Print 22 comment(s) - last by AG4EM.. on Jan 27 at 10:37 AM

Lenovo puts Chromebooks in schools

Today Lenovo announced a new ruggedized ThinkPad notebook aimed at education use. The new product is called the ThinkPad X131e Chromebook. Lenovo says that the machine is a fast booting and highly customizable ThinkPad built with rugged features designed specifically to survive the daily rigors of K-12 education.

The new ThinkPad promises simple software and security management for school administrators and promises to provide students and teachers with quick access to thousands of apps and educational resources. The X131e features a rubber bumper around the top cover and stronger corners to protect the system in the event of a drop. The notebook also has strengthened hinges and hinge brackets designed to last for more than 50,000 open and close cycles.

The machine has an 11.6-inch screen and uses an unidentified Intel processor. It features HDMI and VGA outputs and has integrated Wi-Fi. The screen has a resolution of 1366 x 768 and is LED backlit with an antiglare covering. The X131e also features three USB ports and weighs less than 4 pounds. Lenovo promises that the machine will last for an entire school day on a single battery charge.

The X131e is also customizable to meet the schools needs including custom colors, asset tagging services, and school logo etching for the cover.
The ThinkPad X131e Chromebook will be available starting February 26 via special bid for educational institutions.

Source: Lenovo

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By Ammohunt on 1/17/2013 11:33:02 AM , Rating: 2
Anyone have a link to specifics on software that is educationally related and runs on chrome OS? Its about the software not the hardware. Right now the school my so attends is focused on getting ipads for education which work extremely well.

RE: Interesting
By Nortel on 1/17/2013 11:54:35 AM , Rating: 2
Zero. There are no locally running applications. I'm sure someone will comment about going to some education webpage for a matlab clone or the like.

If you aren't connected to the internet the laptop is almost worthless, which makes using these in schools ridiculously stupid. Every kid in the class is going to be on Facebook or distracting themselves in one way or another.

RE: Interesting
By Ammohunt on 1/17/2013 12:41:08 PM , Rating: 2
We as a family are almost always connected to the internet; i used to bag on ChromeOS but i am starting to change my mind. If you take a look at the chrome app store its pretty impressive. I am debating getting tablets for my kids vs something like a Chromebook. Ipads are cost prohibitive and frankly my kids are spoiled but their own ipads? nexus 7's are the other option we are considering but i like the idea of having a full keyboard and the possiblity of these devices permeating the educational system.

RE: Interesting
By Jeffk464 on 1/17/2013 12:46:29 PM , Rating: 2
If you aren't connected to the internet the laptop is almost worthless, which makes using these in schools ridiculously stupid. Every kid in the class is going to be on Facebook or distracting themselves in one way or another.

A school can set up wifi hotspots that only allow access to education and productivity sites.

RE: Interesting
By GotThumbs on 1/17/2013 12:55:31 PM , Rating: 4
More and more campuses are adding WiFi, so it's not as big an issue as you make it. Any school looking at this will know the requirements anyway.

With the continued growth of web-based apps, its also a non-issue. It also helps combat pirating of software.

Do you remember the time when there were computer clients, and all programs ran off the main's almost the same concept. More and more companies are looking to web-based computing and so having huge hard-drives on your desktop/laptop is not as necessary and helps reduce costs.

Some people just don't seem to understand the potential value in using a different approach, but then they might not be as open-minded to alternatives other than Apple.

Regarding IPADS....Besides them still costing too much, they are limiting. You try typing a report without a keypad. And if you want to use voice to text....try that in a room with a dozen kids. Yes you can use keyboards with them but that's just getting closer to a Chrome book....but still more expensive. If Lenovo and the other PC makers would make the PC's more attractive/stylish to the fashionistas....then Apple would greater competition.

Truth is, IPADS are limited in their use and if it wasn't for the number of games people play...they would be used for basic content viewing. Web-browsing or checking email.

At our work, the Admin office ordered 3 ipads and are in the process of replacing them with MS Win8 based tablets (not Win8 RT). Try installing any site-license software on an IPAD....You can't do it because each user has to "register" and use Itunes to load any apps.

Ipads are fashion over function when used in schools and businesses.

Hey, buy what you want, but I don't like the idea of Apple charging way more for thier educational pads than what a Google Nexus or Samsung 10.1 goes for, but both can perform the same functions as an Ipad...all with out ITunes registration restrictions.

RE: Interesting
By Ammohunt on 1/17/2013 1:18:07 PM , Rating: 2
The school my son attends is looking at iPads for the kids they contacted Apple and they were non-specific on education discounts. $99 for a Chromebook for educational institutes is incredibly cheap;combined with the appliance factor and centralized data store makes for an excellent educational device for kids.

After doing some more research i am pretty impressed and am going to suggest these to the school. What is almost never factored into the cost by the "just buy a laptop" crowd is the costs of paying someone to maintain fully blown laptops running windows vs this model which consists mainly of dropping in a new chromebook when one dies since all the kids important data is stored remotely and its simplicity does not require massive amounts of support software like AV.

RE: Interesting
By Homerboy on 1/17/2013 1:39:50 PM , Rating: 2
Where do you get a $99 Chrome book?

RE: Interesting
By Ammohunt on 1/17/2013 2:18:15 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Interesting
By Nortel on 1/17/2013 3:39:39 PM , Rating: 2
Losing wifi connection is a big issue, as is 100% coverage for sprawling schools.

Do you remember the time when there were computer clients, and all programs ran off the main server...

Yes, I do remember that and you might note how we don't do that anymore. You are trusting 100% of your data to Google and constantly having a wireless connection. P.S. Hard drives are dirt cheap, even SSD's.

The Apple (or any brand) bluetooth keyboard negates the whole typing argument. If you want to use the thin BT keyboard, pull it out of your bag, otherwise, simply use it as a tablet.

Try installing any site-license software on an IPAD....You can't do it because each user has to "register" and use Itunes to load any apps.

It's called security. If you were on the developer side you would be heralding Apple for their commitment to fighting piracy.

Google sell their products at Cost and Samsung create all the components in their tablets, meaning they cost less to create.

RE: Interesting
By TakinYourPoints on 1/17/2013 7:16:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, it really depends on where its being used. In the film industry I'm in they're great for remote sharing of images and documents or showing on-site color correction. Superior color profiles to even most desktop displays, forget laptops, makes them very useful for this. Similar thing at places like hospitals, the one my mom works at deployed them over a year ago and they're very convenient.

For schools... different story. Its a shame that the Lenovos are expensive as they are because it looks like great hardware. You get what you pay for, of course, and Lenovo makes good stuff. Something more disposable might make sense in this case, even if it means that it is cheaper and not as well made.

Try installing any site-license software on an IPAD....You can't do it because each user has to "register" and use Itunes to load any apps.

This is incorrect, an iPad never has to be plugged into iTunes to load apps, hasn't been for a while. All it needs is an account and your associated apps, whether they are from the app store or are custom ad hoc internal apps, can be downloaded.

For groups like business or education there are administration applications that let you remotely manage dozens of iPads. You can remotely restrict or authorize app usage per device or per user, manage the applications on it, all the standard stuff. As for volume licence pricing, that is entirely the choice of the developer but a quick check on Google says that it does exist for business and education applications.

RE: Interesting
By GotThumbs on 1/17/2013 12:57:12 PM , Rating: 2
By sulu1977 on 1/17/2013 11:01:18 AM , Rating: 3
can a non-student get one of these?

RE: hmmm
By DanNeely on 1/17/2013 11:54:33 AM , Rating: 2
The X131e is available for $619 with Win8 installed. How hard is it to install ChromeOS yourself?

RE: hmmm
By GotThumbs on 1/17/2013 12:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
Not possible. Chrome OS is not available on retail markets.

RE: hmmm
By Flunk on 1/17/2013 12:35:50 PM , Rating: 2
The group of people interested in ChromeOS doesn't really overlap with the group of people who know anything at all about computers. ChromeOS is really designed for people who want an internet toaster.

RE: hmmm
By Jeffk464 on 1/17/2013 12:43:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, when was the last time your toaster got hacked?

RE: hmmm
By ritualm on 1/17/2013 2:09:32 PM , Rating: 3
I wanted orange. It gave me lemon-lime.

RE: hmmm
By GotThumbs on 1/17/2013 1:01:43 PM , Rating: 2
NewEgg or Amazon has Chrome Book devices, but Lenovo's may be available shortly as well.




They may not be for everyone, but I still think they have merit.

nearly twice the price?
By Homerboy on 1/17/2013 1:38:54 PM , Rating: 2
My kids' school (a Charter STEM school) has adopted both Chromebooks and iOS devices as the choices of technology in the classroom.

I sit on the Technology Committee for the school, and the underlying goal is a 1:1 ratio for kids to devices.

These new Chromebooks are intriguing due to their durability (or at least marketed durability), but at nearly TWICE the price as a standard Chrome book, we'll have to pass.

It's hard enough to raise funds to get the number of devices that we need/want. To have to raise nearly double would be a near impossibility. I'd rather go with the "throw away" $200-$250 versions and get twice as many.

RE: nearly twice the price?
By TakinYourPoints on 1/17/2013 6:48:40 PM , Rating: 2
Its a drag because Lenovo hardware is ace. As usual you get what you pay for, and something more disposable probably makes more sense here.

RE: nearly twice the price?
By superstition on 1/20/2013 9:43:03 PM , Rating: 2
The trackpads are terrible bumpy things that lack precision.

Chromebooks and Windows Applications
By AG4EM on 1/27/2013 10:37:49 AM , Rating: 2
Google has made a lot of progress with getting Chromebooks into schools. That's not so surprising, as they are easy to use, easy to manage and start up fast. Lenovo's announcement will increase their momentum even further.

Schools that still need access to Windows applications can use third party solutions like Ericom AccessNow, an HTML5 RDP client that enables Chromebook users to connect to any RDP host, including Terminal Server and VDI virtual desktops, and run Windows applications or desktops in a browser tab.

Click here for more information:

Please note that I work for Ericom

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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