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Intel Reveals Multi-OS 'Studybook' Tablet for Education

  The new Intel studybook is a ruggedized, 7-inch tablet that can run either Android or WIndows 7 operating systems.
  The new Intel studybook is a ruggedized, 7-inch tablet that can run either Android or WIndows 7 operating systems.
The new Intel studybook is a ruggedized, 7-inch tablet that can run either Android or WIndows 7 operating systems.

Intel is launching a new tablet reference design geared specifically for K-12 education. The "studybook," as it's called, is capable of running both Google's Android (Honeycomb) operating system and Microsoft Windows 7.

The new studybook features a 7-inch capacitive multitouch display with a resolution of 1,024 x 600. It's built around a 1.2 GHz single-core Intel Atom Z650 processor and comes stock with 1 GB of DDR2 RAM with support for solid state storage from 4 GB to 32 GB.

Kapil Wadhera, general manager for the Education Market Platforms Group at Intel, explained in an interview that the studybook is purpose-built for education, offering a ruggedized design, the Intel Learning Series software suite, and education support in the form of professional development and other services.

Software includes e-reading solutions developed by Kno, according to Wadhera. Intel invested $20 million in Kno about this time last year for the purpose of addressing "the growing interactive and 1:1 student learning environments by exploring opportunities to make Kno's touch-based applications available for Intel's educational platforms."

The ruggedized design includes unibody construction, shock resistance, dust resistance, and water resistance. It has an ingress protection rating of 41 (IP41) and is designed to survive a drop of up to 70 cm.

The device also offers a security feature common to other Intel Learning Series devices, a Trusted Platform Module (TPM)-based system that can brick a device that's lost or stolen.

Other features of the studybook include:

  • Built-in WiFi support (802.11b/g/n);
  • Optional 3G and Bluetooth;
  • Battery life of up to 5.5 hours;
  • Dual optional cameras, a 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera and a 2 megapixel rear camera;
  • Integrated microphone and mono speaker;
  • Accelerometer;
  • Light sensor; and
  • USB port, Micro SD slot, optional mini-HDMI port, optional 3G card slot, and optional SIM card slot, with I/O port covers to protect against water and dust.

The studybook is the third hardware design to join the Intel Learning Series lineup. The line also includes a clamshell design and a convertible tablet, both introduced within the last five years. According to Intel, there are now about 7 million students on Intel Learning Series devices worldwide, mainly in Latin America but also in large numbers in Europe and the Middle East. In Argentina alone, a program called Conectar Igualdad is seeing 3 million ILS devices distributed to students in public secondary schools nationwide. According to Wadhera, Intel has spent about $1 billion over last 10 years in developing educational technologies that have been deployed in 70 countries.

"By integrating technology we're now engaging students around the world," Wadhera said.

In related news, Intel has also debuted a new specification for teacher PCs that can "seamlessly integrate" with all devices within the Intel Learning Series. The specification provides a design purpose-built for teachers, with built-in professional development resources, offline learning content (including materials from Khan Academy), and theft deterrence features.

As of this writing, Intel had not announced any specific OEM partnerships for the studybook, but Wadhera said that several manufacturers would be placing orders, including some with distribution in the United States. Wadhera said he expects the first models to start shipping in "mid-2012." It isn't clear how soon studybook models will begin rolling out in the United States. Pricing for the devices has not yet been revealed.

Additional details can be found on Intel's Learning Series portal.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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