Intel has redesigned its Classmate tablet PC with a number of new rugged features, including water-resistant display and touchpad. In addition, Intel has revamped the Classmate with the Atom N450 chip and larger, 2.5-inch HDD. Intel estimates there are about two million Classmates being used by school children.
is revamping its Classmate convertible tablet PC
with a number of new
rugged features, including a water-resistant display and touchpad, which are
geared toward school children both in the United States and overseas. In
addition, Intel has built technology into the Classmate
to turn the PC into an e-reader
addition to the rugged and e-reader features, Intel is offering a new Atom
processor with the Classmate - the Intel Atom N450 (1.66GHz) - as well as a
larger hard disk drive and options for both 3G and GPS technologies. This
version of the Intel Classmate can also support a number of different Microsoft
operating systems, including Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, as well
as several flavors of Linux.
is showing off the new Classmate design at the CeBit show in Germany, which
stared March 2.
Intel is the driving force behind the Classmate program, these PCs are actually
reference designs that local ODMs and OEMs use to create specialized laptops
for school children. In addition, Intel works with a number of ISVs
(independent software vendors) to create applications that are designed for
children in different countries.
Intel Classmate is also different in scope and sized compared to other programs
that look to supply children with laptops, such
as the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization
. With the Classmate, Intel
works with local OEMs, ODMs, and ISVs to create the laptops and the PC are then
sold to government agencies and schools for a profit. (After a public dispute, Intel
severed ties with the OLPC project about two years ago
these types of laptops have the potential to help school children connect to
the Internet and expand their educational opportunities, it also allows Intel
to introduce itself and its products to potentially millions of new customers
in emerging markets.
For a look at the new Intel Classmate, please click here.
now, Intel estimates that there are about 2 million Classmates in circulation
throughout the world. While the PCs are available in the United States, Jeffrey
Galinovsky, a regional manager for Intel's Classmate PC division, said its
countries in Europe and Latin America that have started using Classmate designs
of the most successful deployments have happened in Portugal
, but other
countries, such as Venezuela, have also adopted the Classmate to their local
Intel classmate is still offered in two distinct designs. While the original
Classmate is a clamshell laptop design, the newer version are a tablet design
with touchscreen displays, a stylus pen and handle that students can use to
carry the PCs. Intel
first introduced the convertible tablet Classmate at the 2009 CES expo
these machines still cost between $350 and $400, although the clamshell laptops
cost a little less, said Galinovsky.
addition to the other features, Intel is looking to make the Classmate double
as an e-reader. Intel has incorporated "page up" and "page down" functions into
the tablet design and Intel is also in talks with publishers, such as
McGraw-Hill Companies, into creating textbooks that take advantage of this new
are working with publishers like McGraw-Hill and Pearson on how we enable this
to replace textbooks," said Galinovsky. "It's like the chicken and the egg. The
publishers know they need to go there but they don't have the devices in
kindergarten through eighth grade to do that. So, it's like I need the device
for the content but I need the content to get the device going. This version of
the Classmate with the 1366 by 768 [display resolution] support, which is what
the publishers said they need to make this work."
Intel and textbook publishers have not announced any formal agreement as of
addition to the new Atom N450 chip, the classmate includes a 2.5-inch hard disk
drive that offers up to 250GB of data storage, 1GB of RAM, a six-cell battery
options that offers up to 8.5 hours of battery life, the 10.1-inch convertible
screen and a keyboard that's about 95 percent of the size of a full-fledge
laptop keyboard. There's also a 32GB
solid state drive option.
latest version of the Classmate is expected to begin shipping by the second
quarter of 2010, perhaps as early as April.