C is for Clone – Google is Making a Surface Clone

Google is Making a Surface Clone

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.

Google is Making a Surface Clone Screen

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
Display 10.2″ 10.8″ 12″ 12.9″
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 Pricing

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.


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