Intel announces new educational tablet

Steven Loeb · April 10, 2012 · Short URL:

Using developing world as tablet launchpad; goest head on with old partner One Laptop Per Child

Tablets are quickly becoming the hot item around the globe, putting a dent in PC sales and fast becoming the go-to device for people on the go. Not only are they set to revolutionize how people view their entertainment, but they might just change how students learn as well. 

Hoping to get on the tablet bandwagon is chip make Intel, which announced Tuesday a new educational tablet, targeting the developing world.

The tablet will be a part of the Intel Learning Series and features unique classroom-ready features and capabilities including an ultra rugged design and specialized educational software. The studybook is designed with front and rear cameras, microphone and a multi-touch LCD screen. It is designed to withstand drops and is water and dust resistant.

The price of the tablets will depend on software and add-ons, but Intel wants the starting price of the tablet to remain below $200, Kapil Wadhera, general manager of Intel’s Education Market Platform Group, told the Wall Street Journal. Intel could not be immediately reached.

The studybook tablet is designed to be used in countries all around the world, with software tailored to a specific culture and language.

Intel has already launched educational devices, starting with the Classmate netbook in 2006, which is currently used by over seven million students worldwide. In 2010, it released the Convertible Classmate which had significant upgrades including a WiFi connection and touchscreen.

Now, with tablets being the wave of the future, Intel is obviously trying to stay ahead of the curve by transitioning from netbooks to tablets. It faces some stiff competition, though, as it is not the only company attempting to break into the classroom market.

They will find a rival in Apple, which in January launched iBooks 2, a product that allows students to purchase and download textbooks to their iPads. There is also Chegg, a company that allows students to rent out digital copies of their textbooks.

Intel's biggest competitor on the tablet market, though, is sure to be One Laptop Per Child, who Intel partnered with briefly in 2007. OLPC, a non-profit organization that provides educational devices to developing countries, finally unveiled its XO-3 tablet in January after announcing it back in 2009. The XO-3 has a lower price than the studybook, costing less than $100 and is set to be released later this year.

Intel could not be reached for comment.

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