Intel (News - Alert) announced the addition of a tablet to its Classmate product line today.
Intel’s delay into the tablet market may be a surprise, given that the industry has been growing so quickly over the last two to three years and is forecasted to keep doing so for at least the next four.
Perhaps Intel was worried about getting overlooked in such a saturated market but, based on their 2011 earnings report, it's not like they can't afford to take a risk.
A tablet meant for a younger user base, the "Studybook" features a thick plastic and rubber chassis, designed to endure harsh punishment. The 525-gram (1.2-pound) piece withstands drops of up to 70 centimeters (2.3 feet) and features a rubber band that reinforces the bezel, keeping sand and dirt from getting in behind the screen.
The ports on the device, which include USB 2.0, HDMI, a standard 3.5mm headphone input and microSD/SIM card slots, also feature this rubber protective layer.
The Studybook also boasts a seven-inch display with a native resolution of 1024 x 600, an Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM and can be configured with either Android (News - Alert) or Windows 7 as the operating system, depending on the needs of each school.
Intel has not yet specified which version of Android will be offered. Storage options include internal flash memory from anywhere between four and 32 gigabytes, or a 128GB solid state drive.
The Studybook will also feature a software package including education software company Kno's e-reader app and a software suite called LabCam, allowing students to attach a sold separately lens to use the rear-facing two-megapixel camera as a microscope.
The Studybook is just a reference design, so no definite pricing information is available until Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) like HP, for example, start releasing customized versions. Intel does, however, estimate each Sudybook will cost less than $200.
Edited by Braden Becker