11 Apr New Chromebook Models Hit the Market in Spring 2015
From the Chromebook Flip to the ultra-affordable Haier and Hisense models, new Chromebooks offer educators flexible buying options in 2015.
For school districts making the leap into Chromebook territory, 2015 is bringing a host of budget-friendly gadgetry to choose from. The most anticipated computer releases are 11.6-inch devices from Haier and Hisense, the newest manufacturers in the Chromebook family. Google partnered with both companies to produce the two most affordable Chromebooks to date, which start at only $149.
The Hisense Chromebook will be available at Walmart, while the Haier 11 Chromebook will be sold through Amazon.com. Both computers are powered by Rockchip processors and boast similar specs: 16 GB of local memory, 2 GB of RAM and about 10 hours of projected battery life. They’re also outfitted with an microSD card reader, two USB ports and an HDMI port.
The combined pressures of PARCC testing and restrictive technology budgets make these low-cost models smart buys for school districts with limited funding. Students may have to sacrifice the sleek metal housing found on many higher end Chromebooks for lightweight plastic. Yet, early reviews suggest the $149 models offer reliable performance comparable to the Acer 13 or Toshiba 2 models and an uncluttered interface that encourages organization and laser focus.
Google also announced two new devices from ASUS: the $249 Chromebook Flip and the Chromebook C201, both of which are touted as the most compact models on the market. Like its predecessor, the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e, the 10-inch ASUS Flip is a hybrid Chromebook with a repositionable touchscreen that transforms the device into a tablet.
While touch support has always been patchy on Chromebooks, tech companies foresee more fine-tuning in the future as Google is working with Android developers to make apps easily adaptable to the Chrome OS platform. In the meantime, the ASUS Flip’s Chrome OS is equipped with an Android keyboard, allowing users to seamlessly transition from traditional to virtual typing.
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