The iPad’s Most Menacing Rival is Finally Here

IpadFrom The Motley Fool.

At long last, Alphabet’s Google has finally released its first tablet. Originally unveiled in September, the Pixel C tablet made its retail debut on Dec. 8. Reviews for the device so far might best be described as lukewarm, but it represents a major shift in Google’s Android strategy, and could finally provide some real competition for Apple’s iPad.

The first Android device from Google?The Pixel C isn’t the first Android tablet to carry Google’s branding, but it’s the first Android tablet from Google. Its previous Android tablets, including the Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and last year’s Nexus 9, were sold under its brand, but were made by its various hardware partners (HTC, Samsung, and Asus). The Pixel C, in contrast, is made in-house, with a design and finish similar to those of Google’s laptop, the Chromebook Pixel.

At upward of $1,000, the Chromebook Pixel is about five times more expensive than the typical Chromebook. Although Google has never disclosed exact sales figures, it’s unlikely the Chromebook Pixel has had much success, perhaps moving a few tens of thousands of units at most.

The Pixel C, in contrast, is relatively affordable, sitting somewhere between Apple’s iPad Air 2 and its iPad Pro. The Pixel C starts at $499, the same price as the iPad Air 2, but offers twice as much storage (32GB). An optional keyboard cover bumps the price up to $648, but that’s still far less expensive than the iPad Pro when paired with its Smart Keyboard ($968).

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