The first Chrome tablet, Acer's Chromebook Tab 10, takes on the iPad in schools

It matches the entry-level iPad on most features as well as price.

The first Chrome OS tablet knows exactly what it wants to do: Take on the iPad. Acer’s Chromebook Tab 10 D651N challenges Apple’s long-popular tablet in the education market nearly feature for feature.

We’ll dive deeper into the specs in a moment, but let’s savor the historical weight first. Chrome fans have been waiting a long time for their own tablet. A small group of Chromebooks with 360-degree hinges have dabbled with the concept, but Acer’s Chromebook Tab 10 D651N finally commits to the form factor. Now that Chrome devices support Android, tablets like this one make even more sense. We hope this is the beginning of a trend. 

Acer Chromebook Tab 10 vs. the iPad

Here’s how closely the Chromebook Tab 10 D651N faces down the entry-level iPad. As you can see, every spec is a battle:

Price: The same

  • Tab 10 D651N: $329 
  • iPad: $329

Dimensions and weight: The iPad wins.

  • Tab 10 D651N: 6.78 x 9.38 x 0.39 inches, 1.21 pounds
  • iPad: 32GB: 6.6 x 9.4 x 0.29 inches, 1.03 pounds

Display specs: The same

  • Tab 10 D651N: 9.7-inch, 2,048x1,536 LED, 264ppi
  • iPad: 9.7-inch, 2,048x1,536 LED, 264ppi
acer chromebook tab 10 d651n rear facing left Acer

Acer’s Chromebook Tab 10 comes in a trendy cobalt blue.

Processor: Totally different, too early to compare

  • Tab 10 D651N: OP1, a Rockchip processor integrating a dual-core Cortex A72 and quad-core Cortex A53. We wrote more about it here
  • iPad: 64-bit A9 chip with M9 coprocessor

Memory: The Tab 10 wins.

  • Tab 10 D651N: 4GB 
  • iPad: 2GB

Storage: The same

  • Tab 10 D651N: 32GB eMMC
  • iPad: 32GB

Camera: Acer has two, but the iPad’s is higher-resolution.

  • Tab 10 D651N: Front 2MP, rear 5MP
  • iPad: Front 8MP

Networking: iPad gets an edge with newer, faster, safer Bluetooth 4.2. 

  • Tab 10 D651N: 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.1
  • iPad: 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.2
acer chromebook tab 10 d651n side 4 Acer

You see this USB-C port? Acer’s Tab 10 has one. The iPad has nothing. 

Ports: The Tab 10 D651N gets the edge with its versatile USB-C port. 

  • Tab 10 D651N: One USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps) Type-C, microSD
  • iPad: Nothing

Battery life: The iPad’s looks longer, but your mileage may vary. 

  • Tab 10 D651N: 34Whr, up to 9 hours
  • iPad: 32.4Whr, up to 10 hours

As you can see from the specs, these tablets are practically nose-to-nose on specs, with the few differences often too close to call. With the advent of Acer’s tablet, Google finally has something small and simple, just like the iPad. 

Why this matters: The lack of a Chrome tablet has allowed Apple’s iPad to retain a competitive edge in schools. We won’t know how well the Tab 10 D651N will be received until schools start to commit to hardware purchases for next year. A new iPad is also expected to be revealed at Apple’s “Field Trip” educational event in Chicago tomorrow. Given how quickly Chromebooks have dominated in schools, however, bringing a tablet into the mix certainly doesn’t hurt. We could be in for a great playground fight. 

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Melissa Riofrio

PC World (US online)
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