Tablets Google Pixel Slate vs iPad Pro? (with keyboard)

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by lbdesign, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. lbdesign macrumors member


    Aug 8, 2016
    In looking at a portable WORK solution, I'm considering the new Pixel Slate with keyboard, vs an iPad Pro with keyboard. The keyboard experience really matters to me. A lot. But so does multitasking and real productivity. A good browser. Chrome extensions. Speed.
    I have an iPad Pro 12.9. I could get a keyboard and be done, but honestly I don't find iOS to be as productivity-friendly as ChromeOS. I use cloud services, mostly Google's suite, Dropbox and Evernote.
    I type. I receive and process docuements of all types and formats.
    What would you do? What factors matter to you? Do you do productivity work on either platform now, and what has your experience been?
  2. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    Ive found the Pixelbook to be very easy to do work on. If you get a Slate, don't get the 4gb version, though. Get as big as your wallet can allow, Chrome loves RAM.

    Mostly typing with some picture editing.
  3. lbdesign thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 8, 2016
    Yes, I can't work effectively on a 4gig ram Chromebook. Then again, most of those have slow processors too. But with browser extensions, ram seems essential.
    I can't believe in 2018 that ANYONE is shipping laptops or work machines with 4gig. Shame on Microsoft and the bunch of them.
  4. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    Oh, and let's hope they fix the BT on the second one.
  5. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    I have spent the good part of 2+ years working to get my 12.9 Pro+ASK+Pencil to be a suitable portable work solution. I had quite a bit of success, but in the end, particular limitations of iOS prevented it from hitting the mark.

    I recently bought a Google Pixelbook. It addressed all of the shortcomings I experienced with the iPad Pro, and although it has it's own set of limitations (primarily with the lack of a quantity of quality Android apps optimized for tablets) it is hitting the mark much better than the iPad Pro.

    I'm using the Pixelbook to replace both my Macbook Air and iPad Pro. For productivity, I need to use iWork, MS Office, and Google apps... and using the web versions of iWork and MS Office, I'm able to get work done.

    I need to use remote desktop apps to access Windows systems at work, and my iMac at home, and they work extremely well on the Pixelbook.

    The Apple Smart Keyboard was my favorite keyboard. Although I wasn't exactly a fan of the cloth covering, the light resistance of the keys was excellent. On the Pixelbook, the resistance is stiffer but having traditional style keys makes up for it.

    As an ultrabook, it extremely capable. This thing is a beast (in a good way) and plows through everything that I've thrown at it without breaking a sweat.

    As a tablet, the aspect ratio is perfect, Android apps are adequate, and the thickness is not bad, but it is a bit heavy. I'm really looking forward to the release of Chrome OS 70 which will bring a more tablet-optimized UI experience.

    The comparably spec'd Pixel Slate setup will be $200 more than the MSRP of the Pixelbook. But if you plan on using your device primarily as a tablet, then I WOULD recommend the Pixel Slate. If tablet use is going to be secondary, then I'd recommend a Pixelbook... especially if you can find them on sale again.

    It sounds like you won't go wrong with either the Pixelbook or the Pixel Slate.
  6. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    Lots of good points here especially in regards to the cost of the Pixelbook vs. the Slate. As @sracer mentioned, the comparatively priced Slate will cost at least $200 more. I briefly owned a Pixelbook a few months ago and was able to get it for $674 (sales price plus student deal). If you’re primarily planning to use it in laptop mode, I’d grab a Pixelbook. The Slate will offer a slightly better tablet experience and the benefits of a fingerprint reader.
  7. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
    I don't know what kind of extension you use, but I have used an 11" Macbook Air with just 4GB of RAM driving an Apple cinema display in screen extension mode, with mutiple tabs of Chrome and mutiple spreadsheets in Excel, and it didn't seem to skip a beat. I have also used it for Final Cut Pro. I have a friend using the same model, but with Windows installed, and he never closes any Excel spreadsheet and Chrome tabs he opened (there are multiple dozens of them open to the point of ridiculousness imo), and the machine + Windows don't seem to mind. Then again, both are desktop OSes with memory compression tech and/or can swap to SSD if needed. So I'd say 4GB is still fine for most. I would question a browser/tablet OS that needs more RAM than a desktop OS to be "productive." One of the points of Chrome OS were supposed to be leaner than Windows.

    I would evaluate if you actually need a Chromebook and/or even a tablet. For serious typing experience, nothing beats an actual laptop, and at $600+, there are plenty of decent ultrabooks.
  8. lbdesign thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 8, 2016
    I spent over $3000 on a MBP with the divisive butterfly keyboard, and can't type well on it. It's the bane of my (computing) existence.

    As to RAM, I multitask, I use a lot of tabs, and a lot of developer extensions. My Macs work better at 16gig of ram. 4gig on a Mac wasn't enough 10 years ago. It's certainly not enough today.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 15, 2018 ---
    Thanks so much for your generous help! Great insights here. Yes, the hinged laptop form factor is better overall for me. A floppy tablet/keyboard, ironically, can be used well in fewer ergonomic situations. And yes, iOS has serious limitations. I've been impressed by Chrome for years. Really interested in how it will grow in the future.

    If I can find a Pixelbook on sale, that'd be great. Although I'm suspicious they will surprise us with a revised model soon. I have a history of buying things a month before they are refreshed, so I'm trying to hold back!
  9. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
    Wait, so you feel 16GB is not enough, yet you’re looking for a Chrome OS tablet.

    Yeah, sure. :roll eyes:
  10. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    That's not what I think he said. I think he's saying 4gb isn't enough.
  11. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    Browser extensions eat a minimal amount of memory. If they don't, something is deeply wrong with the extension.

    If typing experience matters, I would just buy a 60% size mechanical keyboard and hook that up via Bluetooth or USB. Tablet keyboards are by comparison just different levels of crap that you put up with because they are slim. As someone also suffering from the MBP 2016+ keyboard, my ideal device at this point would be something like the Surface Pro with a mechanical keyboard plugged in.

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10 October 12, 2018