Google Pixel Slate M3 Review: A Comprehensive Analysis

The Google Pixel Slate M3 is an intriguing device that sits at the intersection of a tablet and a laptop, aiming to offer the best of both worlds. Released in 2018, this device was Google’s attempt to compete with the likes of Apple’s iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Pro series. In this detailed review, we will explore its design, performance, display, software, and overall value to determine if it lives up to its ambitious goals.

Design and Build Quality

The Google Pixel Slate M3 boasts a minimalist and sleek design that is both elegant and functional. The device is constructed with a sturdy aluminum chassis that gives it a premium feel, yet it remains relatively lightweight at 1.6 pounds (731 grams). Its dimensions (11.45 x 7.95 x 0.28 inches) make it portable and easy to carry around, fitting comfortably in most bags.

One of the standout features of the Pixel Slate is its stunning 12.3-inch Molecular Display, which has a resolution of 3000 x 2000 pixels. This results in a pixel density of 293 PPI, making text sharp and images vibrant. The display supports 72% NTSC color gamut and has a peak brightness of 400 nits, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The touchscreen is responsive and supports stylus input, which is great for artists and note-takers.


Under the hood, the Google Pixel Slate M3 is powered by an 8th Gen Intel Core m3-8100Y processor, paired with 8GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage. The Core m3 variant sits in the middle of the Pixel Slate lineup, offering a balance between performance and cost.

For everyday tasks such as web browsing, streaming videos, and working with office applications, the Pixel Slate M3 performs admirably. Chrome OS, the operating system running on the Pixel Slate, is well-optimized for such activities, ensuring smooth performance. However, when it comes to more demanding tasks like heavy multitasking or running intensive applications, the m3 processor shows its limitations. It is not intended for power users who require substantial processing power for tasks like video editing or 3D rendering.

Battery Life

Battery life is a crucial aspect for any portable device, and the Pixel Slate M3 does not disappoint. Google claims up to 12 hours of battery life on a single charge, and in real-world usage, it comes quite close to that figure. With moderate usage, which includes browsing the web, watching videos, and working on documents, the device comfortably lasts a full workday. Additionally, the Pixel Slate supports fast charging, allowing you to quickly top up the battery when needed.

Software and Ecosystem

The Google Pixel Slate runs on Chrome OS, which has come a long way since its inception. Initially seen as a lightweight operating system for basic tasks, Chrome OS has evolved into a more robust platform capable of running Android apps and Linux applications. This versatility makes the Pixel Slate a more attractive option for users who need a device that can handle a variety of tasks.

The integration of Google services is seamless, with features like Google Assistant, Google Photos, and Google Drive working effortlessly on the Pixel Slate. The ability to run Android apps from the Google Play Store expands the device’s functionality, allowing users to install their favorite apps and games. The support for Linux applications also opens up possibilities for developers and tech enthusiasts who need access to a more traditional desktop environment.

Keyboard and Pen

To truly utilize the Pixel Slate as a productivity device, the optional Pixel Slate Keyboard and Pixelbook Pen are essential accessories. The Pixel Slate Keyboard attaches magnetically and offers a full-sized, backlit keyboard with a dedicated Google Assistant key. The typing experience is comfortable, with decent key travel and spacing. The keyboard also includes a large trackpad that is responsive and supports multi-touch gestures.

The Pixelbook Pen, sold separately, is a pressure-sensitive stylus that is perfect for drawing, taking notes, and navigating the interface. It offers low latency and a natural feel, making it a valuable tool for creatives and professionals. However, the cost of these accessories can add up, significantly increasing the overall investment in the Pixel Slate ecosystem.

Connectivity and Ports

The Google Pixel Slate M3 comes equipped with two USB-C ports, which can be used for charging, data transfer, and connecting external displays. While USB-C is a versatile standard, the lack of more traditional ports like USB-A or an HDMI port means that users will often need to rely on dongles and adapters to connect their peripherals. This can be inconvenient for those who frequently use external devices.

The device also features a fingerprint sensor embedded in the power button, providing a secure and convenient way to unlock the device. The fingerprint sensor is quick and reliable, adding an extra layer of security to the device.

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Audio and Multimedia

The Pixel Slate M3 is equipped with front-facing stereo speakers that deliver clear and immersive sound. The speakers are loud enough for watching videos and listening to music without the need for external speakers. Additionally, the placement of the speakers ensures that the sound is directed towards the user, enhancing the multimedia experience.

The device also includes an 8MP rear camera and an 8MP front-facing camera. While the cameras are not the primary focus of the Pixel Slate, they are adequate for video calls and occasional snapshots. The front-facing camera is particularly noteworthy for its wide-angle lens, making it ideal for video conferencing and capturing group shots.

Pricing and Value

The Google Pixel Slate M3 is positioned as a premium device, with a price tag that reflects its high-end design and features. At launch, the Core m3 variant was priced around $799, with the cost increasing significantly when adding the optional keyboard and pen. This puts the Pixel Slate in direct competition with other premium devices like the iPad Pro and Surface Pro.

While the Pixel Slate M3 offers a lot of value in terms of its display, build quality, and versatility, it faces stiff competition from devices that offer more powerful hardware and a more mature ecosystem. The reliance on Chrome OS, which is still evolving, might be a limiting factor for some users who require specific software that is not available on the platform.


The Google Pixel Slate M3 is an ambitious device that aims to bridge the gap between tablets and laptops. It excels in design, display quality, and versatility, thanks to the evolving capabilities of Chrome OS. For users who primarily need a device for web browsing, media consumption, and light productivity tasks, the Pixel Slate M3 is a compelling option.

However, for power users who need more processing power and a wider range of software options, the Pixel Slate M3 might fall short. The additional cost of essential accessories like the keyboard and pen also needs to be considered when evaluating the overall value of the device.

In summary, the Google Pixel Slate M3 is a well-designed and capable device that offers a unique blend of features. It is best suited for users who value portability, display quality, and the ability to run a variety of apps within the Chrome OS ecosystem. As long as you are aware of its limitations and can work within them, the Pixel Slate M3 can be a valuable addition to your tech arsenal.

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