Google debuts Chrome OS tablets to take on the iPad w/ $329 Acer Chromebook Tab 10

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.

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Google Chrome

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Google Chrome is the most widely used desktop browser in the world. Since its launch in 2008, Chrome has expanded to Android, iOS, and is the basis of a cloud-based operating system.

Acer Chromebook Tab 10

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Abner Li

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