Lenovo unveils toughened ThinkPad X131e for education, hikes price to $499

Lenovo must have struck a chord with schools looking for some rough-and-tumble ThinkPads, as it's bringing out the ThinkPad X131e even while teachers are still drafting their course plans for the fall semester. The new model keeps that better-than-military ruggedness in an 11.6-inch laptop while freshening the choices of AMD E-series chips or their Intel-made Celeron and Core i3 challengers. Dolby Advanced Audio even gives the speakers boost when it's not a matter of all work and no play. Educators, in turn, get the usual options for extended support or customizing the laptops with a little school pride. There's a premium to pay for putting classrooms on the cutting edge, however: at $499, the new systems are $70 more costly than the launch price of the X130e portables they replace, which leaves quite a bit less money for notebooks of the paper variety.

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New Ruggedized ThinkPad Laptops Are A+ Classroom Performers

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lenovo (HKSE: 0992) (PINK SHEETS: LNVGY) today announced the ThinkPad X131e laptop, built especially for students with the technologies to enhance classroom learning along with a rugged design to meet the physical demands of the school day and beyond. The ThinkPad X131e offers choices of Intel® Core™ and Celeron® processors or AMD E-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) for strong performance, Dolby® Advanced Audio® for rich and resonant sound, vibrant HD graphics and USB 3.0 for fast data transfers. The PC's cover displays a wireless activity LED indicator so teachers know when students are using WiFi in the classroom. Built for the rigors of education, the laptop also includes customization and security options for schools' IT teams.

"We know from experience that students are our toughest customers – literally – and for that reason we make it a point to go above and beyond our standard ruggedness features in the laptops we introduce for education," said Dilip Bhatia, vice president, ThinkPad Business Unit, Lenovo. "To help combat the extreme wear and tear students subject their laptops to, we've designed our toughest education PC yet by incorporating heavy-duty, military-grade features, while packing the device with top of the line technology so teachers can offer students the latest in digital learning."

Student-Tested, Teacher-Approved

The powerful ThinkPad X131e can handle a variety of student assignments, from working with video and creating presentations to managing data and other word processing tasks. The 11.6-inch laptop includes choices of dual core AMD E-300 and E2-1800 APUs with AMD Radeon™ graphics or Intel® Core™ i3-2367M and Intel® Celeron® 877 processors with Intel® HD Graphics; all help to deliver multimedia-rich lessons. ThinkPad X131e PCs equipped with Intel processors also offer the option of including Intel® Learning Series Software Suite, a collaborative and user-friendly tool designed for one-to-one eLearning and classrooms around the world.

The convenient LED light on the laptop's cover shows wireless activity to give teachers a quick visual cue that students are connected to the Internet for lessons requiring connectivity -- and offline when the work calls for simple word processing or other local activity. This convenient aid to teachers helps keep students following along with the lesson.

The laptop's Dolby® Advanced Audio® boosts the performance of the built-in speakers and enhances classroom learning that includes music, video and games. Additional multimedia functions include a low-light webcam and Lenovo's Instant Resume function, allowing students to maintain a WiFi connection while moving from class to class.

Kid-proofed Design

Lenovo built the ThinkPad X131e for mobility throughout the school day with its lightweight design, less than four pounds, and with long battery life, up to 8.5 hours. Student-tested, heavy-duty features include:

* Reinforced hinges: because frequent opening and closing of laptops can accelerate wear and tear, the X131e has a reinforced hinge to withstand 50,000 open/close cycles.
* Stainless steel hinge brackets: helping the laptop absorb 150 percent more force to the cover.
* Tightly aligned keyboard: prevents objects like pencils from wedging under keyboard keys.
* Dustless fan: filters dust away from the fan assembly to extend the life of the fan.
* Strengthened AC adapter cable: designed to withstand frequent plugging and unplugging of the laptop.
* Enhanced HDD shock performance: protects against damage from students by incorporating rubber padding around the hard drive.

The ThinkPad X131e also meets the needs of IT teams with its range of optional services including asset tagging for inventory control, ThinkPad Warranty Upgrades with onsite repair to provide tech help at school and ThinkPad Accidental Damage Protection which turns expensive out-of-warranty repairs into predictable, managed expenses.

The X131e comes in custom colors and the school can opt to have its logo etched into the top cover.

Pricing and Availability

The ThinkPad X131e laptop will be available starting today from business partners and on Pricing for models starts at $499.