News Corp education unit launches $299 Android tablet

News Corp education unit launches $299 Android tablet

Summary: The media conglomerate's education arm is set to launch a low-cost Android tablet for the classroom in a bid to take a chunk away from the ever-growing iPad in education market.

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News Corp. is pushing further into the education space as its Amplify digital education group unveils a new budget $299 Android "Jelly Bean"-based tablet for the classroom.

The media conglomerate, better known for its ties with Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, among others, created its Amplify unit in mid-July last year. Through a partnership with AT&T, the unit planned to launch a low-cost 4G-enabled tablet for the K-12 market. 

And today, it made good on that promise. 

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The Asus-powered Amplify tablet. (Credit: Amplify)

Reported by the Financial Times of London (paywalled), the 10-inch device will be available for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year and will include a range of pre-loaded software from traditional publishers — such as the Encyclopedia Britannica — and from education startups.

The $299 tablet comes with a $99-per-year subscription to Amplify's education software, making the price point lower than most rival tablets out there on the market. A premium tablet is also available with a 4G plan for $349 with a $179-per-year, two-year subscription.

It also comes with Google Apps for Education for outsourced cloud-based communications and services. Crucially, also, the tablet will run for 8.5 hours of battery life on a single charge, according to the company, along with a swappable battery and support for external keyboards — making these devices as low-cost as low-end PCs.

It goes almost without saying: the education market is a strong, burgeoning portion of the wider enterprise market. (Yes, schools and colleges are de facto enterprises, too.) Spending in this area is tight but many are aggressively targeting the textbook and education market in a bid to gain an in-road into the already highly competitive and lucrative market. 

The hope is that cash-strapped education systems around the U.S. will garner the support of local districts all the way up to federal government in a bid to tap into the education space, which at the moment isn't quite dominated by Apple's iPad but is certainly making waves among the education enterprise sector.

Apple, for instance, provides iBooks and desktop e-book publishing software, launched more than a year ago at an education event in New York.

Topics: Education, Android, Tablets

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11 comments
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  • What a waste of money

    Give the students proper laptops with a decent keyboard. These useless devices will only make the kids dumber.
    Owlll1net
    • Yep

      Give them a chromebook
      Nagg05
    • I am going to assume that you grew-up with a laptop

      which makes a perfect case for giving kids something else.
      Wakemewhentrollsgone
  • Just Wondering...

    Doe it come with News Corp's extremist right-wing propaganda built in? The earlier they can get that stuff pumped into the brains of the innocent and receptive minds of our young, the bigger the payoff will be to them someday.
    BuckCash
    • I hope so

      But then not living off the government is extreme to people, clearly having the unions turn kids into voter livestock works. All it takes is some foodstamps, min wage, zero income tax, a community organizer in chief, section 8, etc
      everss02
    • I hope so

      I'm sick of the Left-wing sickness that currently permeates society!
      Wakemewhentrollsgone
    • Hope So

      I hope so. It maybe the only way to combat the Leftist Liberal Logic found in the rest of the media and most of the schools.
      BullsEye Aka-Kent
    • Paper

      I envision a world where the word is frozen in time by a suspension of elements which permeates a good contrasting surface and dries. They are arranged so to form information from the blotches of ink, shaped like letters into words. The mere idea that FACTS could be trusted to such a malleable and insecure medium as Electronic Bits flipping hooked up to insecure networks where people will edit information to shape the truth to their own affect is abhorrent to me.
      CloudStrata
  • Wiretapw

    Wonder if it comes with trojans so Newscorp can find scandal news. News of the World spying, take 2...
    Oden79
  • Given the facts...

    Am I the only one who sees something deeply wrong with this
    …knowing this:

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/19/world/europe/hacking-time-line

    … and this:

    http://gawker.com/5814150

    Do we really want these people inside the heads of our children? Really?
    steveaaa8
  • There's irony...

    News Corp's Faux News preaches regularly against Google and that they spy on users...But now they turn to Google to help build their propaganda machine? Hm. Do they want the best in spy technology, or do they know what they preach on Faux is BS? UH-OH little conservative heads start popping!
    NotMSUser