Acer and Lenovo unveiled several new notebooks and Chromebooks for students at the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) Thursday, January 22. The models are expected to become available by spring of this year, right on time for deployment in the fall. Let’s take a look at the new crop of laptops for students.
Two New Acer Chromebooks—the C740 and C910
With its 11.6-inch display, the Acer C740 is the smaller of the two new Chromebooks. Its compact build makes it ideal for carrying around in a school bag. Additionally it features metal hinges that secure the display to the keyboard, meant to withstand the recklessness in which many students treat their equipment—whether that’s grabbing the Chomebook by the display, or stuffing it between heavy textbooks in a backpack.
The hardware specifications offer a few upgrades to last year’s popular Acer C720 Chromebook, namely a leveled-up Broadwell-U processor, either the Intel Core i3-5005U or the Celeron 3205U. The 740 comes with 2 GB or 4 GB of system memory, and 16 GB of internal storage.
Lenovo announces ruggedized update to the Yoga 11e
Lenovo announced school-focused updates to its ThinkPad Yoga 11e notebook line, with its noted four-mode (laptop, stand, tent, tablet) style of operation. The new ThinkPad underwent rigorous MilSpec (the same deployed by the US Armed Forces) durability testing for weathering sand, temperature variations, humidity, and mechanical shock.
The specifications remain essentially the same (11.6-inch monitor, lightweight at 3.3 pounds) save the upgraded processor, which is now also a Broadwell-U Intel Core i3. Other variations of the ThinkPad 11e will feature AMD APUs, possibly something on par with a lower-grade AMD Kaveri, though that has yet to be official.
Higher-end models will be available with the ActivePen stylus that is said to more accurately mimic note-taking with a pen and paper. ThinkPads come installed with Windows 8.1, which make them popular in schools operating in a Windows IT environment.
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Let us know—what features make the best laptops for students?