Google launches education-focused Chrome OS tablet

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The tablet is going on sale in the USA in April for $329, before availability expands to other markets across the rest of the world from May.

Apple is expected to unveil its cheapest 9.7-inch iPad ever, a device targeting those users who would otherwise consider a Chromebook for their education needs.

Either Apple knew that the first Chrome OS tablet for education is coming this week, or Google did time the release to coincide with Apple's event. The Chromebook Tab 10, made by Acer, runs the same Chrome OS found on existing convertible devices, and it also shows how Google sees more value for Chrome OS over Android in the tablet segment. "The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 comes with support for ... hundreds of other learning applications from our ever-growing catalog of apps in the Play Store".

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The tablet features a touch display with a 2,048 x 1,526-pixel resolution and supports the built-in Wacom EMR stylus. Under the hood, the tablet is powered by an OP1 (Rockchip) processor that comprises of two ARM Cortex-A72 core and four Cortex-A53 cores. The Front camera is a 2MP sensor and the rear camera is a 5MP shooter. When compared to the iPad, the Chromebook is actually a bit heavier and also a bit thicker. Acer's new Chrome OS tablet has a single USB Type-C port for data, charging, and audio, but there's a microSD card for expandable storage. The stylus will not require batteries, nor will it need a charge. "The new Acer Chromebook Tab 10 encourages students to discover new ways of understanding the world around them", said James Lin, General Manager, Commercial & Detachable Notebooks, IT Products Business at Acer while commenting on the launch. Priced at $329, it is definitely on the expensive side, considering most Chromebooks are under $300, but it's the first Chrome OS tablet and you know innovations are expensive. Google has revealed that it plans to add support for augmented reality apps which means the device might already be integrated with Google's AR Core.

On paper, the Chromebook Tab 10 is similar to Samsung's Chromebook Plus, albeit heftier - likely to resist the hard-knock life of the primary school world - or worlds beyond the classroom. It may be rolled out in the European countries followed by Africa in May this year.

Acer will sell the Chromebook Tab 10 for $320, which is a reasonable price. For some schools in California, they have started to use Google Classroom which can be accessed from their tablets.

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