At a press event a few minutes ago, Google announced a new (very Surface-like) tablet called the Pixel C (formerly codenamed Ryu). By doing so, they join the ranks of Dell, Lenovo, and even Apple in producing a Surface clone. Google says they’re planning on having it out by the holidays.
The tablet supports a detachable magnetic keyboard available in aluminum (some rumors say there will also be a leather option) for $149 USD. It sports an (actually quite powerful) NVIDIA Tegra X1 CPU, 3GB of RAM and comes with either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage. It will offer a 10.2″ 308PPI screen (2560×1800).
Google is Making a Surface Clone: Technical Spec Comparison
Since this was more of a “pre-announcement” than a product launch, we only have a little bit of information about the device. However, here’s a technical run-down of the tech specs (that we know) for the Pixel C versus the Surface 3, Surface Pro 3 and the iPad Pro:
|Google Pixel C||Surface 3||Surface Pro 3 (i5)||iPad Pro|
|CPU||NVIDIA Tegra X1||Intel Atom X7||Intel Core i5 (i3 & i7 models available)||A9X 3rd Gen|
|RAM||3GB||2GB/4GB||4GB or 8GB Depending on Model||4GB*|
|Geekbench Benchmarks (Single/Multi)||2599/4691||960/3300||2700/5400||2090/3569|
|Storage||32GB or 64GB||64GB or 128GB||64GB/128GB/256GB/512GB Depending on Model||32GB or 128GB|
|OS||Android Marshmallow (6.0)||Windows 10 Home||Windows Pro 10||IOS 9.x|
|Slots/Connectors||USB-C||Mini-USB, USB 3, MicroSD||USB 3, MicroSD||Lightning|
|Cost (Tablet Only)||$499/$599||$499/$599||$899 to $1799 Depending on Model||$799/$949|
I chose to compare the Pixel C against the i5 version of the Surface Pro 3 since the Geekbench scores I was able to find for the Tegra X1 processor put them on pretty even footing (both are better than the Surface 3’s Atom and iPad Pro’s A9X processors, especially when comparing the multi-core test scores).
Google is Making a Surface Clone: First Impressions
Since it was just announced, I obviously haven’t had an opportunity to “lay hands on one” yet. However, by looking at the specs and extrapolating from other information, I can make a few educated guesses:
- The Pixel C will be more powerful than either model of Surface 3 but, won’t match the power of the Surface Pro 3 (let alone Surface Pro 4).
- You can run Microsoft Office on Android which means that it might be an attractive alternative for businesses. However, the Android version of Office is not as fully-featured as the Windows version so, it might not be viable for Office power-users.
- With only 64GB of internal storage (at most) it’s going to be difficult to keep a lot of data on the drive.
- Joanna and I think, like the iPad Pro, it is more of a Surface 3 competitor than a Surface Pro 3/4 competitor.
That’s it for now. When we hear more information about the newest Surface clone on the market, we’ll let you know.
Tim Rolston is a professional geek with over 23 years of experience working in Information Technology and dealing with everything from large-scale storage to remote systems management and automation for organizations such as Texas Instruments, Mobil Oil, and the University of Michigan (where he was an Academic IT Director).
He co-founded JTRTech along with Joanna to realize his long-time dream of working for himself.