- Source: Google
Google Pixel TabletThe up-and-comer$409 $499 Save $90
Rising from the ashes of the Pixel Slate, the new Pixel Tablet offers premium performance, a luxurious look and feel, and the full complement of Google's advanced features and algorithms. As a result, it's one of the few Androids to truly challenge the iPad for tablet supremacy.Pros
- Impressive performance
- High-end fit and finish
- Powerful AI integration
- Could be a little cheaper
- Cameras limited to 1080p
- Source: Apple
Apple iPad (2022)The long-running favorite$399 $449 Save $50
The groundbreaking iPad family has always been in the limelight, with capable, efficient hardware and a famously refined user experience. The 10th-generation model released in 2022 continues that trend, as it finally falls in line with its more expensive relatives with a high-end design.Pros
- Extremely user-friendly
- Great-looking display
- Long support and performance lifespan
- Base model has too little storage
- Not everybody likes the iPadOS experience
It won't take a hard look at the market to understand why Apple's 10th Generation iPad (2022) retains a gigantic presence. The tablet offers up a streamlined design, high-quality hardware, and a reasonable price point, not to mention the buttery smooth user experience that iPad owners have come to expect. Making things more lopsided, it's been nearly five years since the release of the ill-fated Pixel Slate, a tablet that underwhelmed yet came in at an inflated price tag.
Enter the Google Pixel Tablet, possibly the strongest contender thus far to enter the fray. It positions itself as a good alternative for anyone looking to purchase a user-friendly tablet with premium features and next-generation performance. Google's new tablet is a forceful entry into the space, providing a few additional features that the iPad simply can't match.
Price, availability, and specs
Released in October 2022, the 10th-generation iPad comes in four colors and first hit the market at $450. However, you can routinely find it on sale for $400, pegging its price tag just below the 2022 iPad Air while keeping the device notably more expensive than the earlier 9th-generation base model. Unfortunately, these prices and reductions are only effective for the 64GB model; the 256GB version costs $600 and is rarely found on sale.
By contrast, the Pixel Tablet starts at $500, which is firmly out of entry-level and into midrange territory. Its Porcelain, Hazel, and Rose colorways are understated but look great. The tablet was officially launched in spring 2023.
Google Pixel Tablet Apple iPad (2022) Storage 128GB, 256GB, UFS 3.1 storage 64 / 256GB Operating System Android 14 iPadOS Battery 27Wh, Up to 12 hours 28.6Wh, Up to 10 hours Ports USB-C USB-C Price From $500 from $450 Connectivity Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, UWB Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, 5G optional Colors Porcelain, Hazel, Rose Blue, Pink, Yellow, Silver Display type 10.95 inches, 2560 x 1600 pixels 10.9 inches, 2360 x 1640 pixels
The streamlining of design language
Apple's 2022 update to the iPad saw retention of the design language shared with the iPad Air and iPad Pro. The three tablet builds are overwhelmingly similar in terms of physical look and general feel. Namely, they all deliver a tactile iPad experience, which Apple once again knocked out of the park. Slim, lightweight, and ultra-classy, the 10th-gen iPad lives up to its relatively high price. The four available colors are another clear indicator that Apple was very ready to change things up this time around. When it comes to premium equipment that's satisfying to use and hold, it's hard to top Apple.
But competing with this ultra-refined Apple tablet (and perhaps even besting it) is exactly what Google aims for with the Pixel Tablet. Google's new slate is a stark affair that takes cues from both the Spartan iPad and Samsung Galaxy tablets' design qualities. It also boasts clean lines, a slim body, and three understated colors to choose from. The matte exterior that graces the outer shell provides an ever-so-slight soft touch and textured feel, which is perfect for lengthy utilization while offering just enough traction for one-handed use. Moreover, the Pixel Tablet sports an eco-conscious build, using a considerable amount of recycled materials in its overall construction.
All in all, it's basically a toss-up as to which of these tablets looks and feels better. The decision will come down to your personal preference since each has been tailored to push forward a minimalistic design and stealthy profile.
How the displays stack up
Display technology and hardware have always been major strong points among Apple devices, and the latest base model iPad certainly doesn't disappoint in this department. The 10th Generation iPad offers a display providing both high contrast and high-resolution specs, covering over 100% of the sRGB color gamut. Its 500-nit brightness is enough for use in all but the brightest level of direct sunlight, and it responds quickly with no ghosting or artifacts (no surprises there).
The Pixel Tablet remains close at its heels. The resolution, brightness, color coverage, and size of the Pixel Tablet are all nearly identical to the iPad. And while iPads have continuously been the champions of delivering a rich color spectrum, few will be able to tell the difference between the color displayed on the iPad and Pixel Tablet.
Many display features may come out in a wash, but there's one thing Google offers that Apple doesn't: USI stylus support. In contrast, the 2022 iPad is limited to the first-gen Apple Pencil or similar third-party options. Although the display performances of these two tablets are almost indistinguishable, we give the Pixel Tablet's display the win with a razor-thin line separating them from one another.
What's the software experience like?
Apple has continued for years to fall back on the ability to provide a streamlined user environment — and the latest iPad doesn't deviate from that formula. Apple's notably locked-down ecosystem delivers an excellent app experience, and that standard continues in the 10th Generation tablet. From top to bottom, the interface is powerful and easy to use, doing a great job showcasing the iPad's abilities.
Meanwhile, after a few years of truly fantastic Pixel smartphones, Google's UI is making strides toward competing more substantially. Yes, Google pumps out a vanilla Android flavor for its own devices, which might put off some Samsung diehards who demand the heavy One UI skin experience, but when holding a Google Pixel Tablet and playing around with the device, you're reminded of what an exquisite and direct taste "vanilla" really brings. It's arguably the best version of the Android operating system and competes with Samsung in terms of Android implementations. Google also now promises five years of updates, ensuring that your relatively expensive tablet will serve you safely and reliably for a long time.
Then there's its specialized SoC, which allows for a host of powerful "AI-based" features. For the most part, these features are novel and helpful, but there are some minor update hiccups that you'll have to work through within Google's UI roadmap. As with Pixel phones, we expect the Pixel Tablet to receive Google's most forward-thinking updates; however, these periodically introduce minor user issues. While the problems are not quite as bad as in the past, this is something to remain mindful of when considering a new tablet for your work or entertainment needs.
In a head-to-head battle, we rate the Pixel as one of the best Android tablet experiences around. This places it neck-and-neck with Apple's best iPad. They're both so good that it comes down to which OS you prefer to work with when you power on the device.
Which one performs better?
Apple devices have long been the standard bearers when it comes to mobile performance. Even with the diminutive A14 Bionic SoC when compared to the iPad Pro's powerful M2 chipset, the devices lead the way among a crowded field of competitors. For instance, you rarely have to wait for the iPad to load apps or complete tasks, and it's one of the best handheld options for in-depth gaming use. There's absolutely nothing negative that we can point to regarding the 10th-generation iPad's performance.
In what seems to have become a trend, though, Google has remained close on Apple's heels in this race; it even appears possible that the Google Pixel Tablet may have overtaken its rival this time. The specially designed Tensor G2 chipset registers just shy of the performance specs of the most powerful heavy hitters from families like the Qualcomm Snapdragon. Plus, it enables an impressive host of AI-supported features that we've never witnessed before on a tablet. The Tensor G2 is supremely snappy, efficient, and dependable, allowing the Pixel Tablet to edge out the 2022 iPad in performance.
The Pixel Tablet charging speaker dock: A big positive inclusion
Google's new docking station also assists in Pixel Tablet's newfound dominance over Apple. The Pixel Tablet outperforms the iPad in some important ways, but one standout feature is this included extra. The docking station conveniently charges your tablet where you're most likely to use it, plus it adds a full-range speaker, essentially turning the Pixel Tablet into a veritable smart display. This excellent feature makes it all the more likely owners will utilize the tablet's great video calling capabilities and the powerful smart device control provided by the Google Home Nexus. Score another point for the Pixel.
How's the battery life?
There's just a 1.6-watt-hour difference in battery capacity between the two tablets, so much of the difference in battery life comes down to optimization. In another win for Google, its novel SoC architecture allows high-efficiency cores to keep voltage levels down to increase the time between charges.
The 10th-generation iPad lasts roughly 10 hours of regular use, while the Pixel Tablet clocks in about 2 hours longer before it needs plugging in. When considering the docking station's added functionality and ability to provide power simultaneously, you may rarely need to actually plug your Google Pixel Tablet in to charge it specifically. That's another solid victory for Google's new offering.
Do they take good pictures?
Although both devices bring solid camera technology to the table, Apple's cameras are a touch more impressive than the Pixel Tablet's. A 12MP resolution and up to 4K recording on the rear camera give the iPad one of the best picture-taking experiences of any tablet available. The quality hardware is, of course, backed by Apple's consistently high-quality imaging software, which makes even novice photographers look infinitely more skillful with minimal user input.
Don't count out the Pixel despite its limitation of 8MP and 1080p recording from both lenses. The Tensor G2 chipset and Google's extensive algorithm development bring the Pixel Tablet image quality almost in line with the iPad's offering, although it can't quite match what Apple's got. In particular, the imaging hardware and software are optimized for video calls, making the Pixel a decent choice for talking to family, friends, or coworkers while on the go. So, while Apple takes a win in this column, it can't claim a total blowout against the Pixel Tablet.
Which is right for you?
It's been a long time coming, but early indications are that we've finally found a worthy competitor to the classic iPad. Granted, the 2022 iPad saw a price increase (while the cheaper, 9th-gen model is still available for $329 or less), even as the Pixel Tablet sports a price tag that's an additional $50 higher than the 10th Gen. However, that's the only caveat to Google's new iPad killer; iPads were once practically entry-level in terms of cost, but $500 for the Pixel Tablet brings it considerably outside that territory.
The Pixel Tablet firmly occupies the top slot of all the midrange tablets we've seen over the last year. It's not cheap, but it's a fantastic piece of high-end equipment to help you work, play, and stay in touch with social media, family, and friends. If you want a high-end tablet experience without spending a fortune, the Pixel Tablet is the preeminent selection, especially if you aren't sold on the Apple ecosystem that underpins the iPad experience.
Google Pixel Tablet
Powerful, convenient, and a touch costly
The new Google Pixel Tablet combines Google's specialized hardware, advanced features, and AI algorithm design. At $500 it's definitely a little over-priced, but for Android fans this may be a premium worth paying.
If you're totally happy working with the iPadOS experience or that extra push into the midrange sector is just a little too rich for your blood, we recommend the 10th Generation Apple iPad, released in 2022. It's available from $449 at Apple, but you may be able to find a discounted rate at competing retailers, especially later in the year or early in 2024.
While the Wonderlust event that unveiled the new iPhone 15, AirPods, and a new Watch conspicuously left out the larger devices, Apple appears poised to release a new slate of MacBook and iPad models as the calendar ticks over. This could make way for steep discounts in the next few months for an already exciting iPad model that showcases a lot worth celebrating.
Apple iPad (2022)
Great value for an entry-level tablet
If you don't need the latest and greatest in hardware and AI features, the 2022 iPad can be a great buy. It's more affordable than the Google Pixel Tablet while offering the same great experience we've come to expect from Apple devices.