There's a ton of activity around Chromebooks for education at the moment thanks to a push by Google and partners, and toughness is trendy. CTL's been in the institutional Chromebook market for a while, though, and it's keeping up with the times with its "X" models -- variations on its standard models that incorporate a pressure-resistant cover that doubles as a whiteboard.
The latest in the lineup is the J5X, which throws just about everything current into a package that starts at $290 (I'm not sure if the company sells in the UK or Australia, but that price converts directly to about £230 and AU$385). It's a rugged convertible -- it has a 360-degree hinge so it can function as a tablet, presentation panel or plain-old touchscreen Chromebook -- with a cover that can withstand up to 300 pounds of pressure and a write-on wipe-off skin. It's rated for drops up to almost 2.5 ft/76 cm and keyboard flooding to up to about 11.2 oz/331 ml. And if you do successfully manage to damage it, it's covered by a 1-year accidental damage warranty.
Other specs include:
- 11.6-inch 1,366 x 768-pixel 16:9 IPS display with 5 touch points
- Intel Braswell N3060 processor (bursts to 2.48 GHz)
- 4GB LPDDR3 RAM
- 32GB storage standard
- Chrome OS
- Combo audio jack
- 3 USB 3.0 ports
- HDMI connector
- microSD slot
- HD webcam
- Up to 10 hours of battery life
- Serviceable battery
If you're in the education biz, you may qualify for CTL's "buy and try" discount program. If you just like the idea of a whiteboard on your laptop, you can roll your own with a magnetic dry erase sheet. Since everything's solid-state these days, you don't have to worry about wiping your hard drive with it.