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PC makers take the wraps off Windows 11 SE devices for education

Microsoft partners are starting to roll out their Windows 11 SE Chromebook-compete devices, which start as low as $219.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Last fall, Microsoft announced Windows 11 SE, a version of Windows 11 streamlined for the education market. At that time, the company also debuted the $250 Surface Laptop SE, its first device with Windows 11 SE preloaded. Today, Jan. 18, a number of PC makers also went public with their own Windows 11 SE devices, starting as low as $219.

Among the new Windows 11 SE devices announced:

Acer TravelMate Spin B3 laptop: An 11.6-inch device for K-12 students that includes durability enhancements like shock-absorbent bumpers and keys designed to protect against moderate spills. This laptop comes with a choice of Pentium Silver or Celeron, Intel Wi-Fi 6, and reported 10-hour battery life. (There's also a Windows 11 SE-based Acer TravelMate B3.)

Asus BR100F: A laptop meant for "students of all ages" that's been built to be resistant to drops, knocks, and spills. It includes a touchscreen display and pen, a 360-degree hinge, Wi-Fi 6, as well as optional 4G LTE.

Dell Latitude 3120 and 3120 2-in-1 for Education: These PCs come with 11-inch displays, Intel Celeron Quad-Core and Pentium Quad-Core processors, fast charging, Wi-Fi-6, and scratch-resistant glass (on the 2-in-1). There's also an optional pen.

Dynabook E10-S: From Dynabook (formerly Toshiba PC): This 11.6-inch model is "backpack-safe" with a reinforced chassis and bumpers, 18-degree hinges, and a spill-resistant keyboard. It comes with a number of ports, including USB-C. (Dynabook also has a Satellite Pro E105 that's powered by Windows 11 SE.)

HP ProBook Fortis 14-inch G9 Notebook: 14-inch display, Wi-Fi 6, a starting weight of 3.7 pounds, textured surface for easier gripping, spill-resistant keyboard and molded rubber trim for absorbing shocks, plus reinforced hinges. (HP also has the Pro x360 Fortis 11-inch G9 Notebook that's powered by Windows 11 SE.)

JP.IK Leap T304: Starting at $219, this device is ruggedized; includes an anti-glare display, and is made from sustainably cultivated and recyclable plastic. (There's also the JP.IK Turn T303, starting at $269, that runs Windows 11 SE.)

Lenovo 100W, 300w, 500w, and 14w laptops powered by Windows 11 SE. 

Microsoft officials said there will be more Windows 11 SE devices coming later this year, including models from Fujitsu and Positivo.

Windows 11 SE is a simplified version of Windows 11, customized for the K-12 education market, and is designed to help Microsoft and its partners try to better compete with Chromebooks. 

Windows 11 SE is not the same as Windows 10 in S Mode. However, the types of apps Windows 11 SE users can install and run natively will be limited to six categories: Content-filtering apps, test-taking apps, accessibility apps, classroom communication apps, diagnostics/management/connectivity, and supportability apps and browsers. Students won't be able to download things like games, YouTube, etc., on Windows 11 SE by design. It's supposed to be a platform for running a set of apps curated by school IT/admins.  

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