Intel has unveiled the design for a tablet version of its Classmate PC, a low-powered netbook designed for use in primary schools, ZDNet reports. The tablet-format Classmate, which debuted Jan. 9 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, will let manufacturers build Classmate PCs that can be used either as a standard clamshell laptop or–with a 180-degree swivel of the display–as a touch-screen tablet. As with most netbooks, it will run on Intel’s Atom processor. "Education is one of the best ways to improve the future for individuals, villages, or nations," Lila Ibrahim, the general manager of Intel’s emerging-markets platform group, said in a statement. "There are 1.3 billion school-age children around the world, and of those, only five percent have access to a PC or the internet. The IT industry has a huge opportunity to contribute to how technology can improve students’ learning and [their] lives." Ibrahim’s division developed the design for the convertible Classmate PC based on ethnographic research. Child-friendly features include a water-resistant keyboard and a sturdy frame. Another feature is dubbed "palm rejection"–in tablet mode, the user can rest his or her palm on the touch screen while writing, without the screen registering the palm’s pressure as input. Intel also announced its Learning Series, a project that will try to make sure there is proper coordination between educational hardware, software, and services in various countries. The idea is for local manufacturers to use Intel’s latest Classmate PC design to create customized versions according to local needs, and to preload those machines with locally relevant software…

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