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File this under: "Wait, that didn't happen already?" Intel just announced the Studybook, that tablet you see up there, and believe it or not it's only the first slate to join the company's lineup of Classmate products for schools. That's sort of wild, given the popularity of tablets and also the fact that there are so many kid-proof models floating around. And yet, the closest Intel had come until now was with the Convertible Classmate PC, a device that was more of a netbook with a touchscreen.

Like the rest of Intel's Classmate series, the Studybook is meant to find a home in schools here in the US and around the globe, including developing markets. And by most measures, this reference design is exactly the kind of product you would have expected Intel to cook up for such an audience. Starting with raw specs, you're looking at a 7-inch (1024 x 600), Atom-powered tablet that can be configured to run either Android or Windows 7, depending on the school district's needs. As you'd expect, it's been designed to take a beating from careless kids: the plastic, 525-gram (1.2-pound tablet) can withstand 70-centimeter (2.3-foot) drops and has a rubber band reinforcing the bezel to keep sand and other elements out. You'll also find rubber gasketing around the ports, which include USB 2.0, HDMI, a headphone jack and microSD / SIM slots. Though it comes standard with 1GB of RAM, the amount of built-in storage will vary from school to school: four to 32 gigs, or a 128GB SSD.

Just as important as the specs is the software package, which includes Kno's e-reader app, as well as the LabCam suite, which lets you do things like attach a special lens (sold separately) to use that rear-facing 2-megapixel camera as a microscope. As for price, Intel is quick to emphasize it doesn't set the cost (that would be OEMs), but it believes manufacturers who use this design can sell the finished product for $200 or less. No word, then, on when this might show up in a classroom near you, but for now we've got hands-on photos below and a pair of walk-through videos just past the break.
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Intel Studybook press photos

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Intel Studybook reference design hands-on




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From Classrooms to Playgrounds: An Intel® Studybook is a Student's Rugged Window to the World

Intel® Learning Series Expands Product Portfolio


NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
- An Intel® studybook, a ruggedized, purpose-built tablet for education, provides mobility for students, comes with Intel® Learning Series (Intel® LS) software suite and is supported by a broad education ecosystem
- The Learning Series has added Teacher PC criteria for Ultrabook™ and Notebook systems- enabling a seamless classroom experience
- Currently, more than 7 million students worldwide are using Intel classmate PCs

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 10, 2012 – Intel Corporation today introduced an Intel® studybook, a tablet that is part of the Intel Learning Series family and features unique classroom-ready features and capabilities including an ultra rugged design and specialized educational software. Purpose-built for 1:1 e-learning, a studybook's innovative features include front and rear cameras, microphone, light sensor support project-based inquiry and mobile learning environments. It comes with a capacitive multi-touch LCD screen and is based on an Intel® Atom™ processor Z650.

The rugged tablet reference design is constructed from a single piece of plastic and includes shock-absorbers around the screen. It is designed to withstand accidental drops from a standard student desk and is also water- and dust- resistant. Young students, often owners of slippery fingers can learn and have fun in and out of the classroom with reduced stress for parents and teachers concerned about damage.

An Intel studybook provides education-focused solutions with a student-friendly design. The education software includes classroom management, LabCam applications that support scientific enquiry, and an optimized e-reader. The collaboration software has a user-friendly interface which enables teachers and students to collaborate in the classroom for improved learning efficiency.

"An Intel studybook offers students limitless opportunities to enhance their learning experience." said Kapil Wadhera, general manager of Intel's Education Market Platform Group. "Expanding the Intel Learning Series portfolio of affordable, purpose-built educational devices brings us closer to our vision of enabling more students and teachers to participate in high quality education."

Teachers are an integral part of the classroom and the new Intel Learning Series Teacher PC criteria will enable solutions that are developed specifically to meet the needs of teachers. The criteria are available to computer manufactures to build purpose built education notebooks and Ultrabooks™ for teachers and will take advantage of the 500 member strong Intel Learning Series ecosystem. Teacher PCs also come with access to education content, professional development and digital literacy resources.

As a component of the Intel Learning Series family of products, an Intel studybook is grounded in ethnographic studies. The hardware and software elements of an Intel studybook have been piloted in more than 2,000 classrooms in 36 countries. Its infrastructure is tailored to individual geographies in terms of content, cultural relevance, and language.

About the Intel Learning Series
Intel® Learning Series brings together digital content, teacher training, deployment support and purpose-built education technology to enable successful 1:1 e-learning environments for students. Through a strong ecosystem of PC manufacturers, operating system vendors, education service providers, content and software providers, the Learning Series delivers complete end-to-end education solutions. More than 500 alliance members in 70 countries are developing applications, peripherals and services optimized for the Learning Series. More information available at www.intellearningseries.com.