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Microsoft adds Chemistry to Minecraft, $190 Lenovo laptop

Microsoft's first education announcements of 2018 run the gamut of ages and tools.

 The dirt-cheap Lenovo 100e.

This week at the Bett show in London, Microsoft made its first education announcements for 2018. The highlights include a Lenovo 100e laptop starting at $190, an awesome looking Chemistry update for Minecraft: Education Edition and a 10 percent academic discount on HoloLens (still only in developer kits) through May 31, 2018.

While the new durable, Celeron-based Lenovo 100e only costs $190, making the price approachable for schools' volume buys, it's not powerful enough to run mixed reality, which is one of the big pushes we're seeing in education. On the other hand, cheap Chromebooks aren't there either.


The new Chemistry update for Minecraft: Education Edition includes this compound creator and an element constructor. Not as much fun as dropping potassium into water, but still looks neat and obviously safer. 

Even the new $280 Lenovo 300e doesn't run MR, but at least it's a 360-degree convertible which supports inking and 3D. 

The pricing is a little steeper outside the US, where the 100e's $220 global price converts to about £158 and AU$275; the 300e's $280 global price translates to about £200 and AU$350. Microsoft also announced two analogous systems (at the same US prices) from JP, its big partner in emerging economies.

In March, BBC Worldwide will be releasing a HoloLens/MR version of Oceans: Our Blue Planet globally for schools and museums, which sounds pretty cool, as well. And, of course, there are education-related updates to Office 365 for Education, because Microsoft.

You can read the complete set of announcements on Microsoft's education blog.