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Thursday, January 17, 2013
Lenovo Introduces Rugged ThinkPad Chromebook for Schools

Lenovo joins Acer and Samsung as companies offering laptops with Google's Chrome OS with the announcement of a rugged ThinkPad X131e laptop starting at US$429.

The ThinkPad X131e Chromebook simplifies software and security management for school administrators and provides students and teachers with access to of apps, education resources and storage.

The ThinkPad X131e has rugged features including a rubber bumper around the top cover and stronger corners to protect the system in the case of an accidental drop. The hinges and hinge brackets are also strengthened to last more than 50,000 open and close cycles.

"The ThinkPad X131e has proven to be very successful in education environments," said Jerry Paradise, executive director of product marketing, ThinkPad Product Group. "With the rugged features we added to the X131e, we've seen reduced failure rates in the field. This is a huge benefit to schools and students. We're pleased to be able to offer this hardened ThinkPad Chromebook as a great computer for schools."

Using Google Apps for Education along with web apps in the Chrome Web Store, students can create documents, edit spreadsheets, view multimedia videos, create slide show presentations and view PDF files.

Students can use the low-light webcam to communicate with students in other schools across the world or just across town. They can also easily connect via WiFi and Chrome's fast start up gets students online instantly. With HDMI and VGA ports, students can present their reports to the class with a projector or big screen TV.

The 11.6-inch X131e laptop features an Intel processor, a 1366x768 HD LED anti-glare screen, and three USB ports. At less than four pounds and battery life for the entire school day, students can easily carry the laptop between classes without the need to recharge.

The X131e also offers a number of customization options including custom colors, asset tagging services to help keep track of devices left on the school bus or classroom, and school logo etching to make every device unique to each education institution.

Lenovo's X131e is more expensive than Acer's C7 Chromebook, which starts at $199 and is also based on an Intel processor. Samsung's Chromebooks, which start at $249, run on an ARM processor.

The ThinkPad X131e Chromebook will be available starting February 26 via special bid. The company also offers a model of X131e with Windows 7 starting at $699.99.

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