Dell introduces its first Chromebook


— 9:14 AM on December 11, 2013

Looks like all that negative advertising by Microsoft didn't sway Dell. Earlier this morning, the PC maker introduced its first Chromebook, an 11.6" system aimed at the education market.

Look, students! Learning is fun!

The Dell Chromebook 11 features a 1366x768 display resolution, a Haswell-based Celeron 2955U dual-core processor, 2-4GB of RAM, 16GB of solid-state storage, and a 720p webcam. Connectivity includes 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI, and USB 3.0. Dell quotes a battery run time of up to 10 hours, and it says the system is less than an inch thick and weighs just 2.9 lbs, which sounds plenty portable.

There will be two variants: one with 4GB of RAM, which will be available next month, and another with only 2GB of memory, which Dell plans to make available "during the first quarter of 2014." The Dell Chromebook 11 is "expected" to sell for less than $300 when it goes up for sale on Dell's website, though the company doesn't say exactly which variant will cost how much. It's not clear whether regular joes will be able to buy this thing, either.

I think Dell may be on to something here—not with the Chromebook 11's hardware, which seems pretty run-of-the-mill, but with the focus on education. Chrome OS is much too limiting for my personal use, but its limitations could be assets in the classroom. Just think about it: you could wipe and reset these things in a heartbeat, and there would be little chance of students installing malware or any non-approved software, since Chrome OS pretty much only supports web apps. Chromebooks also tend to combine low cost and solid build quality, which is always helpful when kids are involved.

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