Lenovo had some great stuff to talk about at the BETT show in London. Affordable Windows 10 laptops for students made their debut, but what we're most interested in are the three new Chromebooks designed for the educational market. Lenovo didn't disappoint, and the new 100e, 300e, and 500e models cover the price points and feature lists of most any school boards budget.
The trio shares some common details that make them worth taking a look at. The design is "Hardened for Education Environments", meaning rubber bumpers, reinforced ports and hinges, and an all-new mechanically-anchored keyboard makes them able to take some extra abuse; all three are MIL-SPec tested and rated, including drop-testing at 29.5-inches and spill-resistant to 330ml. These should offer the extra level of survivability that every classroom product needs. In addition, all three models come with great classroom management tools including support for Google Classroom and G Suite for Education.
Lenovo 100e Chromebook
At the entry-level, the Lenovo 100e Chromebook offers the same Chrome experience as more expensive laptops with automatic updates and worry-free management. The 100e features a fanless 8th generation dual-core Intel Celeron N3350 processor that promises up to 10 hours of battery life. The 11.6-inch antiglare HD display and rugged exterior still check in at just 2.7 pounds (1.22kg).
Expect availability starting in March 2018 with a price that will please everyone at any budget committee meeting: $219.
Lenovo 300e Chromebook
A step up from the 100e, the Chromebook 300e has the same flexible and worry-free software management tools with Chrome OS with a multi-mode form factor and ten-point multi-touch display. It's difficult to adapt a 360-degree hinge to a ruggedized form factor, but Lenovo looks to have pulled it off and the 300e can be used in the traditional laptop way, or in a tented presentation mode or as a tablet.
The MediaTex MTK 8173C processor delivers up to 10 hours of battery life, and the whole package comes in at 3 pounds (1.35kg). The 300e arrives in February 2018 and has an affordable $279 price.
Lenovo 500e Chromebook
At the top of Lenovo's 2018 Educational Chromebook line, the 500e adds some extra features that justify the price bump. The pressure-sensitive pen is integrated with Chrome and the Chromebook itself with a silo slot built into the body. Dual-5MP cameras allow for photos and video in the correct orientation in the standard laptop mode, the tented display mode or in tablet mode, and the 11.6-inch IPS HD display uses Gorilla Glass to add an extra layer of toughness.
The 8th generation quad-core Intel N3450 processor is paired with up to 8GB of RAM and 64GB of storage to meet (and exceed) any performance demands while still offering up to 10 hours of battery power. The entire package still hits the scales at under 3 pounds (2.97 pounds/1.35kg).
The 500e Chromebook will be available starting in January 2018 and starts at $349.
You can find more information as well as order the products when they become available at Lenovo's website
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