Published: Sun 29 July 2018
Acer announced the first Chrome OS Tablet
2018. The Chromebook Tab
targetted at the Education market, most likely younger kids who don't type as
much. I have strong opinions about Chromebooks for Education, of which more
later if you care to read it. Most of the reviews I've read have come down to
something like, "but why?" - I disagree.
First a bit about the device. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
It has a
stylus, which is wicked cool tech - it behaves like an active stylus (tilt,
pressure, etc.), but operates by passively resonating with a signal emitted by
the digitizer, so no batteries. The stylus lives in a little hole that school
kids are gonna put Play-Doh and other nasty things in, but at least it doesn't
need it's own special accessory to keep track of it (I'm looking at you,
Pixelbook.) On the other hand, I might have to buy a Staedtler Noris digital
for Chromebook to go
The back is plastic, but I like plastic. Plastic is a space age material - I'm
serious. Get over it, Aluminum and Glass.
The processor is the same weird
processor as in the Samsung
Chromebook Plus, designed to give you speed when you need it and battery
savings when it can.
And it's a tablet.
So... "but why?" A few reasons.
A 10 inch netbook is a pain in the tokhes, but a 10 inch tablet is handy. And
while websites look awful in a mobile browser at 10 inches, they look much
better on a full desktop browser at that size. Many sites are hobbled in their
mobile versions (some for greater good,
cough Facebook). A Chrome tablet
gives you the better face of the web in a smaller package.
And it does so without locking you out of the Android ecosystem. In fact, the
Play Store appears to register the device as a regular Android tablet, so while
I can't install Minecraft on my Samsung Chromebook Plus, I totally can on the
Tab 10 (until Mojang, er uh, Microsoft, decides I can't, I guess.)
Lastly, there's a good chance that Linux apps will run on the Tab 10 when that
feature becomes generally available. Wild, right?
Will there be more Chrome OS tablets in the future? Yep, there will be. That's
my take anyway. I like it.
Oh yeah! Chromebooks for Education?
Worst. Idea. Ever. Take a bunch of kids
whose minds haven't quite formed yet and demand that they do their homework on
a device with access to YouTube? I am a father of four school age kids. Please
tell me how to make it stop. And yes, I've tried blocking YouTube. Guess what!
The teachers assign YouTube homework! I know that in some distant future
we'll stop using paper and pencil entirely, but please let my kids grow up
first. You are hurting them, badly. Every parent I have talked to about it
agrees that it's terrible.