25 Mar Are Rugged Chromebooks the New Standard in 2016?
With the unyielding demand for Chromebooks in schools, manufacturers are adding more kid-friendly, rugged models to their product line-up.
The past three years have been kind to Chromebook manufacturers, and 2015 brought a new milestone as Chromebooks claimed over 50% of the K-12 technology market in Q3. The path ahead is clear. Schools districts NEED affordable technology, and Chromebooks offer the perfect balance of cost, functionality and multi-device manageability.
Now, several manufacturers are kicking off 2016 with rugged Chromebooks targeted at schools. These reinforced models cover the most common damage points for young users and help districts keep their fleet of Chromebooks safe from the destructive mishaps of childhood.
HP Chromebook 11 G4 Education Edition
HP is answering the call for tougher devices with the $199 Chromebook 11 G4 EE, which offers military-grade construction. This fanless device is made to survive a 2.3-foot drop, and it can lay flat, thanks to its 180-degree hinge. While this feature was intended for easier collaboration, it may also prevent a broken hinge if a student Chromebook falls or sustains impact while open. The co-molded rubber edges improve shock absorbance to protect Chromebooks from accidental bumps or drops, and the keyboard is spill-resistant to prevent liquid damage.
Asus Chromebook C202
Asus is thinking beyond the physical durability with its rugged Chromebook C202. One thing district technology coordinators love about Chromebooks is their simple design, which makes it easier for a small IT team to handle in-house repairs. Asus is taking this feature one step further by creating a modular layout that lets IT technicians quickly swap out parts in record time. The bottom panel is also easy to remove with a screwdriver for fast access using basic tools.
Tentatively priced around $230, the Asus C202 was designed to survive military-grade drop tests, and the solid-state drive can outlive minor tumbles to keep delivering consistent performance. The Chromebook’s exterior casing is scratch-resistant, and the edges are surrounded with a rubber bumper to withstand the (unfortunately common) exposure to friction and mild impact from lockers, books, rough handling and hallway antics. School administrators can breath easy knowing that the spill-proof keyboards won’t end in a sticky, short-circuited death.
Acer Chromebook 11 CB3-131
While it isn’t a fully ruggedized model, the new Acer Chromebook 11 is beefed up to survive an inevitable tumble off the side of a desk or a run-in with a heavy backpack. Despite its 2.4-lb weight and ultra-slim build, the Chromebook’s durable cover is made to withstand up to 133 pounds of force. More importantly, the plastic and aluminum body can suffer a 2-foot drop without damage. With a starting price of $179.99, the CB3-131 is sure to appear in schools this year.
Dell Chromebook 11 | Acer C720 / C740 | Asus C200 | Lenovo Chromebook | HP Chromebook | MacBook Air | MacBook Pro