Google announced today what many have suspected since the Pixelbook release: It will now rely on Chrome OS, and not Android, for its tablets efforts. And the first Chrome-based tablet, the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, will soon become available to education customers.
“Schools choose Chromebooks because they are fast, easy-to-use and manage, shareable, secure and affordable,” Google’s Cyrus Mistry explains. “We’ve listened carefully to feedback from educators around the world, and one common theme is that they want all the benefits of Chromebooks in a tablet form.”
While it’s hard to know the order in which these things happened, the ability to use Chromebooks in tablet form would obviously be semi-pointless without the addition of Android app support and the Google Play Store.
As for the device itself, the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 provides A 9.7-inch IPS display running at 2048 x 1536 (QXGA), and it supports a Wacom EMR stylus for writing and drawing. It provides 9 hours of battery life, Acer says, and will cost $329 in the U.S.
“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,” says Acer general manager James Lin. “The new Acer Chromebook Tab 10 encourages students to discover new ways of understanding the world around them.”
The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 begins shipping in April.
My guess is that we’ll see non-education Chromebook tablets, including a Google Pixel-branded device, later in 2018.