Dell's latest laptops are built to survive the classroom
Dell has launched three new laptops made with kids (and their parents and teachers) in mind. Capable of running Windows or Chrome OS, the laptops are all built to survive the rigors of the classroom and beyond, with rugged designs and all-day battery life.
The Dell Latitude 11 Convertible and Chromebook 11 Convertible are the latest in a long line of 2-in-1 notebooks with reversible screens you can flip over and use in tablet mode. With toughened, scratch-resistant glass they should be able to go anywhere that kids do, and the Latitude (Windows) model includes support for a stylus, too.
The Latitude 11 also comes with a front-facing camera for Skype calls and video recording, and is fitted with 7th-gen Kaby Lake Celeron or Pentium processors from Intel. The Chromebook sticks with 6th-gen Skylake Intel Celeron CPUs.
The more conventional laptops are the Latitude 11/Chromebook 11 and the Latitude 13/Chromebook 13, fitted with either 11-inch or 13-inch screens. All four models have a 180-degree hinge on the display, so keyboard and screen can be laid flat – perfect for groups of kids huddled around a desk.
Again you get the same choice of processors as with the convertible models, while the 13-inch versions up the specs a little, with the Windows model topping out at a 7th-gen Kaby Lake Intel Core i5 CPU. The 13-inch Chromebooks are fitted with 6th-gen Skylake Intel Core i3 CPUs instead.
Most significantly, and in line with education-focused Chromebooks we've seen from Dell in the past, all three models follow the MIL-STD-810g military standard for design, which covers environmental pressures like temperature, shock, humidity and water exposure.
Although there are no fixed ratings for the laptops in terms of exactly what they can stand up to, they've been built to be carried and knocked around in the classroom all day. All these models have sealed keyboards and trackpads to guard against spills, for example, plus rubberized, ergonomic keys for hard-hitting little fingers.
Dell is claiming an "all-day" battery life on all the new laptops too, and the low-power Intel processors and relatively low-res 1,366 x 768 pixel displays across the board should help in that department. Finally, there are a bunch of built-in connectivity options available, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI and USB.
All these models are available from February 7 in the US. The 11-inch Convertible laptops are priced at US$579 for the Windows model and $349 for the Chrome OS version, while the standard versions can be had for even cheaper: $349 for the Latitude 11, $219 for the Chromebook 11, $519 for the Latitude 13 and $299 for the Chromebook 13.