As part of its educational announcement yesterday, Microsoft unveiled a new low-cost Lenovo laptop running Windows 10 and priced to compete with Chromebooks in the classroom market. But, ironically, Lenovo itself was busy announcing additional new education notebooks, some of which include Chromebooks.
The device that Microsoft introduced is the 300e, a 2-in-1 system that includes pen support for the Windows version. However, Lenovo is also offering the 300e in a Chromebook edition for the same $279 starting price. The Chrome-running version lacks pen support and relies on a MediaTek MTK 8173C processor instead of the Intel Apollo Lake CPUs that the Windows 300e will ship with.
Lenovo has an even cheaper option in the 100e, which has a traditional clam-shell design, an Intel Celeron N3350 processor, and a $219 price point whether you choose the Windows or Chromebook flavor. The 500e is a Chromebook-only 2-in-1 that features a Gorilla Glass screen, pen support with an integrated compartment to store the stylus, and up to 8GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, albeit with a higher starting price of $349.
Rounding out Lenovo's new offerings are pricier Windows laptops with more familiar names. The latest versions of the ThinkPad 11e and 11e Yoga are thinner and lighter and pack greater battery life than their predecessors. They also include Intel's latest N processors, and the Yoga convertible comes with a pen and integrated compartment like the 500e. To handle the drops and spills children may expose the systems to, both have been built to MIL-SPEC standards for rugged construction.
The ThinkPad 11e and 11e Yoga will be available next month starting at $429 and $499, respectively. The Windows editions of the 100e and 300e ship this month, while the Chrome 100e will ship in March and the 300e Chromebook in February. The Chromebook 500e is available this month as well.