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Budget laptops go convertible
Buying a 2-in-1 laptop/tablet PC doesn’t have to cost the earth, as these new education-focused machines prove.
Despite costing in the region of $500, many of these Windows 10 and Chromebook laptops can be folded flat to become a, somewhat bulky, tablet.
That said, there are still plenty of indications these are budget machines aimed at students: the lower resolution screens, relatively weak processors and small amounts of storage.
But if you can live with these limitations, then these school-focused laptops/tablets, a number of which are available to the public, might appeal to you or your kids.
Dell Latitude 11 Convertible
This ruggedized convertible Windows 10 laptop can be folded right over to be used as a tablet, has been reinforced and rubberized for drop and shock protection, and has a sealed keyboard to protect against spills.
The Latitude 11 Convertible (3189) will be available from February 7 on Dell.com in the US, with prices starting at $579.
- CPU: Available with 7th Gen Intel Celeron and Pentium processors
- Display: 11.6-inch touchscreen display
Dell Chromebook 11 Convertible
Alongside the Windows-powered Dell Latitude Convertible, Dell also launched a Chromebook version, which is broadly the same, save for shipping with less powerful 6th generation Intel Celeron processors.
The Chromebook 11 Convertible (3189) will be available from February 7 on Dell.com in the US, with prices starting at $349.
Dell Latitude 11 /13 & Chromebook 11 / 13
These robust 11-inch laptops are available as Windows PCs or as Chromebooks, have a sealed keyboard to protect against spills and can be laid flat on the desk.
Also available with a 13.3-inch display is the Windows 10-powered Latitude 13 and the Chromebook 13.
All models will be available from February 7 on Dell.com in the US, with prices starting at $349 for the Latitude 11, $219 for the Chromebook 11, $519 for the Latitude 13 and $299 for the Chromebook 13.
- CPU: Latitude 11 available with 7th generation Intel Celeron and Pentium Processors, Chromebook 11 with 6th generation Intel Celeron processors, Latitude 13 with up to 7th generation Intel Core i5 processors, Chromebook 13 with 6th Gen Intel Celeron or Core i3 processors.
- Display: 11.6-inch or 13.3-inch display
Lenovo ThinkPad 11e
The updated ThinkPad 11e is available as a Windows 10 laptop or Chromebook, and in a clamshell or tablet convertible form factor. It comes with a digital pen for drawing and writing and has been ruggedized to resist knocks and drops. The Chromebook has a battery life of up to 10 hours.
The clamshell ThinkPad 11e with Windows 10 will be available from February 2017, starting at $519 and from $419 for education customers. The ThinkPad 11e Chromebook will be available from May 2017, starting at $369.
The convertible ThinkPad 11e Yoga with Windows 10 will be available from February 2017, starting at $599, and from $499 for education customers. The ThinkPad 11e Yoga Chromebook will be available from May 2017, starting at $449.
Lenovo will add a convertible notebook/tablet to its N-series of machines, which includes the N23 Yoga clamshell seen above. The new Windows 10-powered N24 includes a digital pen for writing and drawing on the 10-point, 11.6-inch IPS touchscreen.
Lenovo N24 with Windows 10 is expected to be available mid-2017. Pricing will be available closer to shipping date.
JP.IK TURN T201 PC
Aimed at students aged between 12 and 18, the TURN T201 laptop can be folded back on itself to be used as a tablet, ships with a digital pen and pen holder, and has a retractable carry handle.
Available to educational institutions via JP.IK.
- CPU: Intel Atom x5-Z8350
- Memory: 2GB/4GB LPDDR3L
- Display: 11.6″ IPS screen with 1366×768 resolution.
- Storage: 32GB / 64GB / 128GB eMMC & 128GB / 256GB SSD M.2
- Connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0
- Ports: 1xUSB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0 port (Type-C)
- Battery: 2250 mAh
- Weight: 1.3kg
- Dimensions (L x W x H) : 207.25 x 298.6 x 18.6mm
Acer Chromebook Spin 11
Acer has taken its ruggedized Chromebook and transformed it into a convertible laptop, which can be used as a tablet or in a tent configuration–as seen above.
Initially, this machine will only be available to education and commercial buyers, starting in Q2 of 2017.
- CPU: Intel Celeron quad-core processor N3450 / Intel Celeron dual-core processor N3350
- Memory: 4GB / 8GB LPDDR4
- Display: 11.6″ IPS display with 1366 x 768 resolution touchscreen
- Storage: 32GB/64GB on-board Flash storage
- Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2
- Ports: 2xUSB Type-C ports, 2xType-A USB 3.0 ports
- Battery life: Up to 10 hours
- Weight: 1.4kg
- Dimensions (L x W x H) : 206 x 296 x 20.5mm
Acer TravelMate Spin B118
Running Windows 10 Pro, this spill-resistant convertible laptop/tablet has a shock-absorbent middle rubber frame and can survive 132 pounds (60kg) of downward force on its lid.
It will also initially be sold to education and commercial buyers, starting in Q2 of 2017.
- CPU: Choice of Intel Pentium processors with Intel HD Graphics
- Display: 11-inch with 1366×766 or 1920×1080 resolution touchscreen
- Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
- Ports: Includes 1xUSB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1xHDMI, 3.5mm audio, SD card reader
- Battery life: Up to 13 hours
HP ProBook 360 11 Education Edition
A rugged convertible Windows 10 Pro laptop/tablet that can withstand being dropped from a height of up to 30-inches, has two cameras, and a digital pen for writing and drawing on the touchscreen.
Available to educational establishments via HP’s partner program.
- CPU: Intel Celeron or Intel Pentium processors
- Display: 11.6-inch touchscreen display with 1366×768 resolution
- Battery life: Up to 11 hours