It's been awhile since Intel refreshed the tablet version Classmate PC, and it's decided to launch the next generation kiddie netbook here at its CeBIT press conference. We just got a look at the new 10.1-inch light blue netvertible from afar and it looks slimmer than the previous version, but according to the press release below the updates really come in the form of ruggedness. It's got that always-cute grippy handle, a water resistant, anti-microbial keyboard, hard drive protection and a rubberized bottom. Still in tact is the rotatable webcam, screen accelerometer, and onboard microphone for recording notes. Unsurprisingly, Intel has updated the internals with its latest Pine Trail Atom processors. While it comes with a stylus, we're unsure if the touchscreen will support multitouch, but you can be sure we'll be finding out when we get some hands-on time. Oh, and happy birthday from Intel everyone!
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New Intel convertible Classmate press shots


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New Intel convertible Classmate at CeBIT 2010

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Intel Previews New Intel-powered convertible classmate PC

March 2, 2010 – Intel today disclosed information about its new Intel-powered convertible classmate PC reference design, adding to the existing classmate PC designs as part of the Intel® Learning Series. This upcoming addition combines aesthetics with ruggedness, full PC functionality with enhanced e-reading capabilities and improved performance with energy efficiency. It will join the clamshell classmate PC design to provide classrooms around the world with a purpose-built solution for education. PC manufacturers are now designing their products based on this design that will be introduced later this year.

The flexible design of the new convertible classmate PC works and moves the way kids do
o The Intel-powered classmate PC provides powerful computing performance to support various educational applications and activities:
o Features the Intel® Atom™ processor – built for low power consumption and designed specifically for a new wave of mobile Internet devices and simple, affordable netbooks
o Increased memory and storage to run education applications that help students succeed today and build skills for the future
o Integrated wireless connectivity with WiFi and providing the options of 3G, GPS, WiMAX for easy network and Internet connections
o Rechargeable battery with up to 8.5 hours* of battery life so students and teachers don't have to worry about plugging in [*with optional 6-cell battery]
o 10.1" LCD monitor with 1024 x 600 resolution
o Built-in rotational camera for more natural and intuitive picture taking
o Built-in audio and microphone so students can experience and create multimedia

· The Intel-powered convertible classmate PC is easy to hold and carry with heat dissipation features, rubberized surface for easy grip and a comfortable, low-profile handle that supports a variety of holding and carrying positions

· The durable, lightweight and compact construction withstands everyday use and is perfect for child-size hands, small desks and various classroom configurations:
o Improved ruggedness with drop test from desk height
o Hard drive protection
o Water-resistant keyboard, touchpad and screen
o Bump and scratch resistant
o Optional anti-microbial keyboard

Comprehensive research and classroom observations back the new convertible classmate PC's "micro-mobility" offerings
· The Intel-powered convertible classmate PC can convert instantly from a clamshell design to a tablet PC, allowing students to naturally change form factors as they move about between activities and locations in the classroom, an observation that Intel ethnographic researchers have termed "micro-mobility." The digital accelerometer automatically switches the screen orientation, so students can hold their PCs any way they want and with whatever hand they use to write
· The Intel-powered convertible classmate PC provides natural, easy and fun reading, writing and drawing experiences:
o Touch-optimized user interface for the eReader application included
o Students can touch the screen to scroll and turn pages or use convenient buttons at the side of the display
o Supports mainstream ebook file formats like pdf and ePub
o Improved note taking experience with annotation software application
o Handwriting recognition and note-taking software give students the choice to input content without typing
o Handwriting recognition is available in multiple localized languages
o Cool surface temperature for comfort while using in tablet format
o In tablet mode, the "palm resting" feature ignores the touch of hands resting on the screen, allowing students to write and draw intuitively
o Ergonomic stylus is wide and triangular for comfortable grip, and can be attached to the classmate PC with an optional tether

·The Intel-powered convertible classmate PC promotes collaboration and teamwork between students in the classroom:
o In clamshell mode, the screen swivels 180 degrees so content is easily shared with classmates
o In tablet mode, students can easily carry their classmate PCs around the classroom or outside to facilitate group projects
o With the built-in rotatable camera, students can photograph or film themselves and their classmates from their desks or while on the go
o Dual headphone jacks allow students to share audio with a classmate or teacher
o Digital microphone enhances voice input and online chat quality
o Instant Collaborator software lets students easily share files and screens with classmates

Intel collaborates with a wide network of vendors to develop and deliver education technologies that support and optimize Intel-powered convertible classmate PCs
· Intel collaborates with local hardware, software and peripherals vendors to catalyze innovation and optimal compatibility at the development stage
· More than 300 vendors, including hardware vendors, operating system vendors, software vendors and enterprise solutions providers are developing applications, peripherals and services optimized for Intel-powered classmate PCs
· The Intel® Learning Series, now in 60 countries, offers marketing tools, training, online exposure and a forum for vendors to share resources and find common opportunities

Additional information about classmate PC is available at www.intel.com/intel/worldahead/classmatepc/ and www.classmatepc.com.