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Lenovo Brings Ruggedized ThinkPad X131e Chromebook To Classrooms

By Alexandra Burlacu email: a.burlacu@mobilenapps.com | Jan 20, 2013 10:10 PM EST

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Lenovo has unveiled its first Chromebook, a version of its ThinkPad X131e running on Google's Chrome operating system, which will sell exclusively to K-12 schools.

Google's Web-centric Chrome OS supports the Chrome Web browser, as well as a slew of online and offline apps. Google also has an array of Apps for Education, which gives both students and teachers access to free apps for document editing, spreadsheet editing, presentation slide show creation, etc.

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Moreover, Chrome features built-in protections and a single dashboard that allows users to configure and manage several devices from a single place and scale up to many systems. The Lenovo ThinkPad X131e, which is already part of the company's educational offerings, is ruggedized to withstand the abuse, wear, and tear typically associated with daily school use.

The laptop sports rubber bumpers to protect it against drops and spills, and features stainless steel hinge brackets, reinforced ports, and a sturdy keyboard - all designed to withstand the rigors of daily use. The ruggedized construction aims to extend the life of the device while also reducing the overall cost of ownership, as it required less repairs and replacements. Lenovo did not yet disclose pricing details for its new Chromebook, but Google Chrome is expected to further lower costs.

The ThinkPad X131e packs an AMD processor up to AMD dual-core E-series E2-1800, an 11.6-inch display with a 1366 x 768 resolution, three USB ports, and HDMI and VGA outputs. The laptop also features 128GB solid-state drive (SSD) and 802.11n Wi-Fi.

With the ThinkPad Chromebook, users will also be able to customize their device with a variety of colors and logo etchings. Meanwhile, asset tagging services will help users keep track of the laptop in case they lose it or someone steals it.

Lenovo did not provide any additional details regarding customization or available configurations, but said that the ThinkPad X131e Chromebook will become available on Feb. 26.

Google has also boosted its educational efforts last month by offering a $99 Chromebook during the holiday season. The company teamed up with charity Web site DonorsChoose.org to offer the Samsung 5 Chromebook for $99 to full-time public school teachers in the United States.

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