Google and Acer Introduce the First Chrome OS Tablet

After years of speculation and wondering, Chrome OS has finally debuted on a tablet.

The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is obviously an iPad competitor, and unsurprisingly made its debut just ahead of Apple’s education-focussed March soiree. At that event, Apple is believed to be debuting a low-cost iPad which – wait for it – would rival the Tab 10.

If you’re looking for Tab 10 specs, we’ve got you covered:

  • 9.7-inch, 2048×1536 display
  • Rockchip OP1 SoC
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB Storage
  • USB-C connectivity
  • microSD
  • 3.5mm auxiliary jack
  • 2 megapixel front camera
  • 5 megapixel rear camera

The Tab 10 will retail for $329 and Euro 329 starting in May. Acer isn’t opening sales up for consumers yet. Instead, it will first focus on enterprise and education use-cases. So those who have been waiting to buy a truly mobile Chrome OS device will continue to do so.

While neither Google or Acer are discussing the Tab 10 openly, it’s unlikely the device will make any concessions when it comes to Chrome OS. Touch support has been around for years, as Chromebooks proper are often touch capacitive. The Tab 10 also has a stylus that slips into the device housing.

Google has made half-hearted attempts to get Android into schools, but this streamlines its efforts behind Chrome OS. With Tab 10, schools have an end-to-end solution via Google, where the tablet-to-computer progression is now as natural as Apple’s iPads and MacBooks.

For developers interested in education or enterprise apps, this is an interesting new wrinkle. Chrome OS recently gained support for native Android apps, and we’re still unclear on what Google’s nascent Fuchsia efforts will mean long term. It’s entirely possible Tab 10 represents a first stab at Chrome OS usurping Android on mobile down the line. Last year, Google suggested both touch support and native Android apps were a precursor for today’s announcement.

More directly, it means developers in the education space will have to consider both iOS and Chrome OS moving forward. As Apple and Google move to increase their share of the education market, this tablet-based race to the bottom will undoubtedly leave school districts planting their flag in one camp, and it will go both ways.