Panasonic Debuts Education
Panasonic has officially launched it's '3E' tablet, themed for education, at this weekend's International Society for Technology in Education Conference. The hybrid tablet, designed to be used by anyone from kindergarten to high school, comes with a bit more protection than you'd otherwise expect to see in a consumer-grade device. Given the kind of abuse this thing might take in a classroom setting, we'd expect nothing less.
'Built to survive the rough-and-tumble reality of student life, the IP51-certified 3E resists dust, sheds spills and takes drops that would destroy a consumer-grade tablet or laptop. With rugged reliability and stellar academic credentials, the 3E is truly a state-of-the-art learning machine,' reads Panasonic's description.
Of course, the tablet — with snap-on keyboard attachment and stylus — isn't just designed to handle a few hard knocks (even though it's designed to survive a fall of just over two feet or so). It also comes with a few educational-themed add-ons that educators can use in various ways throughout one's classroom activities. That includes a thermometer probe, twin onboard cameras (1.2 megapixels in the front, 5 megapixels in the rear), and an included magnifying lens that can snap on to said rear camera to transform it into a sort-of microscope.
As for the tablet itself, it runs Windows 8.1 for Education (32-bit, not 64-bit). The ten-inch, 1366-by-768 display supports five-point touch and runs integrated Intel HD graphics off its Atom Z3740D processor (a 1.3-GHz, quad-core chip). The Panasonic 3E comes with a single USB 3.0 port on the tablet itself and a second USB 2.0 port on the accompanying dock/keyboard. That's in addition to a micro-SD slot and a micro-HDMI port on the tablet as well. In total, students can expect to enjoy roughly eight hours or so of computing time before they'll need to plug said tablet hybrid into the wall again.
Rounding out the Panasonic 3E's spects includes a total of two gigabytes of DDR3 memory and 32 or 64 gigabytes of total storage space, depending on the particular version of the tablet a school happens to order. The tablet itself will start at $499, but Panasonic plans to offer a discounted version of the device for poorer school districts. Those who don't mind paying a bit more can also pick up tablets with 4G and GPS functionality.