The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is the first tablet that runs on ChromeOS. The company is offering it as an education device. ChromeOS is the operating system of choice when it comes to mobile devices designed for education. In 2017, ChromeOS accounted for 57 percent to 60 percent of all quarterly mobile computing shipments for use in K through 12 programs in the United States.
ChromeOS-run Chromebooks are popular because they give students access to mobile computers that are powerful and affordable at the same time. They are also easier for schools and IT departments to administer. Admittedly, the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is more of a tablet than a laptop computer. Will it prove to be a suitable device for students?
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What You Should Know About the Acer Chromebook Tab 10
The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is a Chromebook OS tablet that measures 6.8 by 9.4 by 0.4 inches and weighs 1.21 pounds. One look and it becomes evident that Acer did not design the Chromebook Tab 10 to compete with the Microsoft Surface or the Apple iPad.
The Taiwanese company has a clear design philosophy: this tablet is for kids, and they designed it that way. Far from the sleek look of consumer tablets, the Acer tablet has a straightforward and no-fuss appearance. The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is mostly plastic, with big bezels all around the tablet so that you can hold the tablet comfortably in both portrait and landscape mode. The tablet has embedded speakers and a microphone, but there is also a headphone jack if you want to listen to something in private.
Features and specifications
All in all, the tablet's design is nothing fancy. What about its other functionalities, though?
One of the first things that you will notice about the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is the bright and vivid screen. Its liquid crystal display (LCD) measures 9.7 inches diagonally and has Quantum Extended Graphics Array resolutions of 2048 by 1536 pixels. The result is that your images have around 3.2 million pixels. The backlit active matrix thin film transistor color LCD uses in-plane switching technology.
All of these mean that the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 has the same screen as the ones you will find on other high-performance devices. What's more, the touchscreen display gets its power from an ARM Mali-T864 graphics controller.
The manufacturers included a stylus with this package. The good news is that you can safely place the Wacom pen in the enclosure found on the left side of the tablet. The included stylus is rather straightforward, with no buttons and other features. You only use it as an input device for the Chromebook Tab 10, allowing you to draw or write naturally on the screen, as you do with pen and paper.
Processor, memory, and storage
To power its performance, the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 has a Rockchip OP1. The processor is made explicitly for Chromebooks. It has clock speeds that can reach 2 gigahertz (GHz). Further, the Chromebook Tab 10 has 4 gigabytes (GB) of memory, which is more than enough for a Chromebook. It also has 32 GB of storage that allows users to store more mobile apps and media files.
This tablet uses a 4,500 milli-Ampere-hours (mAh) lithium-ion battery. Acer promises up to nine hours of use without needing to recharge. The device can connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth 4.1. Further, this tablet has a 5 megapixel (mp) back camera and a 2mp front camera. Lastly, the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 uses Chromebook OS, but you can use Android mobile apps for this tablet. You can download apps from the Google Play Store.
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Ratings and reviews
The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 currently does not have a lot of reviews on Amazon, but it does get a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewers pan this tablet for its slow performance, poor camera and speakers, and how poorly the ChromeOS was implemented in tablet form. One reviewer even indicates that the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is not a good laptop, nor is it a good tablet. However, this tablet does receive praise for its ability to run both Android and Linux apps, and its display.
As for expert reviews and opinions, this tablet gets a rating of 3 out of 5 stars from AndroidCentral. Mashable gives it a rating of 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Pricing for the Acer Chromebook Tab 10
The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 has a price range of $320 to $350. You can buy this from Acer's online store, or you can check out online retail sites such as Walmart or Amazon.
How We Reviewed
To write this review of the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, we looked at the device's information pages, as well as the opinions of several credible consumer tech sites such as TechRadar, Android Authority, and CNET. We also checked out the product's sales pages on online retailer sites such as Walmart.com and Amazon. We did the same for the Chromebook Tab 10's competitors.
How it Compares to Competitors
The market for kid-friendly tablets has a lot of competing devices. The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 competes with the Dell Chromebook 11, the Apple iPad 2018, and the Lenovo IdeaPad 120S, to name just a few.
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The Dell Chromebook 11 (2015) has a screen that measures 11.6 inches diagonally. This display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. This Chromebook is made to be durable with its plastic casing. Some of the features that you might want to know about the Dell Chromebook 11 is the Bay Trail Intel Celeron processor it has, as well as a hinge that opens 180 degrees, allowing you to set the screen flat on the table.
Like the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, this Chromebook is for the rough environments at school. Dell claims that the Chromebook 11 has been tested to survive water spills, dust, and dirt, and even drops. The Dell Chromebook 11 has an Amazon rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars. Positive reviews for the Chromebook talk about how durable it is. There are also praises for how easy it was for kids to figure out. It is an excellent way to keep your kids preoccupied so that they do not try to use your computer when you need to work at home. Meanwhile, critical reviews talked about the poor customer service they got from Dell.
Prices for this device run from $180 to $430. Pricing depends on whether you choose a touchscreen or traditional display, as well as the size of the storage you want. Compared to the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, the Dell Chromebook 11 has a better speaker and is more durable. If you are looking for a device that can survive harsh school environments, then you might be better off with the Dell Chromebook 11.
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With prices for the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 starting at more than $300, it is inevitable that you will compare it to the Apple iPad 2018. An iPad with 32 GB of storage costs at around the same price as the Acer Chromebook Tab 10. Apple is also positioning the iPad for education, offering discounts for schools that want to buy iOS devices.
Amazon customers give the iPad a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Verified buyers rave about its battery life, the responsive screen, the speedy performance, and just about every feature it offers. There are a few critical reviews and most of these talk about something that is not related to the iPad. You can buy the 32 GB version from the Apple Store. You can also purchase this tablet from online retailer sites with prices ranging from $325 to $340 for the 32 GB model
How the Apple iPad 2018 compares to the Acer Chromebook Tab 10
Compared to the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, the Apple iPad loses out only in 2 areas. First is the lack of an included pen. The good news is that the iPad works with Apple Pencil, which costs around $90 to $100. You also have to wonder whether the beautiful iPad is also sturdy enough to survive being used for school and education. That may not be true, but you can invest in a hard case for your iPad. All in all, the Apple iPad trumps the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, and just about any other tablet that comes out to directly compete with it.
Go right ahead and buy this tablet and enjoy the 9.7-inch multi-touch display. The retina display has a screen resolution of 2048 by 1536 pixels, with a pixel density of 264 pixels per inch. You will also enjoy the speedy performance and better cameras more than the ones you get from the Acer tablet.
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The Asus ZenPad S 8.0 is an 8-inch tablet that has a large screen encased in a handy and portable body. It has a modern and sleek look that older kids might appreciate. Like the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, it has an excellent display with the same QXGA, IPS, and multi-touch screen. However, the ZenPad's display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and a coating that keeps it smudge-free. The ZenPad also uses Dolby TrueHD technology that delivers premium sound quality. Unlike the Acer tablet, the ZenPad S 8.0 has a quad-core Intel Atom processor that guarantees speedy performance.
The tablet gets a rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars. Customers on Amazon love how lightweight this tablet is, as well as its low price and excellent display. A downside for this tablet is that it only offers 4 GB of storage. However, you can pop in a 128 GB memory card if you need additional space. Further, the Asus ZenPad S 8.0 has a 5mp front camera and an 8mp back camera. While both are better than the cameras you find on the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, they still deliver average photo quality, especially in dark areas and low light conditions.
Prices for the Asus ZenPad S 8.0 range from $190 to $270.
Pros and Cons of the Acer Chromebook Tab 10
When compared to Chromebooks, PCMag found that the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 performed at par or better than other Chromebooks in the budget category. You might also like that the tablet has a great QXGA display that gives you the most vivid colors and perfect looking images and videos.
What can be better
However, even the display is good only when you are indoors. Under the bright sunlight, you will find it hard to see things unless you turn the brightness up. This tablet does not have an OLED screen. The Rockchip processor you find on the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is not that powerful.
Fast performance and processing power will take a backseat to make sure that the battery lasts longer or ensuring that the wireless connection is fast. As a result, using this tablet can feel a bit sluggish. The tablet will stutter too much and too often to offer a good user experience.
What's more, the included cameras are not impressive. At its price range, you certainly will not expect the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 to have such lousy cameras. The disappointment does not stop there, however. AndroidCentral comments that along with the camera, the speakers and the microphone are also mediocre. It would be painful for all participants if you were to use this tablet in a video meeting.
Should You Buy the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 for Your Kids?
When you buy an Acer Chromebook Tab 10, you get a portable tablet that has an incredible screen. If your kids use a tablet for watching YouTube videos or catching up on their favorite Cartoon Network shows, then this tablet is a good option. However, aside from the screen, there is not much else going for this device.
It does not have a good set of speakers, microphone, or camera. You will probably need to use a headset to hear things, and the low mp count of the camera is plain disappointing. The sad truth is that the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 has a high price, but it has nothing to show for it, except for the excellent display.
The Apple iPad, or the cheaper Asus ZenPad S 8.0, both have comparably excellent displays. Both of these tablets have a better set of specifications and faster performance than the Acer tablet. The 2015 edition of the Dell Chromebook 11 might have the same performance issues as the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, but it has a more attractive price point and is more durable.
Should you buy the Acer Chromebook Tab 10? Its slow performance, inferior hardware, and high price, along with the presence of better alternatives all point at a hard pass for this device.