Ever since Intel released the Classmate PC more than a few years ago, it has taken a very bold step in providing educational technology to students in the developing and developed world. The company has presently announced the next phase of its hard work. Yes, it publicized a pair of tablets that are designed to interface with sensor packages, including educational software, and are Android based rather than Microsoft Windows.
The two tablets have almost same, though not exact, hardware specs. The 7-inch design has a 1024×600 touch screen, runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), and offers 8GB of storage while the 10-inch tablet has a 1280×800 display and 16GB of RAM.
Strangely, the 10-inch tablet is actually known as running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) rather than Jelly Bean. The 10-inch tablet’s screen is listed as a “Capacitive multi-touch” model including a stylus, involving that the 7-inch model might use an older, resistive touch-screen. Besides this, the integrated CPU is also dissimilar; the smaller device uses the Intel Atom Z2420 CPU (single-core Atom, Hyper-Threading enabled), while the 10-inch design has a Medfield chip at 1.6GHz (HT-enabled).
Both the devices enclose front and rear-facing cameras, 1GB of RAM, integrated WiFi, optional Bluetooth, and between 6.5 – 8 hours of battery life (the 7-inch tablet has a battery time at the lower end, the 10-inch tablet at the higher). The 7-inch system has a GPS and eCompass as well, while the 10-inch does not include these options.
What is more interesting to know is that Intel is shipping the Education Tablets with a snap-on magnification lens for a better close-up viewing and the tablets come equipped with a thermal probe that plugs into a port on the tablet. We know the fact, that’s not sufficient to turn the devices into tri-recorders, but it still indicates at interesting expandability and capability that a usual lower-end tablet has not got to offer.
Not forgetting the main purpose behind manufacturing these tabs, Intel also ships the devices with a full set of online textbooks from Kno, drawing software ArtRage, Pasco’s SPARKVue “probeware” (their term, not ours), and additional resources for students and teachers.