Chrome OS took over schools with clamshells, but now Google is shaking things up with slabs. After a spring announcement, Acer has built the first Chrome OS tablet, the $329 Chromebook Tab 10, to give teachers and students a more flexible device to use for schoolwork both in and out of the classroom.
Some might perk up at the idea of a lightweight yet durable tablet with a 2048×1536 display and a built-in Wacom stylus running Chrome OS, but this device (like many other Chrome OS devices) will only be sold in the education market. While regular consumers may not be able to get their hands on the Chromebook Tab 10, however, there will be more Chrome OS tablets to come that will be sold to the general public.
After spending some time with this inaugural Chrome OS tablet, it would be remiss to think that it’s essentially the same thing as an Android tablet—devices that are largely unsupported at this point. We may not be traditional educators or students at this point, but Ars tested the Chromebook Tab 10 with a few things in mind: how does the Chrome OS experience translate on a tablet sans-keyboard? And, perhaps more importantly, can Chrome OS bring Google’s tablet category back from the dead?
This video comes to us from none other than….US! I am sorry, the video is rather long and a bit rambling, but it does show that even some old equipment may be useful for something.
I actually got up very early this morning and brought along my trusty flash drive and got a newer version of Firefox to work on this ancient dinosaur! So we now have a functional Windows XP, (32 bit) spare PC for use as, uh, well, perhaps a web browsing device.
However with the 1024 x 600 display, we are not talking a great experience. The speakers also stink but if you plug in some external one the sound is excellent.
But hopefully folks will leave some comments on the YouTube channel suggesting to us what this thing might be good for. After all, a functional 10.1 inch notebook (yeah, I know, netbook), with WiFi, 3 full size USB 2.0 ports and reasonable battery life, along with a surprisingly huge hard drive (160 GB), is simply not something to toss in the trash.
So below you will find the video, sorry I sound tired but it was about 1 AM when I finally had reached my conclusions on what to do with this thing…
As expected Intel is about to lose one of its big sellers, Chromebooks. Turns out that future models could rely on Snapdragon CPUs. One such example has just appeared, under the codename “Cheza”. It’s a 2 in 1 Chromebook with a Snapdragon 845 CPU.
We’ve seen Snapdragons on Windows 10 S machines and moving to Chromebooks seems logical. This “Cheza” will be a in 2 in 1 Chromebook with a detachable keyboard. There’s also a Chromium source code commit, that points towards the same device. Leaks and sources talk about it, as having a 2560 x 1440 pixel screen, plus there’s an USB Type-C port in the mix, for connecting an external screen, data transfer and charging.
Chromebooks have been available with Intel, Rockchip and MediaTek processors, but none with Qualcomm. It would offer extra choices, better battery life, plus LTE modem, which is something the other chips don’t bring. The Cheza Chrome OS device will end up as an “Always Connected” machine, with an eSIM maybe. Expect to use it as a laptop, tablet and regular detachable.
Not sure if Microsoft will be happy about this, since it cannibalizes their Windows 10 S /Windows on ARM machines. Since Qualcomm is rolling in cash, they may as well offer the CPU cheaper to the Chromebook OEMs, so the prices may be lower than we’ve seen lately (the latest Chromebooks have become very pricey sadly).
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 has been on a roll over the past days, with a few consistent leaks. We even had a picture of the device to look at, at some point. The device has been confirmed for a June 25th launch and it also leaked in specs, like the Snapdragon 660 CPU. But this is the first set of renders we see for it.
The Mi Pad 4 is an 8 inch tablet that seems to have very narrow bezels. These pics were posted on Weibo and they look relatively legit. We’ll get a 16:10 aspect ratio screen here and most of the design elements from the last year tablet will be kept. There’s a single back camera on the top left corner of the slate, plus a rectangular white stripe, reminding us of the older gen iPads.
Turns out we’ll also get Face Unlock here, which was revealed by Xiaomi this week, plus we also have some prices or configs. The device is expected to come with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage, priced at $230, which is actually not tablet. We don’t have info on a potential LTE version, but odds are small for that to happen. The device is also expected in USA, as it already passed the FCC certification.
We should also get some AI love on this device and the Face Unlock I mentioned may even rely on the 3D face recognition from the Mi 8, although that may drive the price up. The tablet won’t have a finger scanner, since it’s replaced by the face thing. I also see we get some curved screen corners here and what looks like a rose gold or blush gold color version.
So I have achieved success with that, but in truth, in our work environment we need something a bit better than a notebook PC.
It gets hot in the shop here and to be honest the main PC the boss uses is so out of date that we worry they may declare it a PC Historical monument! It is a Dell M6300 (Precision Line I believe).
It has absolutely the worst viewing angles of any laptop/notebook I have ever seen and is well on it’s way to dying, due to the heat/cold at work. It was created as a business class laptop and not one for a workshop, non-air-conditioned office type device.
This not so short video will cover my recommendations for a replacement of the aforementioned dinosaur.
Below are links to a few devices I mention in the video. But I always suggest shopping about for the best prices!