Draw all over CTL’s super-durable Chromebook NL7X

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.

Comments closed
    • DPete27
    • 1 year ago

    [quote<]anti-peel keyboard[/quote<] Say what now?

      • RAGEPRO
      • 1 year ago

      Kids love to destroy things, and laptop keys are a popular target for idle childhood destruction. When I worked PC retail I can’t tell you how many times I’d find some snotty kid lazily picking at the keys on our demo laptops trying to pop them off.

      At least, I assume that’s what they meant.

        • Redocbew
        • 1 year ago

        The hands of a child are perhaps the most destructive force in the universe. In my experience their parents often aren’t much better, but at least they feel bad about it afterwards.

        • Thrashdog
        • 1 year ago

        I was amazed at how much damage full-grown adults could “accidentally” do to a laptop keyboard, back when I was managing IT for an all-notebook office. Bored kids take it to a whole other level.

    • willmore
    • 1 year ago

    As the parent of children of the target age for this device, I whole heartedly approve of this design. Well done. I really like the whiteboard cover. That’s the kind of thinking that makes a good device great. I hope they applied it to the whole design.

    Looks like a way better solution for education than a damn iPad. Cheaper, stronger, actual keyboard, yeah, that’s better.

      • Redocbew
      • 1 year ago

      I kind of wish they had covered the rest of the machine in it also. I agree about it being better than a tablet though. This is maybe the first thing I’ve seen that’s “for education” which actually looks like it might belong in a classroom.

    • Kretschmer
    • 1 year ago

    Bump it up to a touchscreen for $50 more and this would be a great grandma PC!

      • derFunkenstein
      • 1 year ago

      11.6″ 1366×768 might even be a little high-res for grandma, depending on her eyesight. Then again, I might be thinking of my grandma (well, grandpa, who will turn 87 this year) and not grandmas of younger kids who might be early 60s.

        • Kretschmer
        • 1 year ago

        I was thinking grandparents in their mid-60s. 🙂

        1366×768 allows for big touch targets and Chromebooks are all about getting you to the Internets without playing a lot with settings and icons.

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