Acer Chromebook Tab 10 review: Take one for Chrome OS on an …
June 24, 2018 - chromebook
Chrome OS took over schools with clamshells, though now Google is jolt things adult with slabs. After a spring announcement, Acer has built a initial Chrome OS tablet, a $329 Chromebook Tab 10, to give teachers and students a some-more stretchable device to use for schoolwork both in and out of a classroom.
Some competence perk adult during a thought of a lightweight nonetheless durable inscription with a 2048×1536 arrangement and a built-in Wacom stylus regulating Chrome OS, though this device (like many other Chrome OS devices) will usually be sole in a preparation market. While unchanging consumers might not be means to get their hands on a Chromebook Tab 10, however, there will be some-more Chrome OS tablets to come that will be sole to a ubiquitous public.
After spending some time with this initial Chrome OS tablet, it would be lingering to consider that it’s radically a same thing as an Android tablet—devices that are largely unsupported during this point. We might not be normal educators or students during this point, though Ars tested a Chromebook Tab 10 with a few things in mind: how does a Chrome OS knowledge interpret on a inscription sans-keyboard? And, maybe some-more importantly, can Chrome OS move Google’s inscription difficulty behind from a dead?
Look and feel
I approaching to see something that looks like a Acer Chromebook Tab 10 in a classroom. This device might be some kids’ initial tablet, and no doubt they will be vehement to examination with a bigger chronicle of mom’s or dad’s phone in class. But with a far-reaching bezels, textured cosmetic back, and affordable price, a Tab 10 is also a inscription that won’t need hawkish courtesy from relatives and teachers when kids use it. In other words, it’s not imagination though it works.
The 1.2-pound chunk doesn’t repair what isn’t damaged with a normal inscription layout. Its 9.7-inch 2048×1536 arrangement dominates a front. Its wide, black bezels cringe a shade knowledge though also yield some-more space for kids to squeeze a device though shutting any tabs. And a Tab 10’s front-facing camera sits in a center of a tip bezel while a rear-facing camera lives on a top-right dilemma on a back.
This might not be a luxurious, all-metal construction we’d pattern from a inscription today, though we do conclude a textured back. Our examination section came in a stately blue color, and a behind ridges combined a welcomed reason to a design.
The distance of a inscription presents a tiny issue: 9.7 inches is a common distance in a inscription world, though it’s not a easiest to form on. The many apparent approach to form is to set a inscription down prosaic on a aspect and use one finger to submit text. we managed to reason a device like a smartphone for a bit—holding a inscription in mural course with dual hands during a bottom corners. we was means to form regulating usually my thumbs, despite uncomfortably and not for too long.
I move this adult given this is a initial Chrome OS tablet—we’re all used to regulating Chrome OS on PCs and laptops. The Chromebook Tab 10 is usually concordant with Bluetooth keyboards, though it doesn’t come with one, and Acer doesn’t now make one for it.
Sure, there are copiousness of Chromebooks accessible now during matching or some-more affordable prices than a Chromebook Tab 10, so students and teachers have options if they need a device with a keyboard. But users now pattern many of their inclination to do a many things possible—tablets included. While I’m blissful any Bluetooth keyboard works with a initial Chrome OS tablet, we would have desired for a device to come with one so users could get a fullest knowledge right out of a box.
A few sum about a customary keyboard: it’s a normal Android keyboard, and cave was versed with a unchanging US and International US layouts by default. There’s a “compact mode” that removes a series keys from a tip bar, though we cite a full blueprint that includes numbers, a wider accumulation of symbols, and a caps-lock key. It doesn’t seem to support voice input, nor does it have separate mode for easier ambidextrous typing.
Aside from your fingers, a enclosed Wacom EMR stylus provides a usually other submit process for a Chromebook Tab 10. It’s a skinny stylus that’s shorter than a normal pencil and lives in a tiny hole on a bottom-right dilemma of a behind of a tablet. Using your fingernail or a bit of force on a tip pushes a stylus out of a home, creation it easy to whip out for note-taking, doodling, and more. Wacom’s record creates it even easier to use given it requires no pairing and no charging, so we can use a stylus during any indicate though waiting.
The stylus is ideally excellent for what a Chromebook Tab 10 is meant for, though it’s not a stylus that many power-users or professionals will wish to use. It’ll get overpowering to reason after a while given it’s short, it doesn’t register lean or shading motions, and latency depends on a app in that you’re writing.
You can use a stylus to hand-write Web addresses regulating a coop keyboard option, and a handwriting-to-text interpretation is sincerely accurate. However, a letters and difference we write aren’t translated in real-time like they are on some Windows devices. Instead, we contingency write out a word we wish completely, like “arstechnica.com,” and afterwards select from a translated content options that seem in a keyboard’s tip bar. These options are accurately like those that seem in Android’s smartphone keyboard when we form out difference regulating a normal on-screen keyboard.
That said, within this device’s dictated classroom setting, a stylus should be some-more than adequate for kids sketching out ideas or completing math homework, and teachers presenting lessons. The fact that it’s enclosed with a device is adequate of a perk deliberation so many tablets and pen-ready inclination (both for unchanging and preparation consumers) force we to spend additional on a stylus. Each time we eject a stylus from a hilt in a Chromebook Tab 10, a inscription awakens and presents a stylus collection menu, that includes discerning controls for capturing a shade or partial of a screen, formulating a note, and rising a laser pointer or magnifying potion tools.
The USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 pier on a bottom dilemma of a inscription is value a note. It’s used to assign a device, though it can also be used to send information and bond to outmost HD displays. That flexibility will be useful in classrooms, quite for teachers who wish to use a inscription in mixed ways. The combined microSD label will also come in accessible for transferring information and expanding on a inner storage space.
Chrome OS on a tablet
While Chrome’s capabilities have turn some-more perplexing over a years, it’s still optimized for PCs and laptops. Similarly to a Android app knowledge on Chrome OS, a Chrome OS inscription knowledge will go by some flourishing heedfulness over this summer.
Ars’ Ron Amadeo talked to Kan Liu, PM Director for Chrome OS, behind during Google I/O, and Liu explained that a Chrome OS inscription knowledge won’t be finish until after this year. Since students and teachers won’t get a Chromebook Tab 10 until Aug or Sep when propagandize starts again, Google continues to work on Chrome’s tablet-friendliness until that time comes and beyond. Liu pronounced he expects a full, end-to-end inscription UI knowledge by a finish of 2018.
As it stands now, Chrome OS on Acer’s Chromebook Tab 10 feels familiar. The homescreen is scarcely matching to that on a normal Chromebook, with pinned and active app icons populating a bottom-left side of a shade along with standing and settings icons on a bottom-right. A round idol that opens a app drawer sits in a bottom-left corner, while a block multitasking idol that reveals all open app windows sits conflicting of it.
Depending on how many tabs we have open, a bottom bar can get swarming quickly. In mural orientation, a left side of a bottom bar usually has space for about 3 to 4 app icons. If we have some-more programs open, all of their app icons fall underneath an arrow idol that we need to long-press to entrance particular apps. You can also daub a multitasking idol in a right dilemma to see tiny preview windows of all your open apps and programs.
Split Screen should make a approach to Chrome OS soon, though it now doesn’t work on a Chromebook Tab 10. We’ve seen demos of Google’s Split Screen underline for Chrome OS and it works likewise to Split Screen on Android and iOS devices. After drumming a multitasking idol to exhibit all your open apps, we can drag Split Screen-capable programs (which embody Android apps and Chrome OS programs) to have their windows cuddle conflicting sides of a shade while in landscape orientation. This will be an critical capability underline for Chrome OS going forward, quite in schools given it will concede students to see and work in dual programs during a same time.