Today Dell is launching the next generation of its education-aimed Chromebook 11, and the laptop comes with many improvements—durability and affordability were the focus with this device according to the company—that make it a worthy upgrade. The device packs an 11-inch, 1366 x 768 resolution screen (which is definitely nothing special), but there are a few things about this laptop that set it apart from the rest (and from its predecessor).

The laptop’s specs aren’t anything spectacular, but they’re enough to run Chrome OS. The device has a Intel Bay Trail-M Celeron processor coming in at 2.16GHz, comes in both 2 GB and 4 GB RAM models, packs new-and-improved speakers, and sports 16 GB of flash storage. The 2 GB of RAM base model is going to cost you $249, while the 4 GB RAM model costs $299. There is one more model, though, and that’s a 4 GB RAM model with a touchscreen. That device is going to cost $329.

Interestingly, while you wouldn’t expect that speakers would be all-too important, Dell spent a few times in my quick debrief with them on this device that sound quality was actually an area they found was important to students in an education setting. It makes sense that students would want to be able to all watch a YouTube video together and still be able to hear it in a noisy classroom. So Dell accommodated that with the release of this device, packing in higher-quality front-facing speakers.

Dell has definitely put a huge focus on the durability of this device as well, and that makes sense considering the kind of environment it’s likely going to be in on a daily basis. The keyboard and touchpad are both protected from spills, and the device as a whole has been built with plastics that will keep it intact despite the many times it will likely fall a few feet to the ground.

The Texas company found that one of the most common ways for students to hold its Chromebook was actually by the top part of the cover above the screen—and this definitely put unnecessary stress on its hinge. To help remedy this, Dell has put a 180-degree hinge on this device, which will allow the device to open completely flat. This also gives the benefit of students being able to huddle around the laptop on a desk, with the screen laying down flat.

Additionally, the device packs what the company calls an LED “activity light” on the back, which will be able to be lit up to one of seven colors. This will be handy in the classroom, because it could do things like give students a way to answer multiple choice questions as a class—or give students a way to let their teacher know that they need help without needing to hold up their hand for long periods of time.

In all, this is a very bold entry into the ever-growing Chromebook market and worthy of being the second version of the company’s Chromebook 11. Dell said that the Chromebook business is booming, and that they sold way more Chromebooks than they thought they would last year. “In Chromebook sales, we shipped something like 3 times more than projected,” the company said. And that’s just since the introduction of the first Chromebook 11 last year.

This device is going on sale today, and comes in both black and blue variants.

ROUND ROCK, Texas, Feb. 12, 2015 – Dell today announced a range of new additions to its industry

leading portfolio of education solutions to enhance the learning experiences of students around the

world: the Dell Chromebook 11; Venue 10 and Venue 10 Pro tablets; Latitude 11 Education Series

laptop and the Dell Interactive Projector S510. These new products join a great education portfolio

that includes award-winning products like the Latitude 13 Education Series laptop, Dell Wyse thin

clients for labs, and the Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation for engineering and design students.

Whether the learning environment is based on Chromebooks, laptops or tablets, all Dell devices are

designed to integrate seamlessly within the preferred IT infrastructure.

Along with fostering a collaborative learning environment, these new devices are “schoolyard tough” to

withstand the bumps, drops and spills that are part of a student’s daily life. All four products feature a

rubberized trim to absorb shock when accidentally dropped. The Latitude 11 Education Series and the

Dell Chromebook 11 have been subjected to MIL-STD 810G testing for pressure, temperature, shock and

vibration. Both have a 180 degree LCD hinge design that reduces stress on the hinge, and can be

configured with Corning Gorilla Glass for superior surface strength.

“The classroom is changing quickly, and innovative technology is a major way for students to enjoy a

collaborative educational experience,” said Sam Burd, vice president and general manager, Dell

Personal Computing Product Group. “Education devices need to be really robust to make it through a

school district’s life cycle. They also need to be powerful and flexible enough to suit individual learning

needs, and make collaborating within the classroom simple. Our latest education solutions give

students, teachers and IT managers the tools they need to provide an engaging learning experience.”

Dell’s latest line-up of devices builds on its existing end-to-end portfolio of education IT solutions,

including Professional Learning Services and Education Data Management. By developing a

comprehensive IT strategy, Dell helps schools create a productive, personalized digital learning

environment focused on improving student outcomes. This holistic approach ensures teachers,

administrators and students fully realize the learning potential of technology.

“Dell continues its commitment to teaching and learning, and is really focused on providing complete

end-to-end solutions and services that help districts deploy reliable IT infrastructures that support the

unique learning needs of their students,” said Jon Phillips, managing director of worldwide education

strategy, Dell. “This new portfolio ensures that technology remains an enabler of student potential.”

Innovative New Chromebook Enlivens Classroom Collaboration

Dell is building on the success of its first entry into the Chromebook market last year with the second

generation Dell Chromebook 11. Designed for the modern classroom with school yard durability, the

Dell Chromebook 11 features a range of innovative features including an anti-glare HD display with

optional touchscreen, liquid-resistant keyboard and touchpad and front facing integrated HD video

webcam, allowing students to easily collaborate. It also features advanced connectivity options

including wireless 2×2 LAN, 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and up to 10 hours of battery life, so

students can stay online throughout the day without being tethered to wires and chargers.

The new Dell Chromebook 11 is also the first to feature an “activity light,” allowing teachers to easily

monitor student activity and facilitate more meaningful interactions such as orchestrating student

groups or facilitating quick quizzes and polls. The device can also be coupled with Google Apps for

Education to provide a more open and connected classroom.

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Stephen Hall

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