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Not content to let Asus and Samsung have all the fun, Lenovo this morning announced a Chromebook laptop of its own for education buyers.
The computer is a slightly tweaked version of Lenovo’s existing ThinkPad X13e running Google’s Chrome OS. It’s particularly well-suited for use by K-12 students with its rubber bumpers and strengthened hinges (which Lenovo claims are good for 50,000 open and close cycles).
Despite their inexpensive starting prices of around $199, Chromebooks have yet to take off with consumers. I found the previous generation of Chromebooks too heavy, underpowered, and simplistic to recommend. But since then we’ve seen new models from Samsung and Acer that ramp up the speed. They’re still not as light as your typical Ultrabook, but they’re a good value for anyone who wants a companion to their bigger laptop or desktop.
The ThinkPad X13e Chromebook will come with an Intel processor, 11.6-inch anti-glare screen, and three USB ports. Lenovo claims it will sport a battery life to last the whole school day and will weigh under four pounds.
Lenovo will only sell its Chromebook to K-12 schools and institutional buyers, which makes a certain amount of sense. By doing so, Lenovo will likely be able to offer it for less than $199 per unit. The standard X13e with Windows starts at $499. It’s also a good choice for school IT departments, since they’re inexpensive and easy to maintain. It also helps that students will be fairly limited in terms of what they can do on a Chromebook.
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