Microsoft has an edge globally when it comes to classroom PCs, but the Google Chrome OS rules in the U.S. To capture that important market and take on Google's low-cost, Microsoft has partnered with Lenovo and JP to launch a new series of cheap PCs, which starts from just $189. 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. The Classmate Leap T303 with Windows Hello and a $199.99 USD price tag (which equates to $247 CAD) is coming to Canada, along with the 2-in-1 touchscreen Classmate Leap T303.
Microsoft rolled out new tools for students aimed at aiding reading and writing skills, such as the addition of dictation capabilities to Office 365 and Office apps. As suggested by the name, both the laptops come with an 11.6-inch HD IPS display with an optional touch screen on the 11e. "That's an area - that price point [of under $200] - that most districts feel is attainable".
Lenovo's new 500e (pictured below) is the "flagship" of this lineup.
The ThinkPad 11e and 11e Yoga will be available next month starting at $429 and $499, respectively.
"They really give the full power of Windows, for things like Inking, 3D, and Minecraft". All four are spill resistant, ruggedized for students, and promise long battery life to avoid having wires all over the classroom. The new track adds chemical compounds and other chemistry-based learning to the educational game. "Now teachers and pupils can see those shapes in a classroom and interact with them; the visualisation helps". This is the most expensive one, it will cost $300.
In an interview, Microsoft Vice President for Worldwide Education Anthony Salcito said the company has collected feedback from its K-12 users about what it can do better-and it is responding. It is powered by a quad-core Intel Celeron N3450 processor, clubbed with up to 8GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Further, the company unveiled its 300e, a 2-in-1 laptop with Pen, priced at $279.
Microsoft also announced that it would be extending free access to Office 365 Education to teachers in 146 countries. The software giant is also partnering with the BBC, LEGO, NASA, PBS, and Pearson to bring a variety of Mixed Reality and video curricula to schools.
Expect availability starting in March 2018 with a price that will please everyone at any budget committee meeting: $219.
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