Pixel C Keyboard Criticism seems Unwarranted.

The Google Pixel C Tablet is offered alongside a keyboard made specifically for it – That is a real, physical keyboard, as opposed to some virtual keyboard that just exists graphically on the screen. This added keyboard has its own battery, which recharges by induction coils from the tablet, when the two devices are placed together in an inactive, closed position.

There is an aspect to how this works, which some people have criticized often. If the tablet is attached magnetically to the KB in the upright position – i.e. both are in use – It is possible to leave the A/C / USB-C Adapter plugged in, so that prolonged use will not drain the battery in the tablet. What some users do not like about this, is that doing so does not also plug in the keyboard, which continues to run off its batteries, until the active use is discontinued, and until both parts are repositioned for charging. Some people would like, that the batteries in the KB are also guaranteed not to go low, because the adapter is plugged in to the A/C.

(Edit 04/11/2017 :

Whether I would agree that this problem is serious, depends on a question I do not know the answer to, which is: ‘Does the Pixel C continue to charge its keyboard, when not plugged in, but when the keyboard is in its closed, protected position?’ There are really 2 possibilities:

  1. The Pixel C could be supplying current to the coil that acts as a primary winding, albeit a reduced current, in a way that drains some charge from its internal battery, in order to charge the keyboard-battery slowly, and the capacity of the KB-battery could be so much smaller than that in the Pixel C, that the charge-level of the tablet does not seem to decrease much.
  2. The Pixel C may only be charging its keyboard-battery, when it is itself plugged in, and could be indicating that its own battery is fully charged, without the user having any indication of what the charge-level of the KB is. The user would be unplugging the tablet, not knowing whether his KB is fully charged as well.

If the answer is (1), then I do not see this problem as serious, because it would mean that the KB will generally be able to come back to full charge while the tablet is not being used, even while on-the-go, unless the tablet-battery dies first.

If the answer is (2), then the light-bar of the tablet is of no help, because that factually only indicates the charge of the tablet-battery, to the nearest 1/4 . )

 

(Edit 04/04/2017 : )

Continue reading Pixel C Keyboard Criticism seems Unwarranted.

Pixel C Keyboard Works Now.

When I first received my Google Pixel C tablet, with its assigned custom Bluetooth Keyboard, my first priority was to make sure the tablet worked, not the keyboard. After that, I found that the keyboard did not seem to want to pair.

I have learned a lesson from this incident, which I feel I should share with the community. By now, the keyboard is also working fine. It is easy to jump to false conclusions, about why something is not working.

The keyboard comes with the type of instruction card, which I just love to hate, with no technical accuracy, and very loose language. The instruction card states, that in order to charge the keyboard, we should have it facing up in front of us normally, that we should flip the tablet over vertically, and that we should then align the light-bar, that is normally at the top of the back of the tablet, with the space-bar, while putting the tablet face-down on the keyboard and allowing it to charge. “Cool.”

What a person like me will do, is literally align the light-bar – now at the bottom of the back of the tablet – with the space-bar on the Keyboard, which left a part of the keyboard protruding. That part of the KB which was protruding, actually contains the coils that the keyboard needs, to receive a charge.

The fact that this was an error did not become obvious immediately, because the magnets in the KB nevertheless allow it to snap into place, out of position in this way.

But my failure to pair this KB with the tablet then stemmed from the fact that it had never received a drop of charge. And the fact that the keyboard itself has no charge-indicator, again did not alert me to the error. I suppose that anybody who is used to this device, would know better. I am a first-time customer.

What the instruction-card should say, is that we should flip the tablet over, with the light-bar on its back facing towards us, but on the side of the keyboard that has the space-bar. And yet, we should align the tablet with the keyboard exactly, flush. It can then receive its charge.

I left it charging for about 4 hours while connected to the A/C, before trying it, and it worked just fine. Yet, the keyboard also has the ability to charge – presumably with reduced current – when the tablet is not connected from to the A/C. When it is doing that, the light-bar on the tablet briefly pulsates in green, instead of pulsating in the 4 colors it pulsates in, when the A/C is connected.

Cool.

pixel_c_kb_1

And, it was the fact that part of the keyboard was protruding, which also prevented me from just carrying the two components under my arm, while they were magnetically attached. When they are completely flush, they are also fully ready to be carried in this way. And this way, the keyboard fulfills three functions perfectly:

  1. It protects the tablet sufficiently – better than a leather case would.
  2. It provides a keyboard when the user is on-the-go, which the user can therefore take with him with no encumbrance.
  3. It props up the tablet.

But there is a way in which the pairing procedure itself could get confusing:

Continue reading Pixel C Keyboard Works Now.