We may have dropped the Convertible Classmate PC on its head back at its CeBIT launch, but obviously that didn't throw the little netbook off its educational course. Intel along with its hardware partners are now officially launching the improved and re-ruggedized netverible, and here in the US, CTL's added the kiddie laptop to its lineup. The $499 2go Convertible Classmate PC NL2, which is configured with an Intel Atom N450 processor, 1GB of RAM, 160GB hard drive, Windows XP Home and a four-cell battery, will start shipping to those ever so studious school children this week.

We can tell you that the kids are lucking out this time. We've been playing around with the netvertible for the last few days, and must say it's one tough piece of hardware. Though we can see the 3.7-pound rubberized chassis putting a bit of strain on smaller arms, it's really easy to grip and the retractable handle is less cumbersome than the previous versions. We've got to admit we were a bit disappointed that the resistive screen still doesn't support multitouch, but it's responsive to finger touches and the included stylus takes some pretty smooth notes. Our $599 unit came with Windows 7 Professional installed, but we continue to love Intel's Blue Dolphin software layer for easily opening programs with a finger. The accelerometer is slightly sluggish to rotate the screen orientation, but we were quickly distracted by the anti-microbial keyboard and rotating webcam. We'll be here wondering why the kids get to have all the fun, but we encourage you to check out the hands-on pictures and PR below.
Gallery | 22 Photos

CTL 2go Convertible Classmate PC NL2 hands-on

Gallery | 6 Photos

Intel Convertible Classmate PC press shots

Show full PR text
Rugged Convertible Classmate PC Design Moves the Way Kids Do

Latest Intel-Powered Convertible Classmate PC Offers Durable Design
for School Children Around the World


NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
· Supported by local computer manufacturers, Intel unveils the latest Intel-powered convertible classmate PC design.
· The new convertible design is more rugged and flexible, providing school children around the world with custom-built technology to help advance education.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 26, 2010 – Intel Corporation today unveiled the most flexible and durable Intel-powered convertible classmate PC reference design yet. Supported by local computer manufacturers which are part of the Intel® Learning Series, this new addition combines aesthetics with ruggedness, full PC functionality with enhanced e-learning capabilities and improved performance with energy efficiency.

Building on the success of the clamshell and convertible classmate PC designs, Intel and the Learning Series' members provide classrooms around the world with a custom-built solution for primary school education.

Featuring the Intel® Atom™ processor and a 10.1-inch LCD monitor, the new convertible classmate PC includes increased memory and storage to run education applications that help students excel in their studies and build skills for the future. The new design can change instantly from a clamshell to a tablet PC, allowing students to naturally switch form factors as they move between activities and locations in the classroom, an observation that Intel ethnographic researchers have termed "micro-mobility."

"Our ethnographers have spent countless hours understanding how technology can help school age children here in the U.S. and around the world build the skills required for the future," said Kapil Wadhera, acting general manager of Intel's Emerging Markets Platform Group, which developed the Intel-powered classmate PC reference design based on ethnographic research. "At Intel, we believe that education has the power to transform the lives of individuals, villages, cities and nations, and we understand that technology is one of our greatest tools to advance education around the world."

Built to move the way kids do, the new Intel-powered convertible classmate PC features a touch-screen with a user interface optimized for eReading applications, water-resistant keyboard, touchpad and screen, improved ruggedness with drop test from desk height, bump and scratch resistance surfaces and structures, and an optional anti-microbial keyboard. In tablet mode, the "palm rejection" feature ignores the touch of hands resting on the screen, allowing students to write and draw intuitively.

In addition to being powered by the power-efficient Intel Atom processor, the new classmate PC features a rechargeable battery with up to 8.5 hours1 of battery life so students and teachers don't have to worry about plugging in. It also includes integrated wireless connectivity with WiFi and provides the options of 3G, GPS and WiMAX for easy network and Internet connections.

More than 300 vendors – including hardware, operating system, software vendors and enterprise solutions providers – are developing applications, peripherals and services optimized for Intel-powered classmate PCs as a part of the Intel Learning Series offering. This cost-effective, end-to-end solution will be brought to students by an extensive network of local OEMs including CTL, Equus and M&A in the United States, MDG in Canada and local OEMs in Australia, Argentina, China, Germany, India, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom, in addition to Benelux region.

For additional information about the Intel-powered classmate PC, including photos and videos, visit the press kit at www.intel.com/pressroom/kits/classmatePC. Additional information is also available at www.intel.com/intel/worldahead/classmatepc and www.intellearningseries.com.