Asus toughens up Chromebooks for the classroom
Asus has announced three new Chromebooks that has been ruggedized for students and its first Chrome OS tablet. The Education Series is made up of two 11.6 inch Chromebooks – one a clamshell laptop and the other a convertible – and a 14 inch version, together with a toughened up 9.7 inch tablet.
Asus says that its new Chromebooks for students all feature "military-grade ruggedized designs with reinforced, rubberized edges to protect them against bumps and falls." The laptop versions have water-resistant keyboards with tamper-resistant keys, while the tablet features a soft-touch rubberized back for better grip yet still manages to be only 10 mm thick.
Both of the 11.6 inch education-flavored Chromebooks have Intel Celeron processor brains, the C204 rocking a Celeron N4000 and the C214 coming with either a N4000 or N4100. And both make use of integrated HD 600 graphics.
The clamshell C204 is available in non-touch or touch-enabled configurations, both at 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution but the former having 220 nit brightness and the latter offering 250 nit. The C214 comes touch-enabled only, but buyers can opt for Wacom EMR support or not. Both C214 options have 250 nit brightness and rock a 360 degree hinge that allows for laptop, tent, display and tablet modes.
The C204 has 32 GB of solid state storage and 4 GB of RAM, while the C214 offers 64 GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM. There is 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 in each, but the C204 gets marginally more physical connectivity – two USB Type C, two USB 3.1 (Type A) and microSD, with the C214 having all that minus one USB 3.1 (Type A) port.
There's a HD webcam in each, but the convertible nature of the C214 sees it gain a 5 or 8 MP camera for tablet mode.
The Asus Chromebook C403 features a 14 inch, 1,366 x 768, 220 nit non-touch display and has Intel Celeron N3350 processor brains. Integrated HD 500 graphics feed the screen, there's 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of eMMC storage.
Connectivity shapes up as 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, two USB Type C and two USB 3.1 (Type A) ports and a microSD slot. Being a clamshell design, there's just the one HD camera here.
The first Chromebook tablet from Asus – though not the first Chromebook tablet, that honor belongs to last year's Acer Chromebook Tab 10 – has been dubbed the CT100.
It features processing from two Cortex A72 cores and four Cortex A53 cores, and Mali graphics, with support from up 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage. The 9.7 inch, 1,536 x 2,048 resolution tablet supports stylus input and has a 2 megapixel HD webcam to the front and a 5 MP camera around back, a single USB Type C port and a microSD slot.
Asus has yet to announce pricing and availability for its Education Series Chromebooks, but will be showing off its new products at CES 2019 in Las Vegas next week for those who want a closer look before they go on sale.