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Google Pixel Slate i5 Review: A Powerful and Versatile 2-in-1

Released in 2018, the Google Pixel Slate i5 stands out as one of the best premium 2-in-1 detachable tablets on the market. With its stunning 12.3-inch display, Intel Core i5 processor, and ability to transform into a makeshift laptop, it promises solid performance for both work and play.

But how does the Pixel Slate i5 hold up years later, and is it still worth the high price tag? I‘ve tested and reviewed this device extensively – here‘s everything you need to know in 2023.

Pixel Slate i5 Overview and Specs

When Google first unveiled the Pixel Slate lineup back in 2018, it arrived to lofty expectations. This slate-style detachable 2-in-1 was touted as Google‘s response to the coveted Microsoft Surface Pro. Premium build quality, gorgeous display panel, desktop-class Chrome OS software – could the search giant‘s hardware finally challenge the best Windows tablets?

Here‘s a quick rundown of the Google Pixel Slate i5‘s key specs and features:

  • Display: 12.3" LTPS LCD, 3000 x 2000 Resolution
  • Processor: Intel 8th-Gen Core i5
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Front Camera: 8MP
  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • Battery Life: Up to 12 Hours
  • Weight: 1.6 lbs

Design – Sleek and Sturdy Premium Tablet

The Pixel Slate turns heads with its clean, minimalist design. This is one sharply styled tablet, with an anodized aluminum back and glossy glass front surrounded by smooth rounded corners. It feels nicely dense and sturdy in hand without being overly heavy at just 1.6 lbs.

Google‘s attention to detail gives it an air of luxury unmatched by cheaper Chromebook competitors. Little touches like the grippy texture along its back panel, the hidded front-facing speakers, its glistening midnight blue frame – this is a tablet built to satisfy.

Its detachable keyboard folio case magnifies its versatility. The slate easily detaches as a standalone tablet yet still securely docks into this case thanks to sturdy pogo pin connectors.

Typing on this folio keyboard feels snappy and responsive despite its low profile design. While key travel could be slightly deeper for extended writing sessions, it works wonderfully for shorter email replies or taking notes during meetings on the go.

When it comes to ports, the Pixel Slate plays it minimalist like other premium tablets such as the iPad Pro. You get just two USB-C ports used for charging, data transfer and external display output. It‘s a shame there‘s no microSD slot for expandable storage.


  • Gorgeous premium design
  • Bright, vivid 3000 x 2000 display
  • Detachable keyboard folio case
  • Loud quad speakers


  • Few ports compared to laptops
  • No headphone jack
  • Keyboard sold separately

But otherwise, the Pixel Slate i5‘s hardware design knocks it out the park, rivaling the best tablets from Apple or Microsoft. Detachable form factor, sturdy build, light enough for comfortable handheld use – it nails the fundamentals.

Display – Crisp and Bright for Movies or Productivity

Few tablets can compete with the stunning quality of the Pixel Slate‘s 12.3 inch LTPS LCD screen. With a razor sharp resolution of 3000 x 2000 pixels, everything from text to images to videos appear wonderfully crisp. Its increased 3:2 aspect ratio means more vertical space for web pages and documents compared to most 16:9 tablets.

Up to 400 nits of brightness gives this panel plenty of leg room for comfortable outdoor visibility. Color reproduction quality is quite strong as well, covering 72% of the wider DCI-P3 gamut. That falls short of the iPad Pro‘s near full coverage but still impresses at this price range.

Whether binging Netflix shows or crunching through spreadsheets, the Pixel Slate‘s gorgeous display dazzles. This strength remains one of its biggest advantages years later. Competing Chromebook tablets like the Lenovo Chromebook Duet simply can‘t compare on pure image quality.

Touch responsiveness also feels snappy and accurate whether using gestures or stylus input. And the dual front-firing speakers flanking this screen pump out surprisingly loud, full audio without distortion even at max volume.

Overall if visual immersion ranks highly on your tablet priority list, the Pixel Slate i5‘s stunning 12.3 inch display should thrill.


  • 3000 x 2000 high resolution
  • Crisp, colorful images
  • Tall 3:2 aspect ratio
  • 400 nit peak brightness
  • Loud front speakers


  • No HDR support
  • Mediocre 72% DCI-P3 coverage

Performance – Capable But Showing Its Age

The Pixel Slate i5 model sports capable mid-range internals anchored by Qualcomm‘s older 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8200Y processor. This dual-core chip is no powerhouse lacking the multi-threaded prowess of modern Ryzen or M-series Apple silicon.

But thanks to a solid boost up to 3.9GHz speeds, the Core i5 here handles everyday productivity work smoothly. Juggling numerous Chrome browser tabs, streaming video, editing documents in Google suite apps – no sweat. Its integrated Intel UHD 615 graphics won‘t impress gamers but easily facilitate lighter 2D games or graphics work in apps like Adobe Lightroom.

Multitasking slows down a tad once you pile on too many demanding programs. And more intensive creative tasks in Photoshop start to push things. But overall the Pixel Slate i5 delivers reliable mid-tier performance that should satisfy casual users despite starting to show its age.

The standard 8GB RAM gives you breathing room to juggle numerous apps at once. And fast 128GB solid state storage ensures snappy boot ups and app loading. Just don‘t expect to store a massive local media library or run cutting edge programs.


  • Capable Core i5 dual-core CPU
  • Smooth everyday task handling
  • 8GB RAM for solid multitasking


  • Dated 8th Gen Intel processor
  • Struggles with demanding creative work
  • 128GB storage limits local media

Battery Life – Gets You Through A Workday

Tablet battery runtimes have thankfully improved over the years, but the Pixel Slate i5‘s stamina still holds up respectably by 2023 standards. Expect around 10 to 12 hours of mixed usage on a charge depending on your workload.

Of course blasting max screen brightness for video watching or intensive gaming will chop that down. But for more modest productivity work, this tablet should still get most users through a full day away from the charger.

Standby times are strong too if you need to keep background tabs and apps suspended over long breaks. And the Pixel Slate i5 supports fast charging: plugging in for just 15 minutes can yield 2 hours of extra runtime. Handy for topping up in a pinch if battery life runs short.


  • 10-12 hours mixed usage
  • Great standby drainage
  • 15min quick charge support


  • Falls short of newer tablets
  • Drains faster during gaming/video

Software – Chrome OS Productivity Done Right

The Pixel Slate i5 runs a desktop-class version of Google‘s Chrome OS software. That means better support for advanced multitasking and compatibility with Android apps versus traditional Chromebooks.

Fans of Google‘s pared back computing approach will feel right at home. The interface focuses apps into browser windows for simplified navigation. Central desktop search makes opening apps or finding files a breeze. And browser-based workflow aligned around Google Drive integration works swimmingly for document collaboration or classroom assignments.

Chrome OS has come a very long way since earlier days. Nowadays you can even download full-fledged Linux development environments or Steam for installing games. The operating system feels far more mature and versatile versus past iterations – perfect for the Pixel Slate‘s detachable 2-in-1 form factor.

Just don‘t expect full Windows or iPadOS flexibility quite yet. Lack of certain proprietary software support does remain a limitation. But if you live your digital life mainly through Chrome and Google Workspace cloud services, few computing platforms enable easier productivity than what Google offers here.


  • Slick desktop-class Chrome OS
  • Easy cloud collaboration
  • Great Google services integration
  • Now supports Linux/Android apps


  • Still lags Windows/macOS software support
  • Browser centric workflow not for everyone

Google Pixel Slate i5 vs. the Competition

The Pixel Slate i5 matched up well against rival Windows and iPad Pro tablets when new. But how does Google‘s premium Chrome OS detachable hold up versus newer models in 2023? Let‘s quickly compare.

Google Pixel Slate i5 vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 9

Microsoft‘s Surface Pro series still leads the way with the best Windows tablets. The latest Surface Pro 9 fixes its predecessors‘ glaring flaws – outdated processors and awful battery life.

You now get a super fast next-gen Intel 12th Gen Core i5 CPU thatruns laps around the Pixel Slate‘s aging 8th Gen chip. The Surface Pro 9 also nearly doubles the Google tablet‘s battery life while packing dedicated Thunderbolt 4 ports. It‘s frankly no contest for demanding professional users.

But the Pixel Slate i5 still holds some advantages. Its display resolution and speakers are superior despite its age. And fans ingrained into Google‘s services will find better cloud collaboration support through Chrome OS. The Pixel Slate i5 also costs hundreds less, if you can find it in 2023.

Google Pixel Slate i5 vs. iPad Pro 11

Apple‘s mighty M2 powered 2022 iPad Pro 11 remains the tablet to beat with its unmatched power efficiency. The Pixel Slate i5 simply can‘t touch its multi-core performance despite costing more.

Even the older 2018 iPad Pro with A12X Bionic still outperforms Google‘s tablet thanks to Apple‘s software/hardware optimization – not to mention way better creative app support. And the iPad Pro doubles battery life versus the Pixel Slate to near 20 hours.

Of course iPadOS still carries some compromises for desktop-class work compared to proper Chrome OS. But in terms raw computing muscle and polish, Apple leads the pack here. The Pixel Slate i5 only shines over standard iPad Air/iPad Pro models lacking ProMotion variable refresh rate displays.

Google Pixel Slate i5

  • Cheaper price
  • Superior speakers
  • Detachable 2-in-1 design

Surface Pro 9

  • Faster 12th Gen performance
  • Longer 15hr+ battery life
  • More ports with Thunderbolt 4

So if you need a premium tablet in 2023, newer models like the Surface Pro 9 or iPad Pro 11 outclass the Pixel Slate on raw power. But Google‘s 2-in-1 still holds up remarkably well years later for casual Chrome OS users on a budget.

Who Should Buy the Google Pixel Slate i5?

If you can find it discounted in 2023, getting the Google Pixel Slate i5 means reaping tremendous value. Budget-minded shoppers who still want a premium chrome OS tablet get sharp build quality and a stunning display for hundreds less than competing Windows or iPad Pro models.

Casual users will have no performance complaints thanks to capable Core i5 power perfect for web browsing, streaming media, light gaming, and everyday productivity tasks. Families will love the Pixel Slate i5‘s kid-friendly streamlined interface. And students can save cash without losing out much functionality for basic school work versus expensive laptops.

Just steer clear if you demand raw power above all else. While the Pixel Slate i5 handles everyday work with ease, its dated processor and mere 128GB of storage can‘t satisfy intensive creative projects, development work, heavy gaming, or massive local media libraries. You‘ll want a laptop or Surface Pro 8/9 instead.

But for everyone else seeking the best bang for buck premium detachable tablet, the Pixel Slate i5 still rocks in 2023 despite its age. This underrated, forgotten Google gem delivers beauty, versatility and reliable performance perfect for converting your workflow into life on the go.

Google Pixel Slate i5 on Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Pixel Slate i5 still hold up in 2023?

For lighter everyday tasks, yes – the Pixel Slate i5‘s dated Core i5 CPU handles web browsing, documents, media consumption without issue. Performance only really suffers during intensive gaming or pro creative work.

How does the Pixel Slate i5 compare to an iPad Pro?

The iPad Pro still outperforms the Pixel Slate i5 thanks to Apple‘s software/hardware optimization – not to mention way better creative app support and 2x the battery life. But iPadOS has compromises for desktop-class work compared to proper Chrome OS.

Is the Pixel Slate i5 good for students?

Yes – the Pixel Slate i5 delivers premium build quality plus decent Core i5 power at hundreds less than a laptop. Its kid-friendly Chrome OS workflow also makes it perfect for basic school assignments.

I hope you found this Pixel Slate i5 review helpful! Let me know if you have any other questions.