Ahead of Apple’s education-focused event tomorrow, which in itself is a reaction to the dominance of Chromebooks in schools, Google today announced the first Chrome OS tablet. The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is a new form factor for Chrome OS going directly after the K-12 market.
Since its 2011 launch, Chrome OS has expanded beyond laptops with Chromeboxes and all-in-ones. Convertibles with touchscreens that can be used in several modes are also popular, with Google now expanding the operating system to dedicated tablets.
It runs the same full-featured Chrome OS already found on existing tablet convertibles with a dock at the bottom of the screen that features touch tools for quickly creating a note, taking a screenshot, and magnifying.
All existing Chromebook education features like classroom IT management already work, as does the Play Store and Android apps. Support for Google’s Expeditions AR software, which features a variety of lessons in biology, geography, and astronomy, is coming soon.
Design-wise and given the educational focus, this inaugural device looks like existing Android tablets. Thick bezels surround a 9.7 LED-backlit display with 2048 x 1536 resolution for a PPI of 264. This IPS panel supports an included Wacom EMR stylus that does not need a battery and can be seamlessly inserted into the tablet for storage.
At 1.21 pounds, it is slightly heavier than the entry-level iPad and about 2.5mm thicker at 9.98mm. The Chromebook Tab 10 is designed for collaboration, while Acer notes a portable design with a textured back in cobalt blue.
On the specs front, it is powered by a processor we first saw on the Samsung Chromebook Plus. The OP1 line is designed to meet Google’s guidelines for insuring a standard Chrome OS experience with Android apps, USB-C, and long battery life.
On this device, the chipset features two Cortex-A72 and four Cortex-A53 processor cores. Like other Chromebooks today, it features 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage with a microSD card slot for expansion.
Other specs include 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, 2 megapixel front-facing camera, and 5 megapixel on the rear. A USB Type-C port is accompanied by a 3.5mm headphone jack and dual speakers. Battery is rated at 9 hours per charge.
It is launching this April in North America for $329 and in EMEA this May at €329. Price-wise, it’s identical to the current entry-level iPad and on par with most Chromebooks today.