Intel goes channel-only with new hybrid tablet for education

Names Leader Computers as one of six exclusive distributors for APAC

Intel has chosen its six distributors to sell its 'Education 2-in-1' reference tablet device throughout the entire Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, including Australia's Leader Computers.

Adelaide-based Leader Computers joins Pakistan's Viper, India's Connoisseur, Thailand's Supreme, the Philippines' Felta and Indonesia's EM Harrisma on the product's suppliers list.

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Leader Computers has been an Intel partner since 1996 and was involved in the creation of the Education 2 in 1. Despite its limited distribution reach, Intel is adamant on keeping the device strictly within the channel, and is not selling the product directly to consumers.

The Education 2 in 1 (ECS TL10IE2) is manufactured by Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) and was launched today at Intel Solutions Summit (ISS) 2014. It is a hybrid device which can be used as a tablet, or attached to the bundled keyboard to function as a standard clamshell notebook. The pilot concept is not restricted to ECS' design; Intel will leave it open for competing OEMs to take on board.

Key to the Windows 8.1-based product is its bundled software stack and hardware attachments which are specifically designed for classrooms.

At time of writing, the Education 2 in 1 is compatible with Intel's own Education Resources and Education Services, as well Absolute Computrace, Kaseya Systems Management, EduTone Single Sign-On passport, Lightspeed Systems' Cloud Filter, all of which are part of Intel Education. Resellers will be able to use this to build a customised solution for customers.

Not all software is available in all geographies or languages.

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On the hardware front, the Education 2 in 1 includes a microscope attachment which can be slipped onto its camera, and a temperature gauge which plugs in via the microphone jack.

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In terms of hardware, the unit is powered by a quad-core Intel Atom Z3740D processor at 1.8GHz. It also contains 2GB of DDR3L-RS RAM, and comes with either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage.

The 636g ruggedised hybrid device is rated to the IP51 standard for dust and water resistance, and can withstand drops from a height of up to 70cm. The device's USB 3.0 port, micro-SD card slot, micro-HDMI port and combination microphone/headphone jack are hidden behind protective flaps. There is also an exposed USB 2.0 port.

The Education 2 in 1's display measures 10 inches and offers a native resolution of 1366x768. It supports up to five touch points.

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Intel has added a 7600mAh Polymer battery inside the Education 2 in 1 which it claims will last up to eight hours. The keyboard contains a 15W battery which Intel said extends this by another three hours.

Connectivity includes Bluetooth 4.0, and the option of NFC, 3G and 4G.

The Education 2 in 1 device itself will be available in Australia for between $US400 to $US500.

Nermin Bajric attended Intel Solutions Summit 2014 as a guest of Intel.

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