By Eric Grevstad
The Intel Learning Series initiative already encompasses clamshell (netbook) and convertible form factors. Today the company added the Intel Studybook—a 7-inch tablet meant to sell for $199 to $299.
The device features a 1,024-by-600 pixel capacitive touch screen and Windows 7 or Android 3.0 "Honeycomb"—the former to come first, with the latter arriving by midsummer for school districts' September shopping. The Studybook (or studybook, to use Intel's capitalization) is constructed from a single piece of plastic designed to resist liquid spills and survive drops from the average student desk (actually, 70 cm onto concrete).
The Studybook's special software stack will include an e-reader; note-taking and drawing apps; digital textbooks from Kno.com that support Web links and student annotations; interactive virtual labs from Adaptive Curriculum; and a LabCam suite that lets the tablet serve as a digital microscope (with a magnifier snapped over the rear lens), time-lapse and motion cam for monitoring events in or objects entering the frame, and motion tracker for studying kinematics.
In our brief time with an Android Studybook, the ruggedized tablet felt a tad heavy at 1.2 pounds but the screen was bright and sharp, with black bezels leaving ample room for young thumbs. Loading and switching among apps felt sufficiently snappy, and sound through the tablet's speaker was clear if a bit tinny. We anticipate kids prying the gaskets or port covers off the device.
Intel showed a proof-of-concept 7-inch Classmate tablet at IDF in September 2011, but said at the time it didn't see demand for a device lacking a keyboard. Today, says Dr. Wayne Grant, director of research and planning for Intel's Education Market Platforms Group, "the ecosystem is moving to touch [and] gesture software....It's a Gutenberg 2 time." As with the keyboarded Classmates, the Studybook will not be manufactured by Intel but by licensees who will distribute it to local OEMs, ranging from the likes of Lenovo to smaller scholastic specialists such as CTL Corp.
Source: ( pcmag.com )