Acer released the Chromebook Tab 10, a Chrome OS-based tablet targeted towards the education market. The 10” tablet packs surprisingly high-end specs, including a near-2K screen and Wacom EMR-based pen input.
Acer is no stranger to Chrome OS. Over the past two years, the company has been releasing devices based on Google’s desktop OS for classroom-bound devices. The Chromebook Tab 10 is merely Acer’s newest addition to this lineup. Starting with the basic specs, the Tab 10 has a 2048 x 1536, 9.7” IPS screen, 4GB of memory, 32GB of storage, and 802.11 AC Wi-Fi. For I/O, the device has a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, headphone jack, and MicroSD card reader.
You might be thinking that those are surprisingly modern specs for a device destined for an abusive life in the hands of K-12 students, but we’ve haven’t gotten to the interesting part yet. The Tab 10 comes with an integrated stylus that works on Wacom EMR technology. This is what powers Wacom’s traditional drawing tablets, and it doesn’t require that the pen be battery-powered like in Wacom AES or N-trig-based notebooks. EMR is also the favored choice of most digital artists, but Acer isn’t selling the Tab 10 for this purpose.
We saved the Tab 10’s CPU for last because it’s quite an interesting one. It’s called the OP1, and it’s likely something that you’ve never heard of before. The SoC is made by Rockchip and contains two ARM Cortex A72 cores and four Cortex A53 cores in a “big.LITTLE” configuration. This is an old, and now defunct, design philosophy from ARM that attempted to mix powerful and power-efficient cores into one SoC. The idea was that the powerful cores would only be used when necessary, and the power-efficient cores would be used for all other tasks. The OP1 is shared by some other recent Chromebook products, including the Samsung Chromebook Plus and the Asus Chromebook Flip C101.
The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 will be available only to education and commercial customers for $329.