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Dell education laptops go both ways: Windows or Chrome

The PC maker is offering up 11- and 13-inch notebooks as well as a convertible laptop running on your choice of OS.

The Dell 3000 Series Latitude notebook is also available as a Chromebook.

Dell isn't playing favorites with its education laptops: All three of its new systems are available to run on Microsoft Windows 1o or Google Chrome.

Both Microsoft and Google announced education initiatives this week and part of those was new low-cost laptops and convertibles made specifically for classroom use. For Dell that list includes the 11.6-inch Latitude 11 and Chromebook 11, the 13.3-inch Latitude 13 and Chromebook 13 and the 11.6-inch Latitude 11 Convertible and Chromebook 11 Convertible.

All of the new systems are reinforced for shock protection and have rubberized base trim so they can better withstand a drop off a desk. They also have fully sealed keyboards and touchpads to protect against spills. Dell is promising all-day battery life from them, too.

The convertibles are able to be used as a traditional notebook or with the screen rotated around 360 degrees and used as a tablet. The Windows version supports input with Dell's Productivity Active Pen so students can write and draw on the screen, and it has a world-facing camera that sits above the keyboard so that it can be used when the Latitude is in tablet mode.


The Dell Chromebook 11 convertible's screen rotates 360 degrees from laptop to tablet.


For the other Latitude and Chromebook models, the screens have 180-degree lay-flat hinges making them easier for students to gather around. Other than their larger screen size, the 13-inch models are available with or without a touch display, can be configured with higher-performance Core i3 or Core i5 processors (the 11-inch models run on Pentium and Celeron CPUs) and are available with mobile broadband (Windows only) allowing students to stay connected when Wi-Fi isn't available.

All of the systems are expected to be available in early February. Pricing was not announced.

Alongside the laptops, Dell announced two 4K-resolution touch displays for use in classrooms or offices. Joining the company's current 70-inch 1080p interactive touch monitor, the 55- and 86-inch displays use a new InGlass technology for a natural writing experience using the two included passive styluses according to Dell.

Also, although the displays have room on back for a Dell OptiPlex Micro desktop that can be powered off the display, a Dell spokesperson said they can be used with any computer. Both will be available at the end of March at a price below $5,000 for the Dell 55 (roughly converted to £4,000 or AU$6,600) and below $11,000 for the Dell 86 (£8,800 or AU$14,500).

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