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 : )

I foresee one situation in which this behavior could possibly become a problem for me. I sometimes play games, which can require marathon sessions in front of a computer – such as Civ 4 or Civ 5. Similarly, I could end up playing a complex RPG for example, on the new tablet, in marathon sessions.

Such games do not really require a lot of typing, but Civ 4 requires constant use of a keyboard, and similar games will only be comfortable, if something has propped up the tablet. So I would likely use the keyboard with its magnet, just to prop up the tablet, and I would plug in the tablet to make sure that its battery does not go dead.

Because the keyboard uses the attachment to activate – to form a Bluetooth connection – it will start drawing power. And then it will become possible, that the KB battery may go dead.

Of course one way to solve that problem might be, to figure out an alternative way, just to prop up the tablet.

Dirk

 

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