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Acer looks to appeal to the education market with its Chromebook Spin 11

Why it matters to you

If you're an educator looking for a rugged and manageable machine for your students, you now have another option with the Android app-supporting Acer Chromebook Spin 11.

Google’s Chromebook platform has found one of its strongholds in the education market, where it’s appreciated for the low cost of Chromebook hardware and ease of administration for Chrome OS. Now that Google has announced that all Chromebooks launched in 2017 will support Android apps, we can expect to see manufacturers releasing new waves of Chromebooks aimed at the education market.

Android app support is particularly important for 2-in-1 devices that can transform into tablets, and so we’re not surprised to see this particular form factor take root in education. Acer has been making Chromebooks for some time now, and the company is taking advantage of the British Education and Training Technology (BETT) Show in London later this month to take the wraps off its own 2-in-1 machine aimed at students and teachers — the Chromebook Spin 11.

More: Google: All Chromebooks launched in 2017 will run Android apps

As with most machines aimed at the education market, the Chromebook Spin 11 is a rugged model with military-grade durability. It meets the U.S. MIL-STD 810G standard and should be able to withstand the drops (up to 48 inches), knocks, and everyday abuse dished out by the typical student. The keyboard has a drainage system that can channel up to 330ml of liquid around important components and out through the bottom of the chassis, and has keys that are recessed to make them more difficult for mischievous children to pry off.

The Chromebook Spin 11 is powered by an Intel Celeron quad-core N3450 or dual-core N3350, with 4GB or 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and up to 64GB of eMMC flash storage. Wireless connectivity is provided by 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2, and wired connectivity includes two USB Type-C ports supporting up to 5Gbps and USB charging, as well as two USB Type-A 3.0 ports. A microSD card slot makes it easier for students and teachers to exchange data.

the 11.6-inch HD IPS display uses with antimicrobial Gorilla Glass. The touchscreen supports an electromagnetic resonance stylus that draws power from the screen and, for that reason, doesn’t need batteries. As with most 2-in-1s, the Chromebook Spin 11 supports four modes — tent mode, display mode, standard notebook mode, and tablet mode. Up to 10 hours of battery life should allow the machines to last through the typical school day.

Acer hasn’t provided pricing or availability information yet on the Chromebook Spin 11. If you’re an educator attending the BETT show, you can drop by Acer’s booth for some hands-on time with the newest member of Acers educational stable of machines.