Pixel Slate’s $200 problem: Its ‘must-have’ keyboard is sold separately

Posted on

I watched Google’s reveal of the much-leaked Pixel Slate with great interest. This was a sharp-looking Chrome OS device, with a great screen and the promise of excellent front-firing speakers. Sure, $599 felt like a lot for a quasi-Chromebook (unless you’re the even-more-expensive PixelBook), especially one that starts with an Intel Celeron processor — but I firmly believe Chrome OS can be premium and doesn’t have to be restricted to only budget PCs.

Almost every shot of the Pixel Slate showed it connected to its folio keyboard, itself a great example of high-end design with its round keys and big touchpad. It was not until the very end of Google’s Pixel Slate announcement that the ugly truth was revealed. That $599-and-up price didn’t include the keyboard, which runs an extra $199 (or a 33 percent premium).

The new Pixel Slate and its keyboard.


Sarah Tew/CNET

And if you want a stylus, that’s an extra hundred bucks on top of that. All-in, for just the lowest-end configuration, it’s a minimum of $899. That’s dangerously close to premium Windows laptop territory, where you could swing a MacBook Air or Dell XPS 13. Want to go to the top-end Core i7 model? That will take you to $1,599 before you add those accessories, per Google’s extended price list:

  • $599 (4GB RAM, 32GB SSD, 8th Gen Intel® Celeron processor)
  • $699 (8GB RAM, 64GB SSD, 8th Gen Intel® Celeron processor)
  • $799 (8GB RAM, 64GB SSD, 8th Gen Intel® CoreTM m3 processor)
  • $999 (8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 8th Gen Intel® CoreTM i5 processor)
  • $1,599 (16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 8th Gen Intel® CoreTM i7 processor) 

But Google isn’t the only offender padding your bill with sold-separately keyboards. I’ve reviewed nearly every Surface tablet Microsoft has ever released, and like a broken record, I bemoan the $129-and-up clip-on keyboard, which is even more of a must-have. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Surface Pro in the wild without a keyboard.

microsoft-surface-pro
Trust me, the Surface Pro works much better with its keyboard cover. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *