Acer Chromebook Tab 10 hand-on review: The first Chrome OS tablet

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When is a Chromebook not a Chromebook? When it’s an Acer Chromebook Tab 10, that’s what. The world’s first Chrome OS-powered tablet takes its operating system from the Google Chromebook line-up, but lays it out in a hands-on tablet format, complete with integrated Wacom stylus.

We got to sample the new Tab 10 at the Next @ Acer global press conference, held in New York on 23 May, to see whether it’s a logical marriage of OS to format.

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  • 9.7-inch QXGA resolution (2048 x 1536) screen
  • Integrated Wacom stylus pen
  • 172 x 238 x 9.9mm; 544g
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • USB Type-C charging

With a lot of ultra-stunning tablets cropping up these days, the Tab 10 looks rather standard by comparison. It’s a little thick and the bezels are rather large around the screen.

But it does come packed with some great features: the 9.7-inch screen is crammed with pixels, for super resolute results. That’ll translate well for images, videos, and any media.

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Flip the tablet over and its textured blue rear not only looks colourful and interesting, it’s functional for the purpose of grip too. And neatly tucked into the corner is a little nub, which is where the integrated Wacom stylus lives.

The stylus is removed by pulling on it rather than any fancy spring mechanism – simple, eh? – and, again, is a functional solution. We’d rather the shape and scale was a little more truly pen-like, as the smoothed off edges of this little Wacom effort are a little square. Still, a handy thing to have for hand-writing – and the Tab 10 is partly aimed at schools and education.

Along the edges you’ll also find a USB-C port for quick recharging, plus a 3.5mm headphones jack. In the increasingly wireless world of audio, that’s definitely a handy thing to have.

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  • Chrome OS operating system
  • Google Play available for app downloads
  • Both online and offline use
  • 4GB RAM, 32GB storage (microSD card slot available)
  • Claimed 9 hour battery life

Chrome OS has come along in leaps and bounds in recent years. When it debuted it was a largely online-only platform. Now, in 2018, it’s possible to do plenty offline too, plus Google Play integration means a bevvy of apps are available for download – just as they are on an Android smartphone.

App-wise, therefore, there’s a variety of games, tools and educational offerings at your fingertips. And while the Tab 10 isn’t that powerful – even switching between apps in the multi-window interface saw some stuttering – its 4GB RAM should be enough to load up multiple apps and run them happily.

Battery life is to a claimed nine hours per charge, which is reasonable for a device with such a resolution – although we obviously couldn’t test how likely this is to be true at this early stage.

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First Impressions

The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is a new take on the tablet world. But while the use of Chrome OS is its big point of interest, it’s also a point that we question: does the tablet world really need it? There are plenty of Android tablets out there that do a good job, so trying to educate kids on this OS over Android doesn’t seem like the most logical of stepping-stones, really.

The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is available from June 2018 with a $330 asking price. UK pricing is unknown at this stage.

(pocket-lint.com, https://goo.gl/8RQ4iC)

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