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News Corp. targets US education technology market with $299 Android tablet

With an eye to take on Apple in the booming education technology market, Amplify, the education division of News Corp, has unveiled its first tablet computer.

Designed exclusively for the classroom, this new tablet from the US-based mass media corporation will be priced at $299 (£199). The 10in Amplify tablet is powered by Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and will come equipped with a number of educational tools including Google Apps for Education, various teaching utilities, a graphing calculator, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Encyclopedia Britannica and other reference titles.

The device will also sport a kill switch to allow teachers to disable non-educational apps, including games, to ensure that students remain focused in the classroom. There's another feature that allows teachers to remotely ask multiple-choice quizzes to students so as to conduct real time evaluation of their understanding of the topics being taught.

"This is more than just a tablet. It's a complete learning solution organized around the school day," said Stephen Smyth, president of Amplify's Access division.

"We believe it's both more affordable and more impactful than just about any other product in the education technology market," he added.

Initially, the Wi-Fi tablet will be priced at $299 (£199) plus $99 (£65) per year for a two-year subscription. Amplify will also make a 4G variant of the tablet, priced at $399 (£232) plus $179 (£119) per year for a minimum of two years of access to its content.

The tablet will officially be unveiled at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, where more details on availability are likely to follow.