Dell Readies 2015 Education Lineup

By Tom Allen
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Dell’s new additions to its education portfolio include a laptop, tablets and a Chromebook. All four products (Chromebook 11; Venue 10 and 10 Pro tablets; and Latitude 11 Education Series laptop) are ‘playground-proof’, with rubber trims to absorb shocks. They have only been previewed at the time of writing, so we will have to wait for full specifications.

In addition to the trim, the laptop and Chromebook have passed the MIL-STD 810G tests for pressure, temperature, shock and vibration. Both have a 180 degree LCD hinge design, a spill-resistant keyboard, Gorilla Glass and optional touch.

The Chromebook 11 is Dell’s second-generation model. The new hinge is a significant change compared to the previous Chromebook 11, as are the new Intel Celeron (Bay Trail) processor and the ‘activity light’. Positioned on the rear of the display, the light can act as a virtual hand raise to show a teacher that a student is ready to answer a question, says Dell. It will also light up when a student is connected to a network, showing if they are online when they shouldn’t be.

An anti-glare 11.6″ display has 1366 x 768 resolution. Battery life is up to 10 hours and the unit has 2GB or 4GB of RAM. Storage is 16GB. Dell is selling the Chromebook 11 in the USA now, for $250, and will launch it in other markets this month.

The Latitude 11 is much the same as the Chromebook, but runs Windows instead of Chrome. It will be launched on 3rd March, for $300, with the touch version following in June.

Two new Venue tablets, which run Android 5.0 (Venue 10) or Windows 8.1 (Venue 10 Pro), have 10.1″ displays with 1280 x 720 or (optional) 1920 x 1080 resolution. An optional keyboard turns them into hybrid devices and both feature NFC connectivity. The Pro model will be launched on 3rd March ($330, or $380 with keyboard), while the regular Venue 10 will be available in the spring.