Pixel Pill vs iPad 10th Gen: which is finest?
And with that, there’s a Pixel Tablet. First teased in 2022, the 10.3in tablet was officially revealed at the Google I/O keynote in May 2023. With it, Google is again in the tablet business, and we got an immediate Pixel Tablet vs iPad 10th Gen smackdown. Designed especially for playing games and watching videos, the Pixel Tablet is more entry-level than luxury, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The Pixel Tablet offers a 2560×1600 LCD display, with even bezels on all sides and a matte back. With an aluminum frame and a nano texture coating, the tablet looks a little plasticky (but it’s not). The Pixel 5 smartphone rocked a similar texture.
In a small attempt, perhaps to move tablet computing to another level, Google has added a magnetic charging speaker dock inside the Pixel Tablet box. It’s an exciting move, and it will be interesting to see if other manufacturers (hello, Apple) follow.
The speaker aside, the Pixel Tablet doesn’t offer all that many surprises. It’s a budget slate with Android. Let’s see how it compares to the iPad 10th Gen – a tablet it no doubt hopes to compete with.
Design & build: surprisingly similar
As it often does, Google plans to release the Pixel Tablet in three mostly muted colors: porcelain, hazel and rose. The magnetic speakers with the tablet largely match those colors – although only the hazel one uses the same color on the top. It’s an odd choice, but it will probably make more sense after we get a hands-on review of it.
The overall Pixel Tablet measures 258x169x8.1mm, with a weight of 493g. It comes packed with 8GB RAM, and 128GB or 256GB of storage. Elsewhere, you’ll find a fingerprint unlock built into the power button. The tablet also has various sensors built within it: ambient light, accelerometer, gyroscope, magneto meter, and a hall sensor.
The iPad 10th Gen, launched in late 2022, is available in silver, pink, blue, and yellow, with 64GB or 256GB of storage (and 4GB RAM). At 477g, it’s a little lighter than the Pixel Tablet, and slightly smaller at 248.6×179.5x7mm. Authentication similar to the Pixel Tablet is available via the power button. In this case, Touch ID. Sensors include a three-axis gyro, ambient light, accelerometer, and barometer.
Screen & sound: finally, something unique
Undoubtedly, Google looked closely at the iPad 10th Gen when it designed the Pixel Tablet, especially regarding the display. It took that information and created something similar.
The display on the Pixel Tablet measures 10.95in (278.13mm) across with 2560×1600 resolution (276 PPI) and 500 nits brightness with full 24-bit depth. Its touchscreen display offers an anti-smudge coating, too. By contrast, Apple’s budget tablet provides a slightly smaller 10.9in display with a 2360-by-1640 pixel resolution at 264 PPI. It also includes 500 nits brightness and fingerprint-resistant coating.
On the audio side, there’s no denying that Google’s decision to include a magnetic charging speaker with the Pixel Tablet could be a game changer. The 43.5mm full-range speaker includes 15W maximum charging. As a bonus, you can see a slideshow of your Google Photos albums when docking the speaker to the tablet. In ‘Hub Mode’, the speaker also works with your tablet to provide smart home controls and hands-free Google Assistant help. The tablet includes a quad-speaker audio system with three microphones for calls and recordings. There’s also a noise suppression feature.
Although slightly more dated, the iPad 10th Gen sound offering isn’t to be quaffed at – two landscape speakers and two microphones provide sound in/output.
Cameras: there’s a winner
Although smartphones will always have superior cameras compared to tablets, larger devices are gradually incorporating new features that surpass those of their predecessors.
It’s worth noting that the front- and rear-facing cameras of the Pixel Tablet are identical, boasting 8MP and a ƒ/2.0 aperture, fixed focus, 84-degree field of view, and 1/4in image sensor size.
Moreover, most of the camera features on the Pixel Tablet are similar to those on Pixel smartphones. These features include a magic eraser and photo unblur, panorama, manual white balancing, long exposure, and a locked folder. Additionally, there are other features like night sight, top shot, portrait light, frequent faces, and live HDR+. The front-facing camera also offers a portrait mode.
For video, the Pixel Tablet offers 1080p video recording at 30 FPS on both cameras. You will also find video stabilization, Live HDR+, auto time-lapse, and more.
On the other hand, the iPad 10th Gen also has some impressive camera features. The 12MP rear camera with a ƒ/1.8 aperture and digital zoom of up to 5x is commendable. The front camera is also notable, with a landscape ultrawide camera with ƒ/2.4 aperture and 2x zoom out. Apple-specific features like Center Stage and Smart HDR 3 for photos are included.
The iPad 10th Gen has impressive video capabilities. With its 4K video recording support, users can capture footage at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps. It also supports 1080p HD video recording at 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps. Other features include 3x zoom, time-lapse video with stabilization, and slo-mo video support.
Performance & battery: Android vs iPadOS is real
The Pixel Tablet comes with Android 13 installed, but it will receive an update to Android 14 later this year. Google has also reassuringly committed to providing software updates for the next five years. We saw the Tensor G2 processor pop up in devices such as the Pixel 7A, Pixel 7, and 7 Pro. Google says the Pixel Tablet can last up to 12 hours of video streaming on a single charge, but is only currently available with Wi-Fi connectivity.
The iPad 10th Gen is banking on an A14 Bionic chip and 4GB of memory. This chip is similar to the one in the iPad Air 4 and iPhone 12 series. Apple claims the iPad’s battery can last up to 10 hours with video streaming on a single charge, and the current iPad is available in both Wi-Fi and cellular options. All the latest version of iPadOS work with the iPad, and should support future versions for many years to come. That’s assuming Apple sticks with past practice, that is.
The Pixel Tablet starts at $499/£599 for the 128GB version and $599/£599 for the 256GB version. It’s available for pre-order now, with the first shipments going out the door in June. The iPad 10th Gen currently costs $449/£499 for the 64GB version, and up to $599/£679 for the 256GB model.
Verdict: Pixel Tablet vs iPad 10th Gen
Until we can give the Pixel Tablet a run for its money with a dedicated review, we can’t say that one is better than the other just yet. But there is much to love about the Pixel Tablet. The specs say it has a better camera system overall, which makes sense since this is a Google product. It’s also more reasonably priced, and includes that promising-looking magnetic charging speaker. And simply being a newer device means the Google tablet has some built-in advantages that happen over time, like battery and memory improvements.
Ultimately, there are more than specs that will determine whether or not the Pixel Tablet will successfully compete with the iPad 10th Gen, however. Apple is a tablet leader, and how Google unceremoniously ditched the Pixel Slate (and the tablet market itself) a few years ago, shouldn’t be overlooked. There’s also the question of reliability. At least for now, the Pixel Tablet is an unknown quantity.