Lenovo’s first Chromebook is heading to school

lenovo announces its first chromebook a thinkpad for the kids x131e

Yesterday, we reported rumors that Lenovo would be next to jump on the Chromebook bandwagon. Our source focused largely on the corporate sector, concentrating on the fact that Lenovo’s ThinkPad line is popular within businesses and companies might switch from Windows to Chrome-based laptops to save money. However, today, Lenovo announced that it will indeed launch a Chromebook – and it’s not what we expected. Lenovo is gearing its new ThinkPad X131e Chromebook not towards businesses, but towards K-12 schools. 

It’s possible that Lenovo will still launch a business-centric ThinkPad Chromebook, but its first stop is the education sector. The tough ThinkPad X131e Chromebook is built to be handled by teachers, administrators, and students from kindergarten to high school seniors. Lenovo helped “school-proof” the laptops by adding a rubber bumper around the top cover, as well as stronger corners to protect from accidental drops. The company also claims to have strengthened the hinges so they last more than 50,000 open and close cycles. 

Like other Chromebooks we’ve reviewed, Lenovo claims it will be fast booting. The ThinkPad Chromebook will take advantage of the Google Apps for Education suite, which will provide a collaborative environment where students can create and share spreadsheets, documents, videos, slide show presentations, and view PDFs. With the included HDMI and VGA ports, students can use their Chromebooks to present their projects in front of the class.

Lenovo says the ThinkPad X131e has an Intel processor, but here are some additional specs. The 11.6-inch laptop also has a 1366 x 768 HD LED anti-glare screen and three USB ports (no word on whether those are USB 2.0 or 3.0). The ThinkPad weighs just less than four pounds and Lenovo says it will have a 6-cell battery that’ll last for “the entire school day.” When we tested the Samsung Series 3 Chromebook, it lasted about seven hours, so if Lenovo’s Chromebook is anything like that, students will be in good shape. 

The company is also adding customization options, including custom colors, school logo etching, and tagging services to keep track of the laptops in case one’s left on the bus. 

Caesar Sengupta, Google’s director of Chrome OS product management, said in a press release that Chromebooks are already used in more than a thousand K-12 schools. Lenovo’s foray into Chromebooks will only add to that number. Although we don’t know exact pricing on these yet*, we do know that Google had offered its Samsung Series 5 Chromebook to schools for $100 back in December, discounted from its list price of $430. The ThinkPad X131e Chromebook will be available on February 26, so we’ll have to wait and see how Lenovo prices its Chromebook.  

*Update: According to an updated press release, Lenovo is pricing the Chromebook at $429.

Computing

I tried an LTE laptop for a month, and I wasn’t really convinced

LTE laptops offer up plenty of benefits and are becoming more common. After spending one month with one in my daily life in New York City, I really wondered if it is something that consumers really need in their lives.
Product Review

Why spend more? The Yoga Chromebook outdoes most laptops for $600

The Yoga Chromebook features great build quality, a 1080p display, and all-day battery life. All that for $540? That’s right, but there’s one catch.
Product Review

It's not the sharpest tool, but the Surface Go does it all for $400

Microsoft has launched the $400 Surface Go to take on both the iPad and Chromebooks, all without compromising its core focus on productivity. Does it work as both a tablet and a PC?
Computing

Microsoft to target Chromebooks with new Windows Lite OS, report says

With Chromebooks becoming ever more popular, Microsoft is reportedly once again looking to target Google's popular Chrome OS with a new lightweight version of Windows dubbed "Lite OS."
Computing

3DMark’s Port Royal lets you benchmark ray tracing on Nvidia’s RTX cards

UL is adding another benchmarking utility to its popular 3DMark suite to help gamers measure their graphics card's ray tracing performance. You'll soon be able to measure how Nvidia's RTX 2070, 2080, and 2080 Ti stack up.
Computing

Snatch Apple’s 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro for up to $1,200 off at B&H

The latest deal at B&H is offering up 2017 15-inch Apple MacBook Pros, in space gray and silver, with Intel Core i7 quad-core CPUs, 16GB of RAM, and AMD Radeon Pro 560 GPUs with up to 2TB of SSD storage.
Computing

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.
Gaming

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Computing

Qualcomm’s dual-screen PC concept looks like two connected Surface Go tablets

In Qualcomm's video teaser, we got a glimpse of the company's vision for how a dual-screen ARM PC should work. The internet reacted to Qualcomm's video, calling the device in question merely a mashup of two Surface Go tablets.
Deals

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.
Computing

Hololens 2 could give the Always Connected PC a new, ‘aggressive’ form

Microsoft is said to be leaning on Qualcomm to power its Hololens 2 headset. Instead of Intel CPUs, the next Hololens could use a Snapdragon 850 processor, allowing it to benefit from the always-connected features.
Computing

Chrome’s dark mode may cast its shadow over Macs by early 2019

By early 2019 Google may release a version of Chrome for Mac users that offers a Dark Mode feature to match MacOS Mojave's recent darkening.
Computing

These laptop bags will keep your notebook secure wherever you go

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.