Last week, Apple unveiled its most affordable iPad to date. Here's how the features and specs of the newest 9.7-inch iPad compare to those of the Google Pixel C, one of the most premium Android-running tablets on the market.
When both of the tablets are held in the portrait orientation, the Pixel C is slightly taller and about 5-percent wider. However, the iPad is the thicker device – it's half a millimeter thicker than the Pixel C, and it's thicker than its predecessor, the iPad Air 2, as well.
The Pixel C is the heavier tablet, which could make a meaningful difference when you're holding it in one hand or toting it in a bag with other essentials. It weighs about 9-percent more.
Both makers stick with uncomplicated aluminum unibody builds.
The iPad is available in three metallic color variants, while the Google Pixel C is offered only in silver.
The Pixel C display, with its 10.2-inch diagonal and 1:1.4 aspect ratio, offers about 8-percent more overall screen area than the 9.7-inch, 4:3 iPad.
The Pixel C has a higher pixel density, so it should have a sharper-looking display. In Apple's defense, however, resolution is not the only indicator of display quality.
Both tablets have stereo speakers.
The iPad has a fingerprint sensor built into the home button for easy, secure logins. The Pixel C is not equipped for any kind of biometric access.
Cellular connectivity option
The iPad is available in both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + LTE variants, but the Pixel C doesn't offer any built-in cellular connectivity options.
Unlike its sibling the iPad Pro, this iPad does not have any Smart Connectors for connecting to keyboard accessories, though it does support third-party Bluetooth keyboards.
On the other hand, Google makes two optional snap-on keyboard options for the Pixel C, which retail for US$149 each. The advantage of a docking keyboard? It draws power from the tablet, and does not need to be charged individually.
Active stylus support
Neither of these options support active stylus input.
The iPad uses Apple's Lightning connector, while the Pixel C has a more-universal USB Type C charging port.
We're not yet sure about the clock speeds for the A9 chip in the new iPad – we'll know better once the tablets start shipping and benchmarks become available. However, the two chips are shaping up to have very similar speeds.
The Pixel C likely has more RAM than the iPad, but to be fair, the two operating systems use RAM differently.
Apple doesn't publish the amount of RAM in its mobile devices, but chances are, this one has the same 2 GB amount as its other 9.7-inch tablets. We'll know for sure once device tear downs become available.
The new iPad is available with either 32 GB or 128 GB of built-in storage. When the Pixel C was first introduced, it came in 32 GB and 64 GB options, but these days, the 32 GB option has vanished from the Google Store and is hard to come by on the US market.
Neither tablet accommodates expandable storage via microSD.
Photography isn't usually a selling point for tablets, but regardless, these two are neck-and-neck in terms of camera resolution. The Pixel C packs in more pixels in the front-facing camera for a slight advantage in the selfie and Skype department.
Battery size and life expectancy are also on par with one another. Both makers offer an "up to 10 hours" estimate, though of course actual performance varies with how the device is being used.
Both operating systems allow a certain degree of multitasking, by allowing the user to view/use more than one app at a time.
In the US, the iPad is expected to start shipping and hitting shelves at the end of this week. The Pixel C made its first appearance almost a year and a half ago.
The entry-level iPad is nearly half the price of a brand new Pixel C. Originally, the 32 GB Pixel C was being offered for $499, but since it's no longer readily available, we're referring only to the price for the 64 GB size.
Stay tuned for a full-length review of the latest iPad (that's just "iPad", no suffixes), which has replaced the iPad Air 2 in Apple's tablet lineup. For an incrementally better equipped (but more expensive) Apple tablet, you could also consider the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.
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