Dell is releasing a new version of its Chromebook, and it seems like it has the potential to be just as good as the last.
Dell’s new Chromebook 11 is specifically designed for the classroom, but you can order it through Dell’s website too.
Like Dell’s first Chromebook, the new model will sell for $249. You can also opt for a touchscreen or upgrade the memory, but Dell hasn’t released pricing information for these higher-end models just yet.
The new 11.6-inch Chromebook runs on Intel’s Bay Trail processor, a chipset designed to get smoother performance out of portable devices like tablets and Chromebooks.
The Chromebook 11 is a bit heavy compared to competitors from Acer, Toshiba, and HP, but it feels well-built. I can imagine that this thing would be able to withstand a few falls without enduring much, if any, damage.
What makes the new Chromebook specifically appealing for classrooms, however, is its Activity Light.
There’s a light on the lid of the device that lights up whenever a student needs help, has a question, or wants to contribute something to the conversation. Each specific need correlates to a different color – so if a student needs help, the light may be red, while a blue light could indicate that a student has a question. Students can control the light via an app that comes with the device.
Teachers could potentially use the light to see whether or not students are done with their assignments, for example. Since the Chromebook is designed for the classroom, it’s extra durable. You can fold the display back by 180 degrees, and the keyboard is resistant to spills.
The version that Dell sells on its website will be slightly different than the one it will ship to schools. There’s no Activity Light, Kensington lock slot, or SIM card lock slot on the consumer edition, and it will only be available in black.
It’s not the prettiest Chromebook, but based on our limited time using the device it seems to offer a nice, comfortable keyboard and a sturdy design for a cheap price. If you want something that you can toss in your bag or give to your child without worrying about it getting damaged, this may be a good choice. We still prefer Toshiba’s Chromebook 2, which has a lightweight design reminiscent of the MacBook Air and a gorgeous screen, but Dell’s new Chromebook is worth checking out.
Dell’s first Chromebook received rave reviews from critics last year, and it seems like its new device has potential to stand up to its predecessor.