I just landed in Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show and some of Google’s hardware partners are jumping the gun on Chromebook announcements. ASUS, for example, is following growth in the education market with a small Chrome OS tablet, which might look a bit familiar.
See if any of this jogs your memory. The ASUS Chromebook Tablet CT100 has a 9.7-inch display with 1536 x 2048 resolution touchscreen, powered by the ARM-based OP1 processor, 4 GB of memory and 32 GB of eMMC local storage. There’s also a single USB Type-C port, microSD card slot, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 support. Oh, and a removable stylus, 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 5-megapixel rear shooter.
If you’re familiar with the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 that launched last year for the same market, you know that these are the same hardware specifications. About the only difference that I can see — on paper, anyway – is that the ASUS model is ruggedized and rated for “drops up to 100 cm”, which of course, sounds better than one meter.
Like the similar Acer model, my thought is that this is best suited for elementary school grades; once you move into middle and high school, kids need a larger display and a keyboard to get work done.
ASUS hasn’t said when to expect the Chromebook Tablet CT100 or what the price is just yet, but I’d assume availability won’t be too far off since it’s using older (and likely very available) components. If ASUS can boot these out for $249, I think schools would snap them up. Some consumers might too if they want a full desktop browser — although I think with this screen size, the new mobile-friendly web view option will be more useful — and Android apps on a very portable little tablet.
I’ll try to get some hands-on time at CES to see if there’s any “secret sauce” added, otherwise, this is a tablet we’ve basically seen before.