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Acer and ASUS debut new education-focused, USB-C & Play Store wielding Chromebooks


Today at the BETT Show in London, two new Chromebooks have been announced. The first is from Acer, the Spin 11 while the second comes from ASUS, the C213. These new Chromebooks are designed specifically for education customers, packing a strong build, compact design, and special features for the target audience.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 packs an 11-inch HD IPS touchscreen display with Wacom EMR technology for an improved drawing/note-taking experience with a stylus. That touchscreen is mounted on a 360-degree dual-torque hinge which offers a “wobble-free” experience. Mounted above the display is a 720p webcam with a secondary 5MP camera available above the keyboard.

The Spin 11 is also built to withstand daily drops with a reinforced chassis that has a MIL-STD 810G US military rating for durability. Under the hood the Spin 11 offers an Intel Celeron chipset, dual-core or quad-core depending on model, as well as up to 8GB of RAM. 32GB or 64GB of flash storage is also included again, depending on model.

Acer has also loaded the Spin 11 with ports, including two USB-C ports mounted on either side like Google’s Chromebook Pixel. Those ports can be used for video-out, data transfer, and charging, as well as two USB 3.0 ports, and a microSD card reader. Acer also claims up to 10 hours of battery life for the machine.

Unfortunately, ASUS hasn’t been as generous with information on the C213. All we know is that, just like the Acer, it features a 2-in-1 design, USB-C, and the Play Store out of the box. Both machines also offer styluses, but it’s unclear if they come included.

Pricing and availability details for both laptops are also unknown at this point, but Google says we should expect both in late Spring.

Acer has announced its new Acer Chromebook Spin 11 (R751T) at the British Education and Training Technology (BETT) Show in London. Designed specifically for the classroom, the rugged convertible Chromebook comes with a stylus powered by Wacom® EMR (Electro-Magnetic Resonance) technology1, and features four versatile usage modes that are ideal for modern learning environments. The Chromebook Spin 11 (R751T) will provide additional capabilities thanks to support for Android apps via the Google Play™ Store out-of-the-box.

“Today’s students and teachers depend more than ever on the power of technology to improve learning outcomes. Acer continues to invest in research and development to create products and solutions designed for the needs of modern education,” said James Lin, General Manager, Commercial & Detachable Notebooks, IT Products Business at Acer. “With our new Chromebook Spin 11, students get a ruggedized and easy-to-use device for learning, while school administrators get a cost-effective laptop package for their schools, helping both students and staff to make the most of what modern technology can deliver.”

Acer will be at the BETT show from January 25 to 28 at booth B109, where units of the new Acer Chromebook Spin 11 will be on display.

Classroom Usability

The Chromebook Spin 11 (R751T) has a number of features designed to facilitate school lessons and activities, rather than limit them.

Equipped with a Wacom EMR stylus1, students can enjoy the best of technology combined with a natural experience that mimics that of using pen and paper. With the stylus in hand, students can digitally draw, sketch, take notes, capture ideas and more in high comfort and with precise control, all the while keeping the screen smudge-free. Schools will also appreciate that EMR styli are battery-free and more resistant to accidental drops, reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO).

In addition, the touch display of the Chromebook Spin 11 (R751T) is protected by Antimicrobial Corning® Gorilla® Glass[3], with antimicrobial properties made possible by embedded ionic silver.

One of the most impressive features of the new Chromebook is the 360° dual-torque hinge design, which ensures users can enjoy a wobble-free, optimized touch experience in any mode. These modes are:

  • Tent Mode – Ideal for places where space is restricted (such as fold-down tray tables on bus journeys, or small classroom desks), this mode is great for displaying video content and provides a strong base for touchscreen interactions with apps and webpages.
  • Tablet Mode – The most mobility-friendly mode, the thin body folds over itself to make for a light and easy to hold unit – great for passing around during group-work and great for field trips and class lessons outdoors. This mode is also perfect for art and design projects with the Wacom enabled stylus. A second Acer HD wide view webcam located above the keyboard allows the user to shoot photos and videos just like they would with a tablet.
  • Display Mode – Great for displaying instructional video content during classes that require hands on work – like cookbook recipes in a home economics class – or for apps that don’t need much touchscreen interaction.
  • Notebook Mode – Traditional laptop mode for typing and interacting with apps via a full keyboard.

Military-Grade Durability

The Acer Chromebook Spin 11’s design is specialized to handle the rough-and-tumble of the classroom. Adhering to the stringent U.S. MIL-STD 810G military standard2, the Chromebook Spin 11 is tough and can withstand daily knocks and drops, whether a drop from a table or being jostled around in students’ school bags. Thanks to a reinforced chassis structure and rubber bumper surrounding the keyboard, the Chromebook Spin 11 can withstand drops from heights up to 48 inches (122cm). The design also incorporates a unique drainage system which can endure up to 330ml of spilled water and channels liquid away from important components. As a further barrier to damage, the keyboard has recessed keys that prevent students from removing, swapping or otherwise interfering with the keys.

Power Packed

All of the above is enabled through solid component choices and features that means it is perfect for school administrators who want a durable, secure laptop that is simple to use for students and can be easily managed at an individual or group level.

Built on the Chrome operating system, the notebook has an 11.6” HD IPS[4] display with highly accurate touch sensitivity. It is powered by either an Intel® Celeron® quad-core processor N3450 or Intel® Celeron® dual-core processor N3350 depending on model. It also and comes with 4GB/8GB LPDDR4 memory and either 32GB/64GB on–board storage through eMMC flash.

Wireless connectivity comes through with 2X2 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, while wired connectivity comes through with 2 USB Type-C ports (USB 3.1 Gen 1 – up to 5 Gbps transfer of data, DisplayPort over USB-C and USB charging) and two type A USB 3.0 ports as well as a MicroSD card reader.

The Chromebook Spin 11 (R751T) weighs in at 1.4kg and measures 296 (W) x 206 (D) x 20.5 (H) mm and has up to 10 hours of battery life[5].

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