Lenovo announces ThinkPad 11e laptops, Chromebooks for education market

Lenovo announces ThinkPad 11e laptops, Chromebooks for education market

Summary: The new notebook lineup is ruggedized and will start at $349 when it becomes available this spring.


Lost amid all the hoopla over Lenovo's acquisition of the Motorola handset business from Google is the company's announcement of a new line of ThinkPad laptops designed for the education market.

Dubbed the ThinkPad 11e family, it comprises four models: two traditional notebooks, and a pair of Yoga convertible systems that can function as either laptop or tablet. A Chromebook version of either form factor will be available. (Dell announced a education Chromebook last month.)

All four portables feature an 11.6-inch display and are protected from rough-and-tumble kids via rubber bumpers and reinforced ports. They also all include an Intel processor, though the specific CPU, as well as other specs, haven't been disclosed by Lenovo yet.

In addition to toughening up the ThinkPads for school-aged children, Lenovo is offering customization of everything from laser engraving to BIOS modifications. Windows versions can make use of apps like LanSchool and webNetwork and Intel Education Software.

As you might expect, the Chromebook versions of the ThinkPad 11e will bow with lower prices than the Windows versions when the series matriculates this spring. While the Chromebooks will start at $349, the Windows flavors will start at $100 more.

Topics: Laptops, Lenovo, Mobility, Education

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  • Specifications need to be reasonable at that price....

    Although specifications are yet to be announced for that price it would be reasonable to assume that it will not feature an Intel Celeron CPU as has done with other Chromebooks. Additionally it would also be reasonable to expect more than 2GB RAM.

    The Lenovo ThinkPad 11e Chromebook should offer at least an Intel i3 CPU and 4GB RAM. What of the storage capacity. Well its unlikely to be a large amount as the LG Chromebase only offers a 16GB SSD. Furthermore I have also criticised the LG Chromebase for offering only one USB 3.0 port with the remaining three being USB 2.0 it is not to much to expect all ports to be USB 3.0 so lets hope all round USB 3.0 support is included on the Lenovo ThinkPad Chromebook.

    I am not going to voice my opinion on ChromeOS again as I have been there more than once before on ZDnet however I think it is reasonable for the consumer to get Higher specification Hardware.
    • Robust

      making the devices tough enough costs money, that is why they are more expensive...
  • Just seems like Netbooks all over again

    Netbooks were cheap and underpowered but had a full OS on them. Just about all the OEMs got into the netbook business and sold one. People bought them but then just sorta abandon them when they realized how underpowered they were (ran Linux well but that is a niche).

    Now you have ChromeBooks and everyone one seems to want to make one. Its not that they are or not a bad device just like the netbooks, its that its hype at this point and the market is becoming saturated (hell, the blog stories are becoming saturated with ChromeBook stories). People are buying them but just like the netbooks, at some point most realize how limited they are and give them to their kids.

    Rann Xeroxx
    • Actually, it reminds me of..

      ...the Linux phase when OEM's were trying to push Linux on to people. That never really took of. In some ways, reducing functionality with the Chromebook seems to actually appeal to more people...but still, the problem with Chromebook is it is WAY overpriced. Also, I grew up with a VAX account and dumb terminals. I don't really have a desire to return to those days. The PC stands for Personal Computer...where YOU owned the computing power, not rented it from the VAX owner, or the Cloud owner. Whether you trade your money to rent that power, or trade your personal information for it, it is the same.

      The Personal Computer liberated us from the Mainframe, yet people seem to be in a hurry to return to those days. How quickly they forget.
    • I agree but....

      Unlike Chromebooks, I am still using my netbook of almost 5 years. 2GB of RAM and a SSD running a dual boot of Win 7 and Win 8.1. Win 7 boots up to the login screen in under 15 seconds. I can run Office 2010 on it with no problems. In comparison, what can you run on a Chromebook if no Internet access.
      Hopefully it never happens but if my netbook ever craps out, I'd buy a Chromebook, toss out the tiny SSD and put a proper one in and install Win 7 or maybe Ubuntu [or both].
  • Pulling things

    Google pulled the plug on Motorola Mobility as it wasn't as profitable as they expected [and took a $9.5 billion hit]. Next I suspect is the tossing of the Chrome OS [and Chromebooks] especially if they plan to use the Android OS as laptop/desktop OS. Why compete against yourself. On top of that the Chrome OS quires the Internet for almost everything.
    • not all of 9.5B

      Check out http://www.zdnet.com/googles-motorola-mobility-detour-running-the-numbers-7000025784/ for more complete look at the numbers. It's not beautiful, but nowhere near $9.5B loss.
  • Laptop without Keyboard

    Laptop without Keyboard :

    K77 G77 L7 keypads

    How G7 works :
    • Ew, a spam-bot.

  • Not an accurate pic

    A friend just pointed out that your image is of a 131e. Here's a link to images from their announcement http://app.update.lenovo.com/e/es.aspx?s=1717&e=185821&elq=1fc8000e8c5a41929e17389edecc4452
    It shows the Yoga formfactor better.