first look at the Intel-designed hybrid


IMG_1735-462x346Intel just lately up to date the reference designs for its Classmate PC collection — small, powerful laptops designed for college students.

Stone Classmate 3 review: first look at the Intel-designed hybrid

British PC maker Stone was one of many first to indicate off {hardware} based mostly on the up to date designs with the Classmate 3 – a “semi-rugged” 10in hybrid system that runs Intel’s Bay Path T processor and Home windows 8.1 Professional. Because it’s aimed toward college students, Stone debuted the brand new laptop computer at academic expertise present BETT, the place we took a take a look at the system.

Given the rising variety of low-cost, compact Home windows 8.1 tablets now available on the market, the Classmate 3 feels surprisingly expensive. The convertibles will value a “ballpark” £350 once they arrive within the UK in March however that determine might go up or down, relying on the amount ordered and the configuration. Explaining the worth, a Stone rep informed us the system is positioned between a funds PC and a high-end pill.

Like its predecessors, the Classmate 3 includes a chunky, plastic design and spherical edges. It’s gentle at 750g (with out the keyboard) and folds up neatly like a briefcase, making it simple to hold on discipline journeys or round faculty.


Urgent the blue, plastic button on the hinge detaches the display and converts the system into a totally functioning 10in Home windows pill with stylus – though we’re undecided a removable keyboard is a clever function for doubtlessly forgetful college students.

The HD, IPS touchscreen includes a 1,366 x 768 decision and seemed sharp and shiny even underneath the intense lights at BETT, whereas Bay Path stored Home windows 8.1 Professional working easily. The principle disadvantage in pill mode was utilizing the stylus which, for sensible causes, was hooked up to the keyboard with an elastic string, making utilization cumbersome and imprecise.

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Docking the display into the keyboard places the Classmate 3 again into laptop computer mode, the place the system turns into sensible, however unexciting. The docked pill felt wobbly on the hinge and we needed to jab on the chunky plastic touchpad to right-click or left-click. The keyboard has its personal battery, that means it may recharge the pill after use.


The complete specs gained’t be obtainable till February, however Stone tells us there’s 2GB of RAM and 64GB  flash storage.

There’s just one USB 3 port – which feels stingy — a micro SD slot and micro HDMI. It additionally includes a rear, 5-megapixel snapper, a 1.3-megapixel entrance digital camera and a rotating 1-megapixel webcam, in addition to built-in audio, speaker and microphone. Connectivity choices embody Bluetooth, 802.11bgn wi-fi and help for a 3G SIM. Optionally available sensors embody NFC and GPS.

We haven’t spent sufficient time with the Classmate 3 to present a correct verdict — and can do a full evaluate when one lands within the labs — however one thing more durable than an iPad might make sense for faculties now that extra are switching to tablets.

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