Apple had its moment last month, so now it’s Google’s turn to show off new hardware. On October 9th, Google will hold an event to unveil the latest products in its Pixel, Home, and Chromecast lines. It’ll be Google’s chance to wow consumers before the holidays and to answer to its competitors. In just the past few weeks, Apple announced two new iPhones, and Amazon unveiled a slew of new Alexa products. This event will show us what Google plans to do to gain an edge or if it’ll be a quiet year for Google hardware.
There have been a ton of leaks this year, so we have a good idea of the breadth of new devices and features to expect at the October 9th event. Here are the items we’re rumored to see and the things Google could pull out as surprises. For the full details, come back Tuesday at 11AM ET to follow along as the event kicks off. As always, we’ll be there reporting live.
PIXEL 3 AND 3 XL
Let’s start with the obvious one: it’s October, so Google is going to release another pair of new phones. The Pixel 3 and 3 XL have been thoroughly leaked, but here’s the gist on what to expect: larger screens (and one notch) with otherwise nearly identical designs, wireless charging, and a second selfie camera. Overall, the upgrades seem to be modest, but we can also expect Google to add some new software magic, as it did last year. You can see our full rumor roundup on the Pixel 3 for all the details (or maybe get to Hong Kong and cop one ahead of the official launch.)
PIXEL CHARGING STAND
Since it’s adding wireless charging to the Pixel 3, Google is also going to put out a wireless charging stand for it, according to a number of leaks. It looks like the stand will prop the phone up as it charges so that you can see the screen. Then the phone will display information, like upcoming calendar events, or scroll through photos as it sits there.
GOOGLE HOME HUB
It’s not clear whether we’ll be getting any new Google Home speakers (certainly not an updated Mini, which just got another color option), but it does look like Google has one Home product in the works: a smart display, which would show information from Assistant, just like the ones that have been coming out from Lenovo and JBL in recent months. A leaked “guide” to the new Pixel range of devices suggest the Home Hub could arrive as early as October 22nd, and can handle voice commands to control smart home products in your house, such as security cameras, lights, and TV, and it will include Voice Match to differentiate between various users in a household.
The product will go head-to-head with Amazon’s newly updated Echo Show. Unlike the Echo, Google’s device doesn’t appear to have a built-in webcam for video chatting, which could be a disappointment for some potential buyers (but a benefit to others). On the other hand, Google’s product should support YouTube, which would be a big draw.
PIXEL SLATE TABLET
Image: About Chromebooks
The past few months have seen more and more rumors around a possible Google-branded Chrome OS tablet, and it’s starting to seem like a sure thing for this coming event. Called the Pixel Slate, according to Android Police’s David Ruddock, the new device looks like a relatively high-end tablet with a detachable keyboard, setting this up as a competitor to the iPad Pro and Surface Pro.
The Slate is rumored to come in multiple configurations with up to 16GB of RAM and an Intel i7 processor (albeit, still one running at low power, on account of this being a tablet), according to early benchmarks and public code. That said, it sounds like it’ll scale down to some more affordable options that include 7th Gen, instead of 8th Gen, Intel processors.
Other rumors suggest it’ll support USB-C, have a 3000 x 2000 resolution — similar to the Surface Pro and larger iPad Pro — and include a fingerprint sensor, which would be a first for Chromebooks. A last-minute leak also shows off a Bluetooth keyboard with circular keys. Lastly, it appears to be notably missing a headphone jack.
Bizarre design choices aside, the real question is has Chrome OS improved enough to make sense on a tablet anyway?