Video: Can Apple cut into Google's education tech lead?
Acer has launched the world's first tablet that runs on Chrome OS, the management-friendly Google platform that leads the US education market for cheap laptops and 2-in-1s.
Google announced the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 ahead of Apple's big education event for the rumored launch of a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad for K-12 students.
And while Apple heads to a school in Chicago for its launch, it's probably no coincidence that Google gave a preview of its Chrome OS tablet to an elementary school in Apple's home town, Cupertino.
Apple is expected to announce its entry-level 9.7-inch iPad to compete with Chromebooks. It's unclear whether it will be available with a stylus.
According to Futuresource Consulting, Chrome OS powers nearly 60 percent of devices shipped to US schools in 2017, and while Google and Microsoft device sales grew in the second half of 2017, Apple's iPad sales declined.
The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 will be available in the US for commercial and education customers in April from $329 before going on sale in Europe for €329, including VAT, in May.
Download now: New equipment budget policy
The tablet features a touch display with a 2,048 x 1,526-pixel resolution and supports the built-in Wacom EMR stylus. Google says that the stylus uses machine learning to enhance the writing experience for students. The stylus also doesn't need charging or pairing.
The tablet supports Google Play and gives teachers and students access to Android apps with planned support for Google Expeditions AR in the works.
The Chromebook Tab 10 runs on a Rockchip OP1 processor with dual-core Cortex-A72 and quad-core Cortex-A53 processors. It comes with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, weighs 1.21lb (550g), and according to Acer, offers a nine-hour battery life.
The tablet also features a two-megapixel webcam and five-megapixel rear camera, dual speakers and mic, USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1 port, 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD slot, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
Previous and related coverage
Apple's March 27 field trip is all about education, but the company has a tough task trying to gain share from Google's Chromebook, G Suite, and Google Classroom stack.
Not only does the official invite offer a clue, but the location of Apple's next event gives us a pretty good idea of what to expect.
In 2012, Apple tried to position iPads as replacing textbooks. Last year, Microsoft tried to position laptops as replacing Chromebooks. Now, Apple needs to hook educators on the power of future-looking tech such as coding and augmented reality.
Commentary: We could see new iPads, coding initiatives -- and maybe a few surprises.
A flaw in certain Chromebooks' Trusted Platform Module firmware would allow attackers to access encrypted data.