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.