They all got leaked, so you probably knew everything going in, but today, Google unveiled its new Nexus phones, two new Chromecasts, and the Pixel C. The Nexus 5X is built by LG and really looks and feels like a Nexus 5 successor (sadly not available in the colour of my Nexus 5: orange-red-I-still-don’t-know-oh-my-god-my-eyes-are-burning). Its bigger sister, the Nexus 6P, features an all-metal construction, a larger display with far more pixels, and a better camera – in fact, this could very well be the first Nexus with a camera that doesn’t suck.
They both sport fingerprint sensors, big batteries, and, of course, run Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Android 6.0 will be released for other Nexus devices over the coming weeks). The 16GB Nexus 5X is available for $379, while the 32GB Nexus 6P starts at $499. You can opt for more storage, too, if you wish. They’ll be available in October.
The Pixel C was a bit of a surprise to me, but apparently, it was also leaked, so the rest of the world wasn’t as surprised as I was. It’s a really premium 10.2″ Android tablet, with a magnetically detachable keyboard – yes, my friends, after Apple, this is Google’s stab at a Surface clone. Thanks to the clever keyboard, this is, actually, the Android ‘PC’ I’ve always wanted – I know there are tons of Android laptops and convertibles out there, but I refuse to buy non-Nexus for obvious reasons.
Sadly, though, it doesn’t seem like there’s any special software work being done on Android to facilitate the more laptop-like design of the Pixel C. While Apple made sure to copy Metro’s multiwindow implementation verbatim for its own Surface clone, Google doesn’t seem to have done so for the Pixel C. There’s no side-by-side stuff, no multiple windows, nothing. Some groundwork for multiwindow was laid in Marshmallow, but it was nowhere near final state and probably won’t make it to Android until a future release.
Speaking of future releases: the Pixel C will be getting updates every six weeks. Yes. An Android device with updates every six weeks. It’ll set you back $499 for just the tablet, and the Bluetooth, magnetic keyboard, which is charged inductively via the tablet itself and can run on a single charge for two months, will set you back another $149. It’ll be available later this year.
It looks like the Pixel-C keyboard has the same problem as my Nexus 9; there’s no Esc key! I’d use the tablet all the time if I could actually use vi when connected to a machine via ssh, but ^-[ is awkward, so I just use something with a better keyboard.
Was hoping they’d fix that oversight with the next device. No such luck.