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Intel: Think of the children - give them PCs, not e-readers

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Intel said school kids need computers, not e-readers, as it kicked off the Cebit computer show in Hannover this morning.

Apart from the pre-teen crowd, the vendor made a grab for everyone from desk jockeys to data centre managers as it tried to get round the fact it's already made most of its announcements for the quarter.

The server giant showed a Classmate tablet design aimed at school children.

The new Classmate runs on an Atom processor and can run Windows or Linux. Demo models today were running Windows 7. The touch-sensitive reversible screen can be "written" on with a stylus, with text conversion part of the reference platform.

The ruggedised design should be droppable from desk height, and hacks at Cebit today were happily chucking the devices to the floor as Intel product managers warned these were preproduction samples.

Asked if the device pointed the way for Intel's interests in the e-reader market, Gehad Galal, director of ecosystem relations for emerging markets, said in the education market the need was for more than just e-reading. Students needed to be able to access links, cut and paste text and the like. "We believe in e-learning, not just e-reading."

The platform design is designed for the K8 market - ie just into the teens, and should be priced at slightly more than the current classmate design, which starts at $200. Older students can be expected to focus their broader ambitions - and presumably bigger (parental) budgets - on full fat notebooks.

Intel expects local OEMs to start shipping Classmate products next quarter. ®

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