pixel Tablet in place while (we’re told) making it easy to undock.
The Charging Speaker Dock will charge (natch) the Pixel Tablet, and it also has built-in speakers that provide “enhanced audio,” Google promises.
Among the details that Google hasn’t yet revealed about the Google Pixel Tablet and the Charging Speaker Dock is precisely when they’ll arrive, and how much they’ll cost.
For now, Google will only say that the Pixel Tablet and Nest dock will go on sale sometime this year. Would next week’s Google I/O keynote be a good time to announce a launch date? I sure think so, but the event might be overwhelmed by talk the Pixel Fold and Google’s AI-powered Bard, so who knows.
It’s also possible we’ll have to wait until Google’s 2023 hardware event, which usually takes place in October.
What about pricing? While Google hasn’t offered any details, one thing is for sure: The Google Pixel Tablet and Charging Speaker Dock combo will cost a heck of a lot more than the Google Nest Hub ($99) or the Nest Hub Max ($229).
The latest rumors claim the Google Pixel Tablet’s price will be somewhere in the €600-650 range, or roughly in the upper USD$600-low USD$700 ballpark, as 9to5Google reports.
Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices. You can follow Ben on Twitter.