Google introduces Pixel C tablet, two new Nexus phones

The 5.2-inch Nexus 5X starts at $379 and has a fingerprint sensor for locking the phone.
The 5.2-inch Nexus 5X starts at $379 and has a fingerprint sensor for locking the phone.
Published Sept. 29, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — Google introduced a tablet-laptop hybrid Tuesday, along with two new Nexus phones and updates to Chromecast that together marked the company's first big product launch since reorganizing under parent company Alphabet.

Emphasizing a push by the company to build its own in-house hardware, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the new tablet, called Pixel C, that is powered with Google's Android operating system and is likely to compete with Microsoft's Surface and Apple's iPad Pro, all of which transform into laptop-like devices with the addition of a keyboard.

"There's no kickstand," said Andrew Bowers, a Google product director, as he demonstrated how the lightweight keyboard magnetically attaches. "I can hold it by the tablet, I can hold it by the keyboard, I can hold it upside down."

He said the device, sporting a 10.2-inch screen, goes on sale in time for the holidays — $499 for the tablet and an additional $149 for the keyboard.

The company also introduced two new phones in its Nexus line, which is now 5 years old but has been used as more of a showcase of Google's edgiest technology than a big market mover.

But that could change, said the Google executives who revealed the 5.2-inch Nexus 5X (starting at $379), the premium 5.7-inch Nexus 6P (starting at $499 and made of "aeronautical-grade anodized aluminum") and a back-to-back series of new and updated features in the hotly anticipated but relatively low-key launch event inside a photography studio near San Francisco's Mission District.

Both phones take advantage of one of Google's strengths — the artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities of its latest version of Android, named Marshmallow, which launches next week. Both phones are also able to use Project Fi, Google's new wireless service (starting at $30 a month), and fingerprint sensing to unlock the phone and use the Android Pay system for buying items at store payment terminals.