That feature is a stylus, which is something there’s now significant evidence we might see included with the slate. Why? Because – as spotted by tech blog NuGiz – a Google tablet codenamed Tangor has been certified by the Universal Stylus Initiative (USI).
Of course, it’s possible that Tangor is a different device to the Pixel Tablet, but given that we’re only aware of one tablet being worked on by Google, that’s unlikely, and this certification all but confirms an upcoming Google slate will have stylus support.
That still leaves some questions though, such as whether a stylus will be included with the tablet or whether you’ll have to buy one separately, and whether stylus support will be a key focus for Google or just a handy extra.
USI support means the Pixel Tablet should be compatible with any USI-certified stylus, and those styli will also work with any other USI-certified device. So you could potentially have one stylus for many devices – or at the very least may not have to buy a new stylus when you buy a new tablet (even one from a different brand).
However, it might also mean that Google puts less effort into developing a stylus specifically suited to the Pixel Tablet – if the company develops one at all. It could potentially rely on existing USI styli and on the inevitable third-party options that would arrive following the Pixel Tablet’s launch.
Analysis: making the Pixel Tablet more iPad
Stylus support is a key feature of many iPads, yet it's not something that a huge number of Android tablets currently offer, outside of Samsung’s popular Galaxy Tab range, so this could be a major selling point of the Pixel Tablet.
USI support means styli for the Pixel Tablet might also be more affordably priced (since you wouldn’t be limited to one brand) and would be compatible with a wider range of devices than the Apple Pencil.
This is a promising development, because from what we’d seen of the Pixel Tablet previously it was unclear how it would really stand out, aside from packing a Google-developed Tensor chipset. So stylus support could help it compete.
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.