Everyone agrees that the modern classroom needs computers, but kids can be hard on hardware. Ruggedized Chromebooks would seem to be the perfect option. The educational technology company CTL—that stands for “compute, teach, learn”—has been selling classroom computers since 1989, but its latest machine might be its best yet. The CTL Chromebook NL7X for Education is an 11.6″ portable PC designed for durability and drop-tested to 2'4″ (70 cm).
CTL really isn't kidding when it says the Chromebook NL7X is tough. The company claims that the machine can support up to 365 lb (165 kg) of strain without an issue. The company also says that the anti-peel keyboard is water-resistant. The top of the Chromebook can function as a whiteboard, and it includes a retractable handle. Shock-absorbing materials line the outer edges of the machine, and the ports and hinges are reinforced to protect against clumsy handling, too.
The CPU inside the Chromebook NL7X is an Intel Celeron N3350, a passively-cooled dual-core Apollo Lake chip that can boost to 2.4 GHz. That same 6-W chip handles graphics for the 1366×768 screen. It's hooked up to 4 GB of DDR4 memory, and the system uses a 32-GB eMMC package for storage. Network connectivity is all-wireless, and comprises 2×2 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0. The aforementioned exterior ports include two USB-C ports that can both be used for charging, two USB 3.0 ports, a microSD slot, and a 3.5-mm combo audio jack.
Folks who work in the educational sector might be eligible for special pricing and “Fast Track” service on the Chromebook NL7X. The company encourages prospective customers so qualified to contact its sales department directly. Anyone else who wants one is welcome to order from the company's website, where the new machines are going for just $269.