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How I Got the Pixel Tablet With Charging Speaker Dock for $254

Google has a stellar trade-in deal for a Pixel tablet. All you need is an old iPad.

Imad Khan Senior Reporter
Imad is a senior reporter covering Google and internet culture. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with The New York Times, The Washington Post, ESPN, Tom's Guide and Wired, among others.
Expertise Google | Internet Culture
Imad Khan
3 min read

The Pixel Tablet comes in three colors, and the aluminum finish has a soft matte feel.

Scott Stein/CNET

I wasn't in the market for a Google Pixel Tablet, but it's hard to pass up for nearly 50% off.

Browsing Slickdeals last week, I saw a trade-in promotion for the $499 Pixel Tablet, the one that comes with its own dockable speaker hub. In essence, it can act as a smart home display and an on-the-go tablet. CNET's Scott Stein loved it: "The Pixel Tablet feels like a really good iPad alternative for Google ecosystem people," he wrote in his review last year.

Watch this: Pixel Tablet: Google Made a Good Home Android Tablet

Google was offering a generous $400 credit when trading in a regular sixth-generation iPad from 2018, the model that launched at $329. This meant that Google was giving $71 over the iPad's original retail price to entice people over to the world of Android. However, as of last Friday, it seems that Google has clamped down on the generous trade-in offer and is now only giving $75 for a sixth-gen iPad. To get a $400 trade-in credit, you'll need to trade-in an eighth-gen iPad from 2020 or a fifth-gen iPad Air from 2022.

Either way, I did what any deal-hungry tech reporter would do: turned to Facebook Marketplace. There, I found someone selling a sixth-gen iPad for $130. After some back-and-forth, we agreed to a price of $110 and I picked it up for the sole purpose of trading it in.

Apple iPad Gold

My, er, lightly used sixth-gen iPad.

Imad Khan/CNET

Google launched the Pixel Tablet last year after a nearly nine-year hiatus from the Android tablet space. Before the Pixel Tablet was the Pixel C from 2015, which ran on Android 8.1. During Google's absence, it was largely up to manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, Lenovo and Amazon to give tablet buyers an alternative to the iPad. But as Android tablet-makers tried to compete without strong Google support, Apple hit 40% global market share by 2022, according to Statista.

It didn't help that the market was being flooded by cheap, low-quality Android tablets, either. As Apple continued to invest in iPad, making it a vibrant platform for apps, many Android apps ended up looking like scaled-up versions of their mobile counterparts by comparison. It's why many best tablet lists have been dominated by iPads for years.

Google has two retail locations in New York and could trade in my iPad in person. I grabbed my newly acquired iPad and took the train over to Chelsea Market. There, I found a largely quiet Google store. It seemed there were more employees than customers. It's nothing like the throngs of people flooding Apple stores at shopping malls around the country. 

Two employees checked over my iPad and knocked $400 off the price for a Pixel Tablet. After taxes, the Pixel Tablet came out to $144.29. Tacking on the $110 I spent on the iPad, I walked out of the Google Store with a Pixel Tablet in my backpack having only spent $254.29 in total. For that price, it's definitely a steal.

Even though Google has already adjusted the terms of the deal, I've seen used eighth-gen iPads are online for around $150, which means you could still save about $250 on the Pixel Tablet.  

The Pixel Tablet trade-in promotion ends on May 20 at 11:59 p.m. PT (2:59 a.m. ET).