Acer Chromebook Tab 10 review: Hands on with the first ever Chrome OS tablet

Amidst the plethora of gaming-focussed devices announced at this year’s Acer conference, the firm launched something particularly special. No, this isn’t one of those high-end 144Hz UHD gaming monitors, nor is it the super-beefy Helios 500 gaming laptop. What really caught my attention was Acer’s new tablet.

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A tablet in 2018? I hear you cry. Why, yes, but Acer’s Chromebook Tab 10 is no ordinary tablet. This is a 10in tablet that’s powered not by Android or iOS, but by Chrome OS.

Acer Chromebook Tab 10 review: UK price and specifications

  • 9.7in 2,048 x 1,536 resolution QXGA IPS touch display
  • 2GHz OP1 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of storage (expandable via microSD)
  • 172 x 238 x 10 mm, 550g
  • $329 (~ £299)
  • June 2018

Acer Chromebook Tab 10 review: Design, key features and first impressions

Billed as an education tablet, the clue is in the Chromebook Tab 10’s name. This is a 10in tablet with Google’s own low-powered Chrome operating system at its core – the same OS you find in Chromebook laptops – except this version of the software is tailored for touch-only devices.

However, the cloud-based operating system is a bit clunky on devices without a physical keyboard. There’s no onscreen home button – forcing you to close your open apps to get to the homescreen – and the search function could do with some work. Basically, the touch-only OS could do with a few more updates for it to become a viable iOS alternative.

There is, however, full support for Google Play Store services and apps, and the cloud-based tablet should be well-suited for education environments – no longer can a student hide behind the “deleted essay” excuse.

Undercutting Apple’s education-focused iPad at $329 (~£299), the Chromebook Tab 10 is powered by the mysteriously named “OP1 Processor”, which integrates dual-core Cortex-A72 and quad-core Cortex-A53 processors at a clock speed of 2GHz. This is backed up by 4GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage – expandable via microSD – with 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth 4.1.

On the front, as I’m sure you’ve already spotted, is a 9.7in, 2,048 x 1,536 QXGA IPS touch display with a pixel density of 264ppi. This is the same resolution as the iPad’s display, and it looks just as good on first impressions.

On the bottom of the device, you’ll find the solitary USB Type-C port for charging and connecting the tablet to external displays, and the Tab 10 is expected to last up to nine hours on a single charge. A Wacom stylus, which slides out from the back of the device, is also included as standard, while Apple’s iPad stylus is another £100.

Acer Chromebook Tab 10 review: Early verdict

While it’s still early days with Chrome OS on touch-only devices, Acer’s Chromebook Tab 10 serves as a shining example that the operating system does, at the very least, deserve a place inside a tablet.

There are definitely some growing pains on the way, and I perhaps wouldn’t recommend anyone buying such a tablet until the OS has truly found its feet, but it’s certainly a good first effort. The Tab 10 is well priced and decently kitted out, it’s just that the OS could do with a few tweaks before it stands a chance against Apple’s dominance.

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