Intel’s new convertible Classmate PC doubles as an eReader

The Intel Classmate PC has been around for the last three years as a low-cost notebook meant for children to use at school and for learning. Now, Intel is looking to refresh the design with a new, convertible model that also can be used like a tablet, Wired reports. The convertible Classmate PC can be twisted into a slate, similar in form factor to the Apple iPad, or used as a traditional notebook with a full keyboard. “This is not the cheapest netbook in the market,” says Jeff Galinovsky, regional manager for the Classmate PC ecosystem. “But if you look at the features like ruggedization, design, and the software, it offers great value in the education market.” The new convertible Classmate PC has an Intel Atom processor, 10.1-inch display, up to 160 GB hard drive, up to 8.5 hours of battery life, a resistive touch screen, and a range of wireless connectivity options, including Wi-Fi and WiMax. The device also has a 1.3-megapixel rotating camera and two speaker jacks. It is available with either the Microsoft Windows or Linux operating system. Intel won’t disclose pricing for the product, saying that will depend on the configuration and the device manufacturer. The company hopes to launch the convertible PC in the second quarter of 2010…

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