What's the current consumer trend in technology? Two-in-one convertible tablet laptops. (Or are they laptop tablets?)
Microsoft has one, Lenovo has one, and so does every other Windows OEM. Heck, even Apple has one (the iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard, complete with Pencil).
Google's entry into the two-in-one convertible segment, the Pixel C, is its shot at competing with Microsoft's Surface and Surface Book, Lenovo's Yoga, etc. We doubt the Mountain View-based company will release an accompanying Google Pen, Quill, or any other kind of stylus with their device, however.
Nonetheless, Google's self-made Pixel C has been out long enough for reviewers to finally give their impressions of it, and if anything, Google's two-in-one sure is a looker. Proving Google can indeed make well-made and well-designed hardware, reviewers did notice that the device's software just didn't make the cut. That was quite surprising.
Describing the Pixel C as "too clever by half," The Verge notes that Android just can't keep up with the hardware.
"Simply put: the Pixel team has mostly delivered something really good, the Android team has not. Android may not be Google's answer for the next generation of computing on a tablet," says The Verge's Dieter Bohn.
Echoing the same sentiments, USA Today's Edward C. Baig gets more personal and specific.
"I'm still not sold on Android as the best operating system for a tablet, even with the latest version of Marshmallow. (By contrast, Google's Chromebook Pixel laptop runs the Chrome operating system.) Productivity tablet apps for Android are lacking, and there's no split-screen multitasking option as on rival tablets," he notes in his review.
As great as the Pixel C design is, it's really just the tablet portion of the device that functions best. The Wall Street Journal wasn't too fond of the device's accompanying keyboard either.
"If only typing on it was as blissful.... While the main keys are almost full-sized, the shrunken Shift and Tab keys and vertical Enter key are all throwbacks to the days of kiddie-size netbooks.... Additionally, I experienced Bluetooth connection issues with the keyboard. Often, strings of letters would appear in my document as if a ghost were typing them," WSJ's Joanna Stern describes.
Maybe it's a good thing Google didn't throw in a Google Quill (or whatever they would've called the device's add-on stylus)?
Just because two-in-one convertible laptops happen to be all the rage right now doesn't always make them viable productivity workhorses. Arriving a little late to the game, Google's entry just isn't as good as Microsoft's Surface or even Apple's iPad Pro yet.