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HP's latest Chromebooks for schools include more durable keyboards

The laptops are also thinner and more powerful.
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HP is once again giving its school Chromebooks an overhaul, and they'll be particularly good news for teachers who bristle at the thought of mangled keyboards. The Chromebook 11 G8 EE, 11A G8 EE, x360 11 G3 EE and 14 G6 all have full-skirted anchored keys that are more "pick-proof" -- a curious kid should have a harder time prying off the Shift key when the teacher isn't looking. You can also expect military-grade drop resistance, enough splash resistance to survive a glass of water, toughened power ports and bodies that can be cleaned with household wipes.

The differences after that mostly come down to form factor. The Intel-based Chromebook 11 G8 EE and AMD-powered 11A G8 EE are both billed as the thinnest 11-inch toughened Chromebooks for schools at 0.74in thick, while the Chromebook 11 x360 G3 EE is a convertible for situations when a tablet-style interface will help. The Chromebook 14 G6, meanwhile, is a redesign of the 14-inch model with very thin side bezel and up to 128GB of storage.

All of the systems use modest 1.1GHz Celeron processors, 8GB of RAM and at least 16GB of storage (32GB on the x360). They're built for cost and longevity, not raw speed.

Most of the models are available now, with prices ranging from $259 for the 11 G8 EE and peaking at $299 for the x360 convertible. Schools will have to wait until February for the 11A G8 EE. You're highly unlikely to buy these systems yourself, but it might be reassuring to know that your kids will likely keep using these systems no matter what abuse the class throws at them.

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