News Corp. has used the SXSWedu conference in Austin, Texas to reveal the Amplify 10-inch Android tablet
for students in K-12, reports The New York Times
. The device is a product of News Corp's new education division, which is using the tablet to gain a physical foothold in educational curriculum market. The Amplify tablets will ship with News Corp curriculum materials preinstalled, and will be supplemented by servers to help manage and store student's data to further sweeten the deal.
News Corp's Amplify division has partnered with Asus on the new device, which has extensive experience building low-cost tablets including the Google Nexus 7. To keep students engaged with the learning process, the hardware was designed with durability in mind in order to allow students to take their Amplify tablet home with them as well. A special selection of educational games has also been included to facilitate an enjoyable learning experience in the home context.
Following a pilot program where the device was piloted in numerous schools across the country, which allowed Amplify to determine the types of apps, curriculum materials and price that schools were willing to pay. A tablet preinstalled with a range of apps and curriculum materials will sell for $299 plus a two-year support subscription going for $99. This includes training and customer care provided, in many instances, by former classroom teachers. A premium model, the Amplify Plus, includes a 4G cellular modem and data plan for $349.
With educational institutions spending over $3 billion on textbooks in the US, along with a range of government-sponsored initiatives, Amplify is confident that it will eventually begin to turn a profit in the long term.