Microsoft targets Chrome OS with $189 Windows 10 laptops for education

Microsoft is gunning for Chromebooks in the education space by announcing seven new Windows 10 laptops that start at just $189. Targeted at students, these laptops — including two convertible models — are priced to take on Google’s more inexpensively priced Chrome OS ecosystem. The Windows 10-powered notebooks are part of a portfolio of education-centric Windows 10-powered devices made by Acer, Dell, and Lenovo.

“One of our most exciting announcements this week is our growing portfolio of affordable, easy to manage Windows 10 devices for the classroom,” Microsoft said in a statement. “We are offering seven great new Windows 10 devices for the upcoming school year, starting as low as $189 USD. This includes two brand new 2-in-1 devices from Acer and Lenovo that start under $300 USD and give students the versatility to convert from tablet to laptop mode!”

The laptops include the Lenovo 100e, Lenovo 300e two-in-one, Lenovo 14w, Acer Travelmate B1 (B118-M), Acer Travelmate Spin B1 (B118-R/RN), Acer Travelmate B1-141, and Dell Latitude 3300. In addition to the larger 13- to 15-inch screen sizes on some of these laptops, Microsoft also highlighted that the Lenovo 300e includes a built-in silo for the stylus, which will help with digital inking and note-taking.

Inking and Windows 10

Along with the hardware announcement, Microsoft is also highlighting the benefits of Windows 10, promoting features such as inking, ease of device management with S Mode for Windows 10, and Learning Tools in Office 365, which Microsoft claims helps improve reading comprehension by 10 percentile points for students of all abilities.

For schools and students who adopt Microsoft’s compact Surface Go detachable tablet, Microsoft also introduced the brand new Microsoft Classroom Pen stylus. The digital pen was designed for K-8 students, featuring a durable design, hardened pen tip that’s replaceable, and the ability to tether to other devices to ensure that the pen doesn’t get misplaced or lost. The Microsoft Classroom Pen will be available in packs of 20 for $799.80 and will ship in all 36 markets where Surface Go is available globally starting next month.

Microsoft also announced new tools for teachers, including Grade Sync integration with SIS systems, mobile grading support on iOS and Android devices, Turnitin integration to fight plagiarism, free computer science curriculum, and an Assignments viewer. There are also new mixed-reality curricula that support Microsoft’s Mixed Reality headsets.

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