Announced in March this year, the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is the first Chrome OS device that ships as a standalone tablet with no keyboard, other than the Android version of it.
It’s not really designed to be used as a laptop but, rather, as a touchscreen tab with a Wacom EMR stylus slotted into the body of the device, something that students can use to sketch, take notes, highlight text, and so forth.
When pulled out, the stylus turns on automatically, opening the stylus menu on the screen that gives you Capture Region, Capture Screen, Create a Note and a couple of other useful options.
Although the Chromebook Tab 10 can be used with a USB keyboard, or with one that is Bluetooth-enabled, it is a tablet designed, primarily, for the education market rather than as a personal everyday device – not that you can’t use it as one if you want to.
It’s been designed to “promote engagement and collaboration between students and teachers,” Acer said in a statement at the time of the announcement.
“The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 combines advances in hardware and application support to enable more meaningful learning for an even wider range of K-12 students,” said James Lin, who is the GM for Consumer Notebooks, IT Products Business group at Acer.
“The new Acer Chromebook Tab 10 encourages students to discover new ways of understanding the world around them,” Lin said.
In addition to giving you access to the Chrome web browser and support for the Google Play Store on the factory-installed Chrome OS, your new Chromebook also allows you the luxury of switching over to the Developer Channel software.
Although that’s something students and educators are unlikely to do too frequently, it does give you a nice touch-friendly quick settings panel and allows you to run Linux applications, as well.
The Tab 10 comes with a 9.7-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display panel with a 2048×1536 screen resolution and a screen-to-body-ratio of 71%, which, effectively, translates to a lot of bezel around it, something not really in conformity with today’s standards.
The plastic back of the tablet is a nice blue with a ridged texture to it.
As mentioned before, the stylus fits right into the body of the device, on the lower left side/edge when in portrait orientation, which will, obviously, change to top left in landscape.
Looking at it from a portrait perspective, again, you’ll find one of the stereo speakers on the bottom, along with a USB Type-C port.
On the left side, you have your micro SD card slot, the power button, and the volume control, while on the top you have the second speaker of the stereo system as well as the headset jack.
Of course, you get your front- and back-facing cameras with the tablet but, honestly, they are pretty much mediocre to even talk about, other than saying you’d be better off not using it for anything if you can avoid it.
While you can find the Chromebook Tab 10 on a couple of retail channels too, the tablet, essentially, targets the education sector and is available to education customers for $329.
Powering the tablet is an OP1 processor with a dual-core Cortex-A72 and a quad-core Cortex-A53 processor.
The device ships with 4GB of RAM and a 32GB eMMC storage drive and has 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 support, as well.
While the Tab 10 is pretty good for uni-tasking, it’s nowhere as fast when it comes to more complex tasks.
However, video playback is pretty decent from just about every source tested, including YouTube, Netflix, and Plex, to name a few.
While the company claims a 9 to 10-hour battery life, it really depends on what it is you are using your tab for.
Included in the box is a biggish USB Type-C adaptor, typically suited for a full-fledged laptop rather than a true tablet like the Tab 10.
It would have been better off with a smartphone kind of a power brick, honestly, but, perhaps, the company expects education customers to not much care about the fact it isn’t as compact as it could have been
While it’s a little more expensive than the $299 entry level iPad, it’s still not a bad bargain at $329, as it does come with a stylus, includes the full Chrome web browser, and offers support for Google classroom tools, as well.
Acer Chromebook Tab 10 key specifications
Dimensions: 238.3 x 172.2 x 9.9 mm (9.38 x 6.78 x 0.39 in)
Weight: 544.3 g (1.20 lb)
- IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
- 9.7 inches, 291.4 cm2 (~71.0% screen-to-body ratio)
- 1536 x 2048 pixels, 4:3 ratio (~264 ppi density)
CPU: Hexa-core (4x Cortex-A53 & 2x Cortex-A72)
Operating System: Chrome OS
Cameras: Single 5MP rear camera and 2MP selfie camera
Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 4500 mAh battery (34 Wh)