Lenovo announces ThinkPad 11e laptops, Chromebooks for education market

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.

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