The Chromebook world has really amounted to a two-horse town: you've had to like either Acer's designs or Samsung's if you've wanted Chrome OS on the move. Lenovo is at last pushing out the borders, however slightly, with the ThinkPad X131e Chromebook. As suggested by the name, it's a subtle adaptation of the existing X131e to Google's platform, where the only real hardware difference is AMD's removal from the options list. The software really is the point, though -- Lenovo sees the combination of a rugged, 11.6-inch laptop with web-only software as being perfect for schools that don't want headaches with damage, security or storage. Accordingly, the only ones buying as of the February 26th launch will be institutional customers making volume bids. The Lenovo Chromebook won't affect most grown-ups as a result, but it could shake up an OS ecosystem that has remained tiny for more than two years.
Lenovo Introduces Rugged ThinkPad Chromebook for Schools
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – January 17, 2013: Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) today announced the ThinkPad X131e Chromebook -- a fast booting, highly customizable ThinkPad built with rugged features for the daily rigors of K-12 education. The ThinkPad X131e Chromebook simplifies software and security management for school administrators and provides students and teachers with quick access to thousands of apps, education resources and storage.
Throughout the course of a typical school day, students' laptops are often subject to extreme wear and tear. To help school-proof them, the ThinkPad X131e has rugged features including a rubber bumper around the top cover and stronger corners to protect the system in the case of an accidental drop. The hinges and hinge brackets are also strengthened to last more than 50,000 open and close cycles.
"The ThinkPad X131e has proven to be very successful in education environments," said Jerry Paradise, executive director of product marketing, ThinkPad Product Group. "With the rugged features we added to the X131e, we've seen reduced failure rates in the field. This is a huge benefit to schools and students. We're pleased to be able to offer this hardened ThinkPad Chromebook as a great computer for schools."
Latest Tools for Today's Digital Learning Environment
Lenovo's ThinkPad X131e Chromebook, provides students, educators, and IT administrators with an intuitive, easy-to-manage, and rugged laptop for all their computing needs right out of the box. Using Google Apps for Education along with thousands of web apps in the Chrome Web Store, students can easily create documents, edit spreadsheets, view multimedia videos, create slide show presentations and view PDF files.
Students can use the low-light webcam to communicate with students in other schools across the world or just across town. They can also easily connect via WiFi and Chrome's fast start up gets students online instantly. With HDMI and VGA ports, students can present their reports to the class with a projector or big screen TV.
The 11.6-inch X131e laptop features an Intel® processor, a 1366x768 HD LED anti-glare screen, and three USB ports. At less than four pounds1 and battery life for the entire school day, students can easily carry the laptop between classes without the need to recharge.
Recognizing that one laptop doesn't fit all, especially when it comes to schools, the ThinkPad X131e offers a number of customization options including custom colors, asset tagging services to help keep track of devices left on the school bus or in the classroom, and school logo etching to make every device unique to each educational institution2.
"Chromebooks are in use today by more than one-thousand K-12 schools, and they make an ideal on-to-one device because they're more cost effective, easier to manage and maintain than traditional laptops or tablets," said Caesar Sengupta, director of product management, Chrome OS, Google. "Lenovo has a great reputation in schools for making durable and reliable laptops, so we're excited to partner with them to introduce the ThinkPad X131e Chromebook."
Student Tested, IT Approved
As millions of students in education institutions across the country continue to use Google Apps for Education, administrators need a system that is easily manageable but also provides the layers of security required to safe guard a school's ecosystem. In conjunction with Chrome's built-in protection, Chromebooks allow schools' IT teams to manage security and scalability through one dashboard. This allows IT professionals to configure and manage devices all from one place, saving time, resources and money rolling out multiple computer images.
Lenovo also recognizes one laptop doesn't fit all, especially when it comes to schools. The X131e offers a number of customization options including custom colors, asset tagging services to help keep track of devices left on the school bus or classroom, and school logo etching to make every device unique to each education institution2.
In addition to their added IT benefits, Chromebooks also cost less than most high end tablets and according to the IDC, require 69 percent less labor to deploy and 92 percent less labor to support3.
Pricing and Availability
The ThinkPad X131e Chromebook will be available starting February 26 via special bid.