Intel is taking its advocacy for 2-in-1 convertible systems into the classroom.
The chip maker on April 14 unveiled the Education 2 in 1, a ruggedized system that like other hybrid notebooks can be used as both a tablet and a traditional laptop. To use it as a tablet, students detach the display from the keyboard.
In addition, the screen can be flipped around when used in the notebook mode, enabling users to show content to the rest of the class, and it comes with a stylus for kids who might prefer that over a keyboard. Other features include integrated audio, stereo speaker and digital microphone, a snap-on magnifying lens that works with applications in Intel's Education Software suite—including the Intel Education Lab Camera—front- and rear-facing cameras, and a temperature sensor probe that works with the SPARKvue data analysis software for science and math projects in the Education Suite. The temperature sensor is designed to work with experiments.
The Education Suite includes a range of applications, from the Kno textbooks e-reader to My Notes/MyScript Notes Mobile, for taking notes and organizing information.
The Education 2 in 1 includes a 10-inch touch screen, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB or 64GB solid-state disk (SSD) storage. It's powered by a quad-core Atom Z3740 chip and runs Microsoft's Windows 8.1 operating system. It offers up to 7.8 hours of battery life when used as a tablet and is built to handle the rigors of school life: It is water- and dust-resistant and can survive a 70-centimeter drop.
The hybrid device represents Intel's latest push into the education space. Other products include the Classmate systems and Studybook 7-inch tablet, which also is powered by Atom chips and came out in 2011. Intel will compete with a range of products from such companies as Apple, Dell and Microsoft.
Like other tech vendors, Intel has been hurt by the decline in global PC sales over the past couple of years. While the giant chip maker has looked to expand into such growth areas as mobile devices, wearable computers and the Internet of things, it also has worked to reinvigorate the PC space by pushing for new form factors, including 2-in-1 systems and all-in-one PCs.