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Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: CES 2019: The Big Trends for Business

CES 2019: Asus launches Chromebook Education series with trio of laptops, Chrome-running tablet

In addition to the company's first Chrome tablet, the lineup includes 11.6-inch and 14-inch notebooks and a 14-inch convertible. The four new devices sport rugged features to protect against the wear and tear of student usage.

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With Chromebooks remaining popular with schools around the world, Asus wants a bigger piece of that pie, introducing its Chromebook Education series that updates some existing models while adding its first Chrome-based tablet.

Like competing offerings from Acer and Lenovo, the new Asus Chromebooks sport rugged features designed to help protect against spills, drops, and other hazards that come from schoolkids handling them all day. These include rubber bumpers, liquid-resistant keyboards that also prevent tampering with individual keys, and, in the case of the Chromebook Tablet CT100, a "strong tempered glass" protecting the display. (Asus specifically does not mention Corning's Gorilla Glass, so it may be an equivalent solution.)

The CT100 also includes the six-core OP1 processor that was used in the 2017 edition of Samsung's Chromebook Plus and the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 tablet; the ARM-based System on a Chip works with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage  In addition to the glass cover, the 9.7-inch display has a resolution of 2,048x1,536 (QXGA), and the CT100 has a slot for housing a stylus as an optional accessory. 

The C204 is a traditional clamshell laptop with the plain-Jane specs you'd expect in a budget Chromebook: 11.6-inch (1,366x768) screen, Intel Celeron N4000 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. It is thinner than its C202 predecessor while managing to squeeze in a bigger battery, and there will apparently be a configuration available with a touchscreen display. The C403 ships with similar specs, though it comes with a less powerful processor (Celeron  3350). It makes up for it with a bigger 14-inch display --though the screen resolution is also 1,366x768 -- and a keyboard with increased travel distance between keys.


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Rounding out the Chromebook Education lineup is the Chromebook Flip C214, a convertible laptop that's similar to the C204, but includes a 360-degree hinge to allow students to shift back and forth between tablet and notebook form factors. The C214 doubles the storage to 64GB, offers up to 8GB of RAM, and obviously makes the touchscreen a standard feature. It also has a stylus storage slot like the CT100.

Pricing and availability are still unknown beyond Asus saying they will ship in the coming months. Perhaps more information on the Chromebook Education series will become available at this week's CES event in Las Vegas.   

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