Intel launches Android-powered Education Tablets in 7-inch, 10-inch sizes

The new devices run on Atom chips, include customized educational software, and offer a number of learning accessories.

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Intel isn't generally in the business of selling mobile devices, though it makes an exception when it comes to educational products. It already offers the classmate PC laptops, and now it has rolled out a pair of school-friendly tablets.

The Intel Education Tablets come in 7-inch and 10-inch versions, each running a version of Android. The 7-inch flavor uses an Intel Atom Z2420 processor and runs Android 4.1, while the 10-inch model is powered by an Atom 2460 chip and Android 4.0. Each comes with 1GB of RAM, with the 7-inch Education Tablet including 8GB of flash storage and the 10-inch version coming with 16GB.

More important than the raw hardware specs, however, are the learning tools that Intel puts at the center of the Education Tablet experience. The built-in software suite includes apps for science and art, an electronic textbook reader, and camera-based software for science-related projects. The 10-inch tablet includes a digital stylus (available as an option for the 7-inch model), and other optional accessories include a snap-on magnifying lens for the rear-facing camera as well as a temperature probe.

To help manage a school's stable of Education Tablets, Intel also packages a classroom management app and security software like Parents Carefree and Intel Education Theft Deterrent. More information about the Education Tablets can be found on the Intel website.

Because these are to be volume purchased by education institutions, Intel Education Tablets aren't readily available to consumers, and hence it's not surprising that pricing information has not yet been provided. The devices will face stiff competition for the classroom, however, as Microsoft , Dell , Sony , and others (even News Corp ) are attempting to make inroads against Apple's traditional turf and its popular (albeit pricier) iPad .

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