Intel's latest education-focused tablet and Classmate PC reference designs add... more rubber?

We're all about the sentiment in Intel's education-focused tablet and PC reference designs, aimed at providing a template for other tablet and PC makers in the education space. That's all fine and good. Our side that cares about electronics evolving over time is less enthused, as this year's Intel reference designs for educational tablets and PCs are basically last year's models.

The same Intel education software suite is incorporated, the same Android and Windows bases (respectively) and roughly the same specs sit inside each (head below for the full list for both). In fact, the biggest difference we're seeing here is a more "ruggedized" exterior (read: more rubber edges). If it's not broken, don't fix it, right? That's apparently the tactic Intel's employing here: If it works for education, then why change it, right? Agreed, though we can't help but wonder what else Intel could do to push the field here beyond making kid-proof devices with education software installed. Perhaps we'll find out in 2015. An HP version of the Classmate reference goes on sale later this month, no word on tablet makers.

Intel Android tablet reference design specs:

  • Android 4.2

  • Dual-core Intel Atom 1.2GHz Z2520 processor (integrated graphics)

  • Front/rear-facing cameras

  • Avg. 12-hour battery life

Intel Classmate PC reference design specs:

  • Windows 8.1/Windows 7/Linux

  • Intel Celeron N2805 processor

  • Touchscreen (optional)

  • Rotatable camera (optional)