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Google unveils the Pixel 3, Pixel Slate and Google Home Hub at an event in New York. Photo: Google

Aiming to show its cloud smarts can make for powerful hardware, Google unveiled its latest Pixel phone, along with a Chrome OS-based tablet and its own rival to Amazon's Echo Show.

Why it matters: Google has been trying for several years now to make a dent in the consumer hardware market. While that's been an uphill battle so far, the AI trend is pointing in Google's direction.

Here's what Google has announced:

  • Pixel 3 — Google's newest smartphone had been extensively leaked, so there weren't a lot of surprises. As with past versions, Google has been focused on the software power, rather than a radical design. And, as in the past, it comes in standard and XL sizes, with prices starting at $799.
  • Pixel Slate — The $599 detachable slate (with $199 optional keyboard) will be a test for how big a market there is for tablets running Chrome OS.
  • Google Home Hub — The $149 home device is Google's entry into the "smart-speaker-with-a-screen" category. Perhaps the most interesting choice here is Google's decision not to include a camera. That lessens security concerns, but makes it less useful for things like video chat.

Our thought bubble: Google Home Hub, sans camera, is a sharp contrast to the Portal that Facebook unveiled yesterday, which focuses largely on its camera and video chat abilities.

Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to the Google Home Hub as Pixel Hub.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.