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Dell Latitude 2100 Netbook
Dell offers new 10.1-inch netbook for school kids

Dell has announced the industry's first 10.1-inch netbook designed for the education market. The netbook is called the Latitude 2100 and Dell says that its design and construction are influenced by the needs of K-12 students. The machine offers an optional touchscreen, which Dell claims to be a first for education netbooks.

The machine has a network activity light on the front of the lid that allows teachers to monitor the use of wireless networks to prevent students from accessing the internet when not allowed. The machine is available in five colors including School Bus Gold, Chalkboard Black, Ball Field Green, Blue Ribbon and Schoolhouse Red.

The colorful netbooks are designed with a rubberized housing to help them stand up to the rigors of daily use with children. For classrooms with multiple machines, a special cart is available that allows the charging and management of network resources on up to 24 of the machines at once. Options available on machines include an antimicrobial keyboard (available in the U.S. only), SSDs, quick connect shoulder straps and handles, as well as a webcam.

“The Latitude 2100 shows that Dell thinks about, cares about, and designs products with education in mind,” said Paul Bell, president of Dell’s global public sector division. “This system is an extension of our efforts to support educators as they transform technology access in classrooms worldwide. We will continue to respond quickly to their needs and work with governments to deliver technology that modernizes education, excites students and arms them with the skills they need to succeed in the digital age.”

Buyers can choose from Windows XP Home, Vista Basic, and Linux operating systems. The Intel Atom N270-powered netbooks weigh 2.91 pounds with a 3-cell battery and a larger 6-cell battery is optional. Machines can also be optioned with an external optical drive. The machine is available today starting at $369.

Netbooks grabbed 20% of the global notebook market for the first time in the past quarter.



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By Bateluer on 5/19/2009 12:43:09 PM , Rating: 3
How is this netbook any different from the other multitudes of netbooks available?

I'm all for the low cost netbook market, but there's practically no innovation or differentiation between the various models. They all boast XP Home, 1GB of RAM, the Atom N270, and the antiquated, anemic 945 chipset.

I'd really like to see some Ion based netbooks and some Via Nano based netbooks.




By Spivonious on 5/19/2009 12:52:26 PM , Rating: 5
How is it different? Marketing.

Apparently it means a lot - just look at Apple.


By mcnabney on 5/19/2009 1:07:33 PM , Rating: 2
Ion pricing will be very high due to Intel's Atom pricing strategy. Via isn't moving fast enough. Maybe AMD can move the Neo into the market more rapidly and firmly grab the 'high-end-netbook' market?


By GoodBytes on 5/19/2009 1:13:32 PM , Rating: 2
This laptop can hold 2GB of RAM.
Is more, apparently solid, and has a touch screen (I don't think multi-touch, but it's cheap upgrade), and is offered in variety of colors and options such as a choice of wireless card and blutooth

The down side is the graphic card. It's an Intel 950. I don't think it can handle Vista/Win7 Aero, but then again it's a small screen... so we have to wait and see reviews, I guess.
I think they could have put a better Intel one.


By JustKidding on 5/19/2009 11:37:05 PM , Rating: 2
The machine offers an optional touchscreen. Not included for $369. Remember, Dell is the king of the added cost option. I remember the skyrocketing price (options, of course) of a Dell computer, which I ordered for a friend. (Well, she insisted upon a Dell... :P )


By Sazar on 5/19/2009 1:26:54 PM , Rating: 2
There are a number of differences. I was at the launch event and unlike other netbooks, this one has some features such as the light on the lid (activated when kids are just browsing and not paying attention in class :) ) and a slot-less bottom of the netbook for better protection from spills on tables.

The netbook apparently will be available with upto 2 GB of memory and we were told that as with other Latitudes, you can do custom factory integration for custom projects using the netbooks. The surface is rubberized and very easy to carry, even for kids. Plus, there is a detachable strap at the back for easy carrying too.

The best feature I saw was the cart for the netbooks where the products can be docked after class or whatever and where the netbooks can also be remotely managed.

You have to look at the functionality and areas of opportunity for a product rather than just the negatives all the time :)

I for one was quite impressed, although the price is a little higher than I was hoping to see.


By ImSpartacus on 5/19/2009 11:10:05 PM , Rating: 2
It has a $30 touchscreen (checked the Dell customization page). That's a first.

I am seriously thinking of getting one because of that touchscreen. I have wanted a cheap netbook, but I have also wanted a tablet for Win7. Now I get both (kinda).

That antibacterial thing is unusual too (but not a huge selling point either).

Overall, I think this is a step forward to laptops in public schools. It might not be game-changing, but it's a step.


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