Google’s efforts in the tablet space have rarely been successful, and we all thought the company had called it quits after discontinuing the Pixel C a couple of years back. Today, the company has confirmed that it’s stepping out of the tablet market following the Pixel Slate and will focus on laptops only from this point forward.
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Confirmed to ComputerWorld, Google says that it is dropping work on two tablets that were under development as of earlier this week. The news was apparently confirmed to employees at an internal meeting on Wednesday, and those assigned to the now abandoned projects will be shifting to other assignments. Apparently, these new tablets were “smaller in size, compared to Google’s existing products, and […] they were standalone slates without keyboards.” In a further statement to Business Insider, Google said that those two tablets were supposed to launch “after 2019,” but they didn’t meet the company’s standard from a quality assurance standpoint.
Notably, we previously reported that Google’s next self-branded machine would be targeting productivity “on-the-go.” It’s unclear if this is one the of the projects Google has killed off as we’re not sure if it was a tablet in the first place.
Future devices in this category from Google will be in the laptop form factor. This doesn’t mean the company won’t be involved in 2-in-1 machines, but rather any device that “detaches completely from a keyboard base or doesn’t even have a physical keyboard in the first place.” The Google spokesperson who confirmed these details even mentioned that “it’s quite possible” to see a new Made by Google laptop by the end of 2019. This might be “Atlas”, which leaked earlier this year, or another as-yet unknown device.
Google will only focus on laptop form-factors such as the Pixelbook going forward
As for how this affects current Chrome OS devices, it mostly won’t. Google says that the Chrome OS team “in general” will continue to focus on laptops and tablets, and the existing Pixel Slate will still be supported through 2024. Obviously, this news also has no bearing on the company’s lineup of Pixel smartphones.
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