Dell entered the Chromebook market last year, focusing mainly on education with its Chromebook 11. Now it has a refreshed model with a few small tweaks, still squarely aimed at the classroom with a rugged build and unique activity light.
The new Dell Chromebook 11 starts at $249 and uses a newer [company]Intel[/company] Celeron chip than the previous edition. This isn’t the latest Broadwell chip from Intel inside the Chromebook 11; it’s a Celeron N2840, which has been around for a while. Still, that could help keep costs down without any huge detriment to performance or battery life, which is expected to be around 10 hours.
That base price includes a minimal 2GB of memory and 16GB of flash storage, as well as a standard 1366 x 768 anti-glare display. The Chromebook 11 supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 for connectivity and has an integrated webcam.
Since it’s for the classroom, Dell beefed up the [company]Google[/company]-powered Chromebook to handle a semi-tough environment. The laptop is “MIL-STD (U.S. Military Standard) tested for durability, pressure, temperature, humidity, shock and vibration so it can handle student life.” Choosing the optional touchscreen configuration adds a little more environmental tolerance: It’s a Gorilla Glass screen. The keyboard is also resistant to liquids so it’s safe for snack time and the hinge can rotate 180-degrees.
Dell added a very classroom-specific feature to the Chromebook 11 in the form of an LED light on the lid. It can change colors to indicate if a student needs help, has a question or is really good at programming LED lights from a command line. Maybe the latter item isn’t a real feature, but teachers can certainly benefit from seeing visual clues when a student needs attention. Dell says the new Chromebook is available immediately.