We're not sure who wished for a Google Pixel tablet, but there's a change one could be in the works, thanks to a newly approved patent.
The patent was potted by LetsGoDigital (opens in new tab), which then brought the dull illustrations to life with the help of frequent contributor Giuseppe "Snoreyn (opens in new tab)" Spinelli. There are no rumors of Google working on such a device right now, but its presence does offer an interesting insight into past and future Google products.
- Google Pixel 6 biggest upgrades just teased ahead of launch
- Check out the best tablets that you can buy today
- Plus: Google Maps is getting a major upgrade for cyclists
Google's design application (which you can check out in this PDF from LGD (opens in new tab)) was sent in March 2019, but the Japanese Patent Office only approved the design in June 2021. The design itself is pretty simple, just a rounded rectangular display with minimal bezels and no front-facing camera, and a gently curved back.
It doesn't look a million miles away from Apple's new iPad mini, which also sports reasonably slim bezels; a design we love, which you can read all about in our iPad mini 6 review.
Snoreyn's renders take the design template in the patent and add on flourishes from the Google Pixel 6, such as the sandy color, a punch-hole front camera, a USB-C port for charging and an Android 12-style Material You interface. It takes a fair bit of creative license with Google's original drawings but you have to admit it looks good.
Google has tried its hand at an Android tablet before, in the form of the Pixel C in 2015. It was a competent product, but neither Google nor any other Android tablet maker were able to break open Apple's grip on the market with its iPad family. And nobody has been able to break it since either, thanks to models like the iPad Pro and iPad Air.
If such a tablet were to be made, Google has another operating system it could use — Chrome OS. Clamshell and 2-in-1 laptops built by third-party companies and using the lightweight OS have found a niche in the education and business markets, so a tablet could complement these devices.
However Google did try this before, with 2018's 2-in-1 Pixel Slate. That was hardly what you'd call a success, with Google discontinuing it in 2019 (less than nine months after launch) and halting production of two follow-up models. Given the timing of the cancellation and the original filing of this patent, one might speculate that this patent actually refers to one of these canceled Pixel Slate models, and not something Google is actively developing.
While we've probably not got a Pixel tablet to look forward to any time soon (if at all), we've still got something exciting on the way from the company in the form of the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The features rumored for the two models would redefine Google's smartphones, including bigger batteries, more cameras, and the confirmation of larger, higher refresh rate displays and a new proprietary Tensor chipset.
In addition, there are also rumors of a Google Pixel Fold that could launch as early as this year. This would not be a tablet in the strictest sense. But if it takes the 7.6-inch book-fold form factor that is rumored, then it's a sign that Google's not given up on devices with larger displays just yet.