Dell unleashes a bevy of Chromebooks and Latitudes for students


— 3:00 PM on January 25, 2017

The educational market has slightly different priorities than the enthusiast and enterprise domains. Machines destined for the classroom need to be affordable, durable, and easy to manage. Dell has launched a bevy of new Chromebook and Windows laptops designed with educational institutions and students in mind.  All models sport spill-resistant keyboards and touch pads, along with torque-resistant metal brackets around the power connector.

The most interesting models are the Chromebook 11 Convertible and the Latitude 11 Convertible. The two machines share the same 11" flip-over convertible form factor and a choice of Corning Concore or Gorilla Glass display covers. The Chromebook model packs Skylake-based Celeron processors, while the Latitude comes with a choice of Kaby Lake-based Celeron or Pentium chips. The Windows version also has an included stylus and a camera mounted on the keyboard that can be used as a "world-facing" eye when the device is in tablet mode. The machines weigh in at less than 3.2 lbs (or 1.4 kg). The Chrome OS model starts at $350, and the Windows version starts at $580.

The Chromebook 11 and Latitude 11 laptops pack the same processors as the convertible versions, but come in a less-expensive, more traditional package. Dell touts a durable hinge that can open as far as 180° for a more collaborative experience. The company says "the "secure" keys on these machines are 50% more tamper-resistant than in previous generation products," though w're not entirely sure what that means. The Chrome OS version starts at $220 and the Windows version can be had for $350 and up. The Chromebook 11 weighs in at 2.9 pound (1.3 kg), while the Windows version is slightly heavier at 3.6 lbs (or 1.6 kg).

Those looking for machines with a little more screen real estate and processor power can look at the Chromebook 13 and Latitude 13. The Chromebooks come with Skylake-based Celeron or Core i3 CPUs. Buyers of the Latitude model can pick between a variety of Skylake and Kaby Lake-based Celeron, Pentium, Core i3, and Core i5 chips—though the product page lists only the Core i3-6006U and Core i5-7200U options for now. Either way, both machines weigh in at 3.6 lbs (1.6 kg) or less. The base version of the Chromebook 13 will cost $300, and the Windows model starts at $520.

Dell says all these new machines can go for least ten hours on a single battery charge. All versions are scheduled to start shipping on February 7.

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